Falls and Injuries – Caring for Seniors

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of three adults aged 65 and older fall each year, often resulting in hip or other fractures, head injuries or lacerations. Sadly, because of their fragility, seniors are more prone to broken bones, fractures, and sprains. After a serious fall or injury, an elderly person should receive medical attention. A hard blow to the head from a fall can cause serious injury even if there are no visible signs of injury.  All falls in this age group should be assessed by a doctor or hospital emergency department depending on severity.

Falls can lead to:

Lacerations, head injuries, and fractures.

Common risk-factors for falling:

Seniors are more vulnerable to falls because of physical inactivity or immobility, coordination, muscle strength, and eyesight as common effects of aging.  Some medications can cause dizziness or rapid drops in blood pressure that can also put seniors more at risk for falls.  A single fall can cause a senior who is active and independent to become bed-bound.

What to do for an Elderly Fall:

  • Stay calm and try to keep the person calm as well.  Encourage slow deep breaths.
  • Call another staff for assistance – Med Tech, Nurse, or Lead.
  • Check for injuries first.  Do not try to get the person up right away.  If necessary, call 911 immediately; keeping the resident warm while you wait and control any bleeding by providing first aid.
  • If the resident appears dazed or confused, ask simple questions (such as their name, age, who is president, what month it is) to determine the severity.
  • If the resident is unconscious or appears to be suffering from a stroke or head injury, call 911 immediately.
  • If not seriously injured and they want to try to get up, do so slowly and cautiously.
  • Check their mobility by moving arms and legs first, then guide them to roll to their side. 
  • Bring them to a kneeling position and place a chair in front of them to grab onto for stability.
  • Place a second chair behind them to allow them to sit down. 
  • At any time the resident complains of pain, STOP – do not move the resident – call 911 immediately.
  • Request required resident documents from chart to provide to the paramedics for transfer to emergency department.
  • Follow company protocol and Regulations for documentation and notification of incident.