What Are the Most Serious Consequences of a Fall?

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

Due to impaired sight, stiff joints, and other common health issues, seniors have a much higher risk of tripping and falling than younger adults. In addition, the senior population is the demographic most at risk for dangerous health issues following a fall. Even a slight tumble can cause an injury, so taking steps to prevent falls is crucial. Helping your senior loved one avoid accidents can prevent him or her from experiencing the following fall-related consequences.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Falls that involve bumping the head increase the risk for a traumatic brain injury. This category of health issues includes concussions and other injuries caused by a blow to the brain, which can lead to issues like dizziness, loss of consciousness, seizures, increased dementia risk, or alterations to the senses. Because a traumatic brain injury is so dangerous, seniors who bump their heads needs to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Symptoms can appear any time in the first hours or days following an injury. 

Ensuring safety at home reduces the risk of traumatic brain injuries and other issues that make it difficult to remain independent. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Rhode Island senior care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Scrapes and Cuts

For seniors with compromised immune systems, any tiny scrape or cut that happens when they fall could end up being problematic. When the skin breaks during a fall, it’s easy for bacteria to enter and cause larger infections, which can lead to system-wide infections that are challenging to recover from. To keep infections from getting out of hand, family caregivers need to monitor cut or scraped areas closely and contact a doctor if they notice signs of redness or swelling. Seniors who have diabetes or other health conditions are at higher risk of developing serious infections.

Some family caregivers don’t have the time or expertise needed to provide effective care to their loved ones. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Rhode Island, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.

Dislocated Joints

To work properly and allow movement, the joints throughout the body need to be precisely aligned. A jarring fall may knock a bone out of its proper socket, leading to extreme pain and a joint that doesn’t function. Though dislocations are often treatable, seniors are more likely to experience another dislocation following their first dislocation. A joint that is initially dislocated by landing on it the wrong way could end up greatly impairing mobility in the long run.

Broken Bones

Since seniors’ bones already tend to be weakened by osteoporosis, they’re more likely to break something even when they’re not falling with a lot of force. Breakages typically happen to the limbs as seniors try to catch themselves while falling, but they may also fracture larger bones like the hips. Because bones are already fragile due to aging, seniors tend to take longer to heal following a bone breakage. In some cases, broken bones can even lead to life-threatening complications. Seniors who do recover may find it difficult to regain their past level of mobility.

Seniors who have a history of falling at home need someone to look after them every day. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional at-home care Rhode Island seniors can trust and rely on. To hire a professionally trained caregiver, get in touch with Home Care Assistance at (401) 284-0979.