Every year, around 36 million older adults tumble. They might trip on a pet, lose their balance on wet flooring, or fall on dimly lit stairs. It’s time to look closely at your mom’s care needs after a fall.
Reminders for Medications
Your mom’s doctor may not offer her any prescription pain medications, but she will be told to alternate between ibuprofen and acetaminophen to keep the pain and inflammation managed. If she has a hard time remembering which pill she took a few hours ago, she needs a caregiver to help keep track.
She may need to start taking calcium supplements. A caregiver can help her keep track of those, too.
Changes to Her Diet
If your mom has been found to have low bone density, weaker bones break easily. One of the first things she needs to do is improve her diet. She needs to add calcium and vitamin D, and that means drinking milk, eating calcium-rich foods like yogurt and cottage cheese, and eating fortified juices and cereals.
If your mom prefers nut or soy milk over cow’s milk, verify they’re fortified with calcium and vitamin D. It may be helpful for your mom to work with a dietitian.
Make Sure She’s Not Overexerting Herself
Your mom is used to vacuuming each day, tidying up, and making beds, but it’s tough when she’s on crutches. If she keeps trying, she risks another fall. Instead, she can have a caregiver available to clean her home, make beds, do the laundry, and make sure everything is to her liking.
A caregiver can do everything your mom shouldn’t do and support her with the tasks she can do. With some support, she can keep doing chores, but she’ll have someone there to stop her if she’s getting tired.
Her Doctor’s Advice Takes Precedence
Before arranging any services for your mom, look over the instructions and advice her doctor has given her. If you can talk to her doctor directly, do so. She’s likely been told to get up and move around regularly, but limit her movements to prevent straining the healing bone, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Expect her to have regular appointments with a physical therapist. She may need rides to these appointments, especially with injuries like a broken leg, ankle, or right arm or wrist. If you can’t take off all of the time needed to drive her around, make sure she has a caregiver.
Following a fall, your mom can have all the support she needs. Hire home care aides to help her with housework, personal care, meals, and transportation. Your mom won’t have to push her broken arm, leg, or other bone by trying to do more than she’s ready to handle. Call a home care agency to learn more about post-fall support.
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