Whether you’re the victim or the witness of a fall, never underestimate its seriousness. Even if it appears no harm was done, there could be after-effects.
Here are some of the reasons for seeing a doctor:
– loss of consciousness just before or after the fall
– a strong lingering pain
– overall weakness
– vision problems
Symptoms may appear in the days that follow a fall. If you fall, take note of your condition. If you witness a fall, take note of the person’s condition.
In some cases, a fall may be the sign of an illness, or it may be caused by medication. It’s always better to mention falls to your doctor. He or she can then assess the situation and see if the fall is linked to an illness, prescribed medication or over-the counter drugs.
Preventing Another Fall
It’s a good idea to check your environment to discover all fall hazards, particularly if you have had a fall. Simple changes to prevent falls include grab bars, non-slip rugs and a handrail on both sides of stairs.
Wearing unsuitable footwear increases the risk of falling. Make sure your shoes have non-slip soles and heels of reasonable height, and are wide enough to prevent any twisting of the foot. A good heel cup that goes around the back of the heel also stabilizes the ankle.
Thinking about your fall, come up with a plan so that you’ll feel in control for the future. Share this plan with your family and neighbours. Consider getting an emergency call device or always have a cordless phone close at hand, especially if you fall often. Ask a friend or a family member to phone you at regular intervals, or get this service from a company or a volunteer centre. Give your keys to someone you trust who could use them in an emergency. In short, think about what you can do to get help if you have a fall.