As people age, their risk of falls increases. You should always prepare and know what to do, how to do it, and what you can do in the future to lessen the chance of more falls. Be proactive about getting the right medical assessment after a fall and preventing more falls.
If a slip and fall accident caused by the carelessness of others significantly injured you or a loved one, you may seek compensation. For example, did your loved one slip on a wet floor in a store, a pothole in a parking lot, or on worn stairs with a broken railing?
Get in touch with a slip and fall lawyer after you do the following three things to ensure your health. Personal injury accident lawyers like those at the Shiner Law Group in West Palm Beach, Florida, can help relieve the financial burden of an already stressful situation.
What You Need to Know About Falls
Obviously, when an elderly person falls, they must quickly address any injuries that could have occurred from the fall.
While this is important, to prevent future falls, it is even more important to understand why the fall took place. Even if you think that your aged loved one simply tripped and stumbled, a good medical evaluation could uncover issues that made these trips and falls far more likely.
After a fall, head to the doctor for an assessment and ask them to look for chronic conditions that may have caused the fall.
Let’s take a look at three key items that doctors should check for after a fall. This will make sure that your loved one has a reduced chance of falling later.
1. Evaluation for Underlying Heart or Neurological Conditions
In some cases, an older person may have fallen or slipped due to a chronic problem that has developed in the heart or blood pressure system—for example, paroxysmal rapid atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the heart sometimes races.
Sometimes, older people develop a chronic neurological condition such as Parkinson’s disease. Ask the doctor if this could have caused the fall.
Ask about these conditions, especially if the falls keep happening. The doctor will then explore this diagnosis.
2. Have Your Doctor Look for Newly Developed Underlying Illnesses
Doctors will usually look for newly developed underlying conditions if an older person has experienced generalized weakness or delirium. If you notice your loved one experiencing any of these symptoms, let the doctor know.
Many new health problems could cause an older person to weaken and fall. Some of these include:
- Urinary tract infections
- Heart problems
If newly developed underlying illnesses concern you or your loved one, get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible to prevent more falls.
3. A Review of Medications
As people age, they may take a daily cocktail of medications. Some of this medicine may even increase the risk of falls.
If your loved one is on medication and has fallen, ask the doctor to address:
Opiate pain medications – When first introduced, opiate pain medications can cause some odd side effects.
Sedatives, tranquilizers, and sleeping medication – These medications include Lorazepam (for anxiety) and Zolpidem (for sleep). Antipsychotic medications for dementia such as quetiapine or risperidone, can also increase fall risk due to the sedation properties.
Anticholinergic medication – Aged adults don’t always realize that these medications can hurt balance and thinking. These include medications for vertigo, overactive bladder, allergies, nausea, and even antidepressants to combat nerve pain.
Blood pressure and diabetes medication – It really isn’t unusual for doctors to over-treat or over-medicate older adults for many conditions. Sometimes, their medications could cause blood pressure to drop too low.
If you’re really concerned about your loved one’s fall risk, ask a doctor to conduct a medication review. Often, a combination of medications that interact badly causes trips and falls.
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As mentioned above, handling the aftermath can become costly, time-consuming, and greatly stressful. However, with help from an experienced lawyer, like the Florida personal injury firm the Shiner Law Group, you won’t have to worry. Get the compensation you deserve if someone else’s negligence caused your trip and fall.