Falls are the leading cause of disability and serious injuries among older adults. In fact, a senior is treated for a fall every 11 seconds in the United States. Issues like medication errors and poor nutrition can raise the risk for falls.
Once an older adult experiences a fall, there is more to their recovery than physical rehabilitation. Regaining their confidence is an important part of their recovery, too.
4 Steps to Help a Senior Restore Their Confidence after a Fall
Falling can be a traumatic event in an older adult’s life. Not only are the physical injuries painful and frightening, but the idea being unable to call for help is, too.
Here’s what you should know to help your family member regain their confidence.
- Validate their emotions: As your loved one starts to get back on their feet, don’t be surprised if you notice they are fearful of walking. That fear is understandable and legitimate. Their fear is linked to a whole series of events they know a fall may trigger: struggling to call for help, a trip to the emergency room, a hospital stay, a potential surgery, and possibly even a permanent loss of independence. It’s important that you recognize and validate that they have a right to be afraid.
- Find an experienced rehabilitation program: Take time to research the rehabilitation centers in your area. They are not all the same, and it’s worth driving a little farther to find the highest quality rehab center. Whether it is a short-term skilled nursing and rehab center or an outpatient rehab center, make sure you understand the provider’s track record for success. Regaining strength, flexibility, and stamina all require a quality rehab partner.
- Know that a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous: After a senior experiences a fall, they may begin to limit their activity for fear of falling again. A sedentary lifestyle, however, leads to muscle loss, balance issues, and cognitive decline. Staying active helps protect core strength and balance, which helps prevent falls.
- Conduct a home safety audit: One way you can help your loved one regain their confidence is by conducting a home safety audit. It will help you identify and correct potential fall hazards around the home, which will give your senior family member peace of mind. From grab bars to improved lighting, it’s important to create a safe home environment.
One final suggestion to consider is short-term respite at an assisted living community. If your loved one is fearful about going home alone following their hospital or rehab stay, respite can be a solution. The senior can continue to gain strength and confidence in an environment designed to support older adults. Then they can transition home feeling more confident.
Call the Sunrise Senior Living community nearest you to learn more today!
Source: Sunrise Senior Living