Caring for aging relatives can be difficult, especially as they become less mobile. The possibility of mishaps increases exponentially late in life, and it’s important to know what to do in case of an emergency.
This raises an obvious question: what should you do if your grandparent falls?
It’s easy to interpret a fall as a disaster, but that may not be the case. The first thing to do is stay calm because the last thing you want is for your grandparent to see your anxiety and do something that causes further injury.
Examine Them Safely
Once you calm yourself and your grandparent down, the next step is to do a safe but thorough examination. You’re looking for basic things like bruises and bleeding, and you went to ask about pain as it relates to both of those possibilities and movement in general.
If your grandparent is experiencing pain, then you should find out how severe it is without panicking. Severe pain is an obvious sign that you need to call 911, but if the pain is manageable, it may be better to try and move your grandparent safely and make them comfortable.
Move Your Grandparent
Move your grandparent slowly and carefully. Look for signs of panic, efforts to hide pain, an inability to move, or fatigue that may indicate a more serious injury.
You should also know how to provide support if you’re going to try to get them to a chair. Find two chairs and place one by their head and the other by their feet, then help them through the steps to access one of the chairs. Remember that your role is to guide them and keep them steady, not try and support their weight.
You can also consider helping your grandparent roll over onto their side, then get to their hands and knees and get them up that way. Try to replicate the normal motions to go from lying to sitting as much as possible, as this will give you an idea of the level of pain they’re experiencing.
You should also know some of the basics of non-emergency medical transport. It may not be necessary to call an emergency ambulance, so prepare yourself if the time comes to call a non-emergency transport service.
Call a Doctor
It’s easy to skip this step if the fall is minor. However, if your grandparent is experiencing mobility issues and instability, you should notify their doctor, even if the fall isn’t that severe.
Let the doctor make a call about whether a subsequent checkup is necessary. They’ll likely ask questions about follow-up steps that may help clarify your situation. When it comes to the question of what you should do if your grandparent falls, this is one of the most important steps of all.