When your loved one is in the hospital surrounded by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, you may feel that they are as safe as can be. While it is true that there is always someone that is available to help your loved one in the hospital, the hospital is a place where many falls can occur.
If your loved one is having a hospital stay due to illness, injury, or surgery, it is important for you to be aware of the heightened risk for falls in the hospital and for you to be aware of the ways to prevent falls in the hospital. When you keep this important information in mind, you can help to ensure that your loved one will have a safe and positive hospital stay.
Why is my loved one at risk for falling while staying in the hospital?
The hospital is known as a place for healing and recovery, so how it can actually be so dangerous? The truth is that elderly adults can be at risk of falling in the hospital due to the simple fact that it is an unfamiliar environment. Your loved one may not know their way around or where things are, which can lead to a fall. In addition, if your loved one is using medications that make them feel dizzy, drowsy, or confused, they can also be at a higher risk for falls. Keep in mind that treatments, procedures, and tests can leave your loved one feeling unstable and dizzy, as well. Hospital floors also tend to be quite slippery.
How can I help my loved one prevent a fall when staying at the hospital?
It is very important for your loved one to stay in bed or stay seated until someone can come and assist them with moving around the room. Encourage your loved one to call for help if they need to get up and walk around or use the restroom. Help your loved one to keep the items they need such as their water bottle, phone, book, notepad, snacks, etc. within reach so that they don’t have to get up to retrieve them. It is also a great idea to pack some non-slip socks or slippers for your loved one to wear while in the hospital. Your loved one should always be aware of where the call button is in their bed and in the bathroom so that they can call for help whenever they need it.
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