As mentioned in the previous articles, the observations of family, friends and/or support person are critical in documenting important information that can be relayed to the Doctor. In Ontario, short term support via Community Care Access may be requested to assist during the recovery period.
It is always a good idea to see the doctor after you have had a fall especially if any of the following occur:
- Loss of consciousness before or after the fall
- Any injury sustained from the fall
- A strong or lingering pain or dizziness
- Overall weakness
- Vision problems
If you fall or are supporting someone who had a fall, take note of your/their condition as symptoms may appear days following a fall.
A fall may be the sign of an illness or caused by medication, so it is always better to mentions falls to the doctor as they will be able to assess the situation and see whether the fall was linked to an illness or by prescribed or over the counter medications.
How to Prevent Future Falls
- Check the environment for fall hazards
- Wear suitable footwear
- Have the doctor make a referral to the local Community Care Access Centre for occupational and physiotherapy assessments as walking aids may be needed
- Install grab bars, non-slip rugs were needed
- Make sure that handrails are attached securely to the wall
- Consider getting an emergency call device or a cordless phone close at hand
Getting back to walking after a Fall
- Discuss your fear of falling with family members, caregivers and or with health professionals
- A physiotherapist can help with exercises to strengthen and increase flexibility as becoming inactive can lead to increase risk of falling
- Knowing what to do when you fall and the potential consequences of falling will give you control over the fear
- Maintain social interactions and walk with a buddy when in the community as this will help with your wellbeing
http://www.ccac-ont.ca/ Community Care Ontario Access website gives information on locations and services
http://www.senioryears.com/seniorcentres-Ont.html A Seniors Social and information website
http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/seniors/english/resources.htm Information on Senior’s Agencies in Ontario
- Public Health Agency of Canada handout — If you fall or witness a fall, do you know what to do?
- Active Independent Aging — A community guide for falls prevention and Active living – Facts about risk factors for falls