According to the National Council on Aging, 1 in 4 seniors (ages 65+) fall every year. Every 11 seconds a senior is treated for fall related injuries. Every 19 minutes a fatal fall occurs. These statistics are devastating. A fall can dramatically decrease a senior’s mobility, increase pain and discomfort, and makes another fall more likely. These aren’t the only problems. However physically taxing a fall can be, it is also important to consider the emotional distress a senior experiences post fall.
When the fall first occurs, families or in home care providers need to respond to the physical needs of the fall victim. We want them to get the assistance that they need, but it’s not just physical needs that are a problem. Geriatric medicine interview seniors who suffered a serious fall and they said some interesting things.
The majority of those interviewed began to question and doubt themselves after they experienced the fall. They expressed a fear of letting their spouse or friends down because of how slow they walk and said “it’s perhaps the end of my walking or the end of a lot of my life.” It’s the end of their independence.
How Home Care Providers Can Help Emotional Distress
In home care is, in part, here to help seniors maintain their dignity and independence in their own home. Here are some things families and care providers can do to help a post fall senior.
- Don’t rush them anywhere and be supportive. It can discouraging if we constantly remind that they aren’t as fast as they were.
- Help them find new ways to enjoy old hobbies and pastimes. If it’s gardening, help them do some of the more strenuous deals. If it’s visiting friends, help them walk across the street.
- Don’t treat them like they’re disabled. We want to help them where they need help, but we also need to push them, in a loving way, to do the things they are capable of doing.
Falls can affect seniors in an emotional way, and we can’t forget that. We have to make sure that they receive all of the help they need. If you or a loved one recently suffered a fall, Generations Home Care can help.