If you are caring for a loved one in an aged care home chances are at some point you could get that dreaded phone call telling you your loved one has had a serious fall.
Knowing the right questions to ask will help you gain some control and ensure your loved one gets proper nursing care.
Nursing staff should always inform family of a fall as soon as possible.
Here are 5 essential questions to ask:
1. Is my family member injured? Falls can cause a number of serious injuries including fractures and head injury. Make sure your family member has been assessed by a registered nurse. Signs of serious injury include difficulty weight bearing, pain, loss of consciousness and abnormal positioning of the limbs.
2. How did they fall? Many falls can be prevented and the cause of a fall should always be investigated. Did anyone witness the fall?
3. Has my loved one hit their head? If your loved one has hit their head they will require close monitoring. Neurological observations should be taken for a number of hours immediately after a head injury. This could be in an aged care home in consultation with a doctor or they could be transferred to hospital for observation straight away.
4. Has the doctor been notified? A doctor should always be notified of a fall even if a fall does not result in an injury. Falls can be related to medications, increased confusion, poor vision, dizziness or problems with balance. Injuries from falls can often surface days after a fall.
5. Has the fall been documented? Falls should always be documented in a resident’s nursing care plan. A physiotherapist should also be contacted to review lifting and transferring techniques. A fall could be related to an ill- fitting walking frame or poor transferring techniques.