Of all the dangers that the elderly have to deal with, the possibility of falling is particularly worrisome. When we’re younger, we come to accept that we’re all going to fall from time-to-time. We brush ourselves off, get to our feet and continue with our day. But, for the elderly, just one fall could be enough to cause irreparable damage. This is why it’s imperative for us to learn about how to prevent a fall, and how to help them recover from one.
Before The Fall
To start with, we’re going to take a look at what you can do to prevent falls in the elderly. With this topic, we’re assuming the person in question either lives on their own or with family.
Firstly, you want to promote an active and healthy lifestyle. While this might actually seem detrimental (you can’t fall when you’re sitting down), that isn’t the case. Keeping the elderly active helps to strengthen muscles and actually reduce the risk of a fall.
If you can afford to help them out, recognizing the need for assistive devices is key. As they get older, they’re bound to require some form of walking aid. But, a lot of elderly people are ‘too proud’ to ask for help, so you need to be the one to initiate it.
Also, it’s worth talking to their doctor to seek any advice you can get. They’ll be able to advise the types of medications the person might be taking that could make a fall more likely.
Don’t forget to keep a regular eye out for trip hazards around the home. Do an audit every now and again, and remove any potential dangers.
After The Fall
There are all sorts of reasons why an elderly person could fall. They range from medical conditions to house hazards, and they’re all incredibly dangerous. Here’s what you should do.
If someone falls and you’re there to help them, stay calm and encourage them to do the same. You’ll instinctively look for injuries, but call emergency services if you can’t determine the injury.
While it’s always best to seek additional help if necessary, minor injuries might not require it. In a case like this, you need to be careful. Help them to get to their feet by giving them sturdy furniture to grab onto as they get up. Give them assistance, but don’t lift their entire weight – let them take control.
What you do next depends on the type of injury sustained and why it occurred. A slip or a trip should be pursued further if it took place in a public area. Instances like this are often passed over to lawyers such as The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP for compensation reasons. Most importantly, you’ll want to prevent the same thing from happening again to someone else.
In any case, you’ll want to inform their doctor that they’ve had a fall. They should get checked out for any long-term damage, and you might want to maintain close contact for a while. A fall can be a traumatic incident for the elderly, and can often leave them feeling vulnerable and scared.
Italy’s PM Silvio Berlusconi has been filmed carrying out his community service at a nursing home near Milan.
The footage shows Silvio Berlusconi dressed in a white lab coat, joking with elderly residents at the hospice.
Silvio Berlusconi, 77, was ordered in May to help out at the Sacra Famiglia center as part of his one year sentence for tax fraud.
Silvio Berlusconi was ordered to help out at the Sacra Famiglia center as part of his one year sentence for tax fraud (photo AFP)
Until now, doctors had imposed a news blackout on how exactly Silvio Berlusconi was getting on after trading his customary late night carousing with young show girls for more sedentary mornings entertaining the elderly.
The video, filmed on a smart phone, shows Silvio Berlusconi sitting in the centre’s recreation room, smiling and joking with a group of elderly residents, some in wheelchairs, before he strolls over the vending machine to chat to two younger women.
As he cracks jokes, some of the patients clap along to an old fashioned Italian accordion record being played.
The video shows Silvio Berlusconi looking relaxed and cheerful.
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Silvio Berlusconi is due to start a year of community service at a care home near Milan.
The former Italian prime minister was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud last year, commuted to four hours work a week with elderly dementia patients.
The Catholic care home says Silvio Berlusconi, 77, will be treated like any other assistant.
The billionaire has been embroiled in a string of court cases.
His conviction last year was in connection with the purchase of TV rights by his firm, Mediaset, in the 1990s.
Silvio Berlusconi is due to start a year of community service at a care home near Milan
Silvio Berlusconi was spared prison because the Italian legal system is lenient to the over-70s.
He chose community service rather than house arrest to serve out his commuted sentence.
This will enable him to continue to lead his centre-right party, Forza Italia, in the European elections, although he has been forced to resign his seat in the upper house of parliament.
Silvio Berlusconi has also had to surrender his passport and his travel within Italy is severely restricted.
He also has to observe a nightly curfew at his palatial home near Milan.
Silvio Berlusconi is said to have been studying Alzheimer’s disease in preparation for his community service. He was due to arrive at the San Pietro care home in Cesano Boscone at 09:45 local time.
Massimo Restelli, head of care services there, told La Repubblica newspaper that Silvio Berlusconi’s introduction would be “gradual” so that he and the elderly patients could get used to each other.
“It will be small steps so as not to make any mistakes, and then he could do all sorts of things. He could help with meals, which are tricky because sometimes you have to ‘remind’ the patient that they are eating,” he said.
He said Silvio Berlusconi would be accompanied at all times by a medical worker specialized in Alzheimer’s.
“We’ll see if Berlusconi’s presence creates some kind of close bond, if he is a reference for anyone,” he added.
Silvio Berlusconi has always denied the charges against him, accusing left-wing judges of a witch-hunt.
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