Seniors may have cognitive, balance or mobility issues. Perhaps they have neurological problems associated with a stroke or Parkinson’s disease. Pain from arthritis could affect how they move. Even a dangerous cocktail of medications could compromise their balance.
So here’s the scenario. Granny steps out of a warm, relaxing bath and onto the wet, slippery tiles. Her feet take on a life of their own, escaping from underneath her as she plunges to the ground, landing smack on her posterior and narrowly avoiding a broken hip. Now what?
Step two depends on the results of Granny’s self-assessment. If she decided she wasn’t seriously injured, it’s time for her to get up. Very slowly. With caution.
Granny needs to:
- Roll onto her side, bend the top leg and lift herself onto her elbows or hands.
- Pull herself toward a sturdy object, such as the edge of the bathtub or a stable chair, then kneel with both hands on the object.
- Place her stronger leg in front, hands still on the chair.
- Stand up.
- Turn around slowly and sit down in the chair.
Just like anything else, practice makes perfect so Granny should practice this routine. It will help her to avoid panic if she ever falls. Also, while she’s practicing, she may just decide it’s worth remodeling the bathroom for safety.
If, however, Granny feels she was seriously injured, she should not attempt to get up. If she thinks someone could hear her, she should call for help. If not, it’s time to use her emergency alert device. She has one doesn’t she?
While help is on the way, Granny needs to stay warm, comfortable and hydrated. So she should keep a blanket, pillow and even bottled water stored at a low level.
Keep the people you care for safe.