It’s a big deal for you as a caregiver and also for all of us as we age. Chances are you have already experienced a fall yourself and it took you by surprise. As a caregiver, chances are even greater that you have had to deal with the unexpected fall of a loved one.
It’s not unusual for caregivers not to realize their loved one is at risk of a fall. Perhaps your aging parent still has good mobility. Did you know that chronic illness is one of many reasons that makes elderly falling common?
Chronic Illness Contributes To Elderly Falling
My mom still tries to remain independent and lives in a senior apartment. When she is feeling pretty good, I check on her daily. If she’s not doing well, I will be with her multiple times a day. It was during one of her “bad” periods when I found her semi-conscious underneath the ironing board.
I went to her apartment before 6am and heard the alarm clock buzzing. I entered the dark apartment and found my mom under the ironing board and my heart dropped. I immediately thought the worst, that she had passed away.
I went to mom and touched her and she moaned. It was wonderful and awful at the same time! I was ecstatic she was still with me, but I had a major situation on my hands.
Her speech was slow and slurred, and she was as limp as cooked spaghetti. I couldn’t lift her, and she couldn’t sit up without falling over. I thought she must have had a stroke. I called 911, as well as my family to come too.
After the paramedics learned my mom was diabetic, they checked her blood sugar which was dangerously low. They gave her something to bring it up quickly and transported her to the hospital. When my mother was stabilized she told us what happened.
Mom had known she was having a reaction from low blood sugar. She tried to get up to get a snack and fell along the way. My mom had lived with diabetes for years with no major scares. We were both caught unaware!
Hopefully your eyes have been opened by my story.
The elderly falling at home is quite common and not just because of poor housekeeping.
At the time of this post my mother is doing well. It was a miracle that I got there and got help for her in time. I was so unprepared for how quickly things could get out of control. Both my mother and I only thought about the long term effects of chronic illness, not the day to day hazards.
Learn from our experience and if you or someone you know suffers from chronic illnesses, get some type of emergency response plan together. Diabetes was the culprit in my mom’s case. Diabetes affects millions of people so chances are someone in your circle of friends could be dealing with this disease.
The elderly falling is dangerous no matter where it happens. I was doing some research on nursing homes, and found that nursing home falls happen more often than I thought.
If you or anyone you know has had any experience with nursing homes, I would love to hear from you. The more info we have as caregivers the better, so please don’t hold back any suggestions or ideas. I reply to emails and post comments within 24 hours. Your voice will be heard!