Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Dreaded Fall

I have read in many places that falling is bad for the elderly, particularly those with dementia and other illnesses. It is like how they say getting pneumonia is the beginning of the end for many elderly. It seems that for some people, a fall leads to a downward spiral and no one can really explain why.

Even with all the safety bars we have in the house, Mom fell last week. While we got her up and she seemed ok, she was complaining more and more of different pain she was having. Dad took her to the doctor and they did not find anything, but we see some changes in her. For one, the increased pain, but also an increase in fear of doing things, some more vivid hallucinations, more fatigue, and a more confusion.

The anxiety created after a fall is actually one of the worst outcomes from a fall because then it results in the person being reluctant to walk and move around. Then their muscles weaken and they are at an increased risk of falling again. One of the essential things after a fall is to get the person comfortable with moving again so you can stop the deterioration of their body.

As with any change you see in your loved one, sometimes these things get worse for a bit and then everything resolves to a more stable state. Then again, sometimes things just keep going on a downward spiral. All caregivers dread the day your loved on falls, catches a bad cold, breaks a hip, or any thing happens that could change the trajectory of their disease for the worse.


Rev. Katie


  1. We just finished a stint of home PT for balance and gait, to help her get both confidence and stability. The hard part is following up with it.

    1. Kathy, I hope the PT program helps. I think it's a great idea and earlier in the Parkinson's diagnosis we took Mom too. I think it helps them learn how to balance their body as it changes. True though, it is hard to follow up on it. :-) Good Luck.
      Rev. Katie