Important Considerations for Seniors after a Serious Fall
Having a bad fall at any age can have serious consequences. Head and spinal injuries can be particularly disastrous and have life-long impacts on the injured person. But for senior citizens, even a seemingly harmless fall can have life-altering results, causing a decrease in mobility that you may never fully recover from. While difficult to face, it’s important to recognize this possibility if you’ve received such an injury. Here are a few things that you need to consider after having a serious fall.
This is an important thing to confront, especially if you were injured performing a seemingly simple task. If you were pushing yourself beyond your physical limits and fell as a result, then it might be time to ask for help with those tasks around the house—especially now that you have an injury to contend with. It can be difficult to accept help for things that you feel like you should be able to do on your own. But it’s far more difficult to recover from yet another injury like the one you just sustained.
After a fall-related injury, it’s probably not too difficult to recognize that your mobility is now decreased; the difficult part is recognizing that your previous level of mobility may never return. Recovering from injuries is much more difficult later in life, and many seniors find that those injuries become constant companions in the following years.
While you may tell yourself, “I don’t need a ramp on my outside stairs because I’ll be back to myself in no time,” that’s probably not true. You need to make adjustments to your home that can accommodate your level of mobility right now. Simply trying to “make do” until you hopefully recover is a recipe for another injury. So, get that ramp. Install that walk-in tub. Do what you have to now to actually have a better chance of recovering. And if you do get your old mobility back, those accessibility adjustments can still help to prevent future injuries from occurring.
Nobody gets excited about the prospect of surgery. But as already mentioned, injuries in senior citizens are more likely to stick around. Sometimes, the only way to properly repair the injury is through surgery—particularly through joint replacements. This is a common necessity in seniors with fall-related injuries, but many dig in their heels because “that’s an old-person problem.” It’s important to confront that the need for surgery is about improving your overall quality of life and following your doctor’s advice if that is the course they recommend.
If you’ve been injured, your focus should be on healing. But often, that includes looking to the future and acknowledging how your life might need to change as a result of your injury. If you need surgery, require help around the house, or need to install walk-in bathtubs, then you should do so. Your health and safety are the highest priority.