Support, guidance & advice for todays primary carers
If you’re a carer of an older adult, then it’s important to know that falls can have a significant impact on their confidence – and this can lead to more falls in the future.
We share four steps that can help them take control and regain confidence after a fall.
Falls and how it can affect the elderly
When an older adult falls, it can be a traumatic experience for all involved. It’s not just the physical injuries that are a result of a fall, there are also psychological repercussions. Falls often cause older adults to feel less capable on their feet and can lead to a fear of falling. This fear can actually lead to an increased risk of falls.
The good news is that it is possible for seniors to reverse this fear of falling with the help of a carer. Carers can help by encouraging older adults to lead an active lifestyle, including walking, taking the stairs, and exercising regularly. This will help strengthen the muscles needed for strength and balance and prevent falls.
If you have an aging loved one who has taken a spill, here are four ways you can help restore their sense of well-being and independence.
- Discuss the fall carefully
If you are a carer seeking help after a loved one’s fall, it’s important to understand the situation and communicate with your loved one. Listening to their concerns shows that you’re taking them seriously and can help identify the reasons for the fall. Together, you can work on preventing future falls by considering possible solutions.
Remember that the fall is just an event – it doesn’t define your loved one. Help them see the situation more objectively and focus on finding ways to stay safe and independent.
For example, maybe they tripped on an uneven surface, so a walking stick or frame could provide them with more support in the future.
- Set achievable goals
Setting reasonable goals with your elderly loved one will help them overcome their loss of confidence and work towards something that is achievable – that can later be built upon.
For example, a goal may be to walk around the backyard on their own in 4 weeks or to use the stairs again (using handrails) in 6 weeks.
- Use targets that you can measure
It is important to set smaller targets that will eventually lead to the end goal. Helping your loved one walk around the garden or use stairs again is definitely achievable with some planning and support. Help them determine what would be required to complete this task.
For example, how far would they need to walk or how often do they need to practice steps each day and/or week to help support them in training for their goals? Who will do this, and when will it be done?
Assess their progress when the goal date arrives. Assess how they went; did they achieve the goal and smaller targets along the way? If they didn’t achieve their goal, assess why this may be the case and where their other achievements are instead.
Everyone needs encouragement, so be sure to praise your older loved one for their hard work and any accomplishments they have made. Show them that you are supportive of them as they go through this process.
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