Tips for Helping Elders Recover Emotionally From a Fall

Falls are common among Americans age 65 and older, in fact they are the leading cause of injury in older adults. But falls can be prevented and they are not a natural part of the aging process. 

Older adults can suffer significant physical injuries if they fall, including bruising and cuts to broken bones and even head trauma. 

In addition to the physical injury that can result from falls, just as importantly, a fall may cause emotional injuries that linger long after the incident. Fear about falling again may leave people reluctant to resume their normal activities. Plus, if they do cut back on walking for an extended period, they may lose coordination and muscle tone, and consequently, be at increased risk of falling in the future. At Green Homes, we understand the stress that some seniors feel when getting back on their feet. Fortunately, there are actions that families can take to make it easier for loved ones to regain their mobility.

5 Proven Confidence-Building Strategies

Getting physically well is the first step. Depending on the extent of the physical injuries, a skilled nursing community can help with rehabilitation such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and more. Once their health care professional has given the green-light to resume activity, below are five things families can do to help their loved one regain their confidence.

    • Talk about the emotional effects of the incident. It is important that elders have an opportunity to express how they are feeling emotionally after a fall. It is normal to be apprehensive about getting back on their feet, and they should know that the people who care about them understand that and are happy to talk with them about their concerns. Sometimes just verbalizing the feelings can help diminish their hold, but don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if the trauma is persistent and/or severe.
    • Assess the elder’s environment for tripping hazards. Conducting a thorough inspection and correcting any issues that are discovered (ridges in carpet, rugs without proper no-slip backing, cluttered walkways, etc.) can give an elder confidence that any risks have been addressed. Work with the older adult to show them all the steps that are being taken to ensure falling doesn’t happen again.
    • Confirm that the elder is in good health. It is helpful for someone who has fallen to hear their doctor and physical therapist confirm that their injuries are fully healed and any necessary rehabilitation has been successfully completed.
    • Develop a plan for regular exercise. Staying active helps elders keep their muscles strong and their joints limber. It also helps them maintain their coordination and sense of balance. Rehabilitation with a physical therapist can provide some guidance for the right movements that best suit the individual.
    • Consider a fall monitoring device. If the elder does not already wear a device that they can use to summon help when they fall, and ideally one that can automatically detect that they have fallen, it may be something to consider. Ideally they should have a device that can automatically detect that they have fallen and send an alert.

Powerful Reassurance in a Skilled Nursing Environment

Assisted Living Community Doing Group ExercisesMany elders who are living at home can get right back to their normal routine after a fall. As soon as their injuries have healed and the cause of the fall has been remedied, they are ready to be mobile again. For others, the incident may be a sign that it would be good to consider transitioning to a skilled nursing environment like Green House Homes.

        • 24-hour skilled nursing care and clinical services
        • Full offering of therapies: physical, occupational, speech and respiratory
        • Onsite therapy equipment available
        • In-house rehabilitation option, Medicare-certified
        • On-staff registered dietitian, nutritional therapy
        • Hospice, palliative and end-of-life care

Our caregivers can render aid at a moment’s notice to ensure that any physical injury is addressed promptly and that consequently any emotional trauma is minimized. Contact us to learn more about our unique, real-home environment.