Disabled or not, seniors (just as children) are often affected by everyday life incidents. What is the right reflex when an elderly relative is in distress and how can you help?
Seniors: the most common incidents
Seniors tend to be more concerned about the dangers that are outside of their home. However, they are much more exposed to the everyday life accidents that occur in their own homes.
The most common accident among seniors over 65 is falling. There can be various causes: ill-adapted house design (stairs, slippery floors), balance disorder due to a hearing problem or a medical treatment, dizzy spells… All of which can lead to fractures and trauma, requiring hospitalization, and sometimes also a loss of autonomy.
Drug intoxication is also one a very common accident.
Senior: providing emergency care
Alarmed by your senior relative’s silence, or warned by a call made with their Weenect Sliver tracker button, you’re the first one to get to the senior’s house. Here is what you can do to help before emergency services arrive:
In case of a fall:
If the person is unconscious or bleeding, do not touch him/her: immediately call for help.
- If they are conscious and pointing pain in one of their limbs or their back, do not try to move or lift them. However, you may carefully pinch the senior in various spots to test their
- Finally, if the senior does not feel pain, but is unable to get up alone, you can help him. Be
careful though: you can try to help your relative stand up only if you are yourself physically
fit! A weak person is very heavy, do not risk another fall…
- Here’s a trick to get up alone after a mild fall: use your feet to push on the ground and roll on your stomach. Then crawl to a piece of furniture that is stable and not too high (a seat for example). Using your forearms, fold your legs so that you are resting on your knees, and get on all fours. Take a firm hold on the furniture and take a seat.
- Even if there is no visible injury or that the person does not feel any pain, you should always consult with a doctor after a fall. You can never be too careful!
In case of drug intoxication:
- It is usually an accidental overdose: the senior simply forgets that he/she has already taken
his/her medication. It is also possible that two drugs interfere.
- If the person seems drowsy or unconscious, call for help. While you’re waiting for help, place them in recovery position: lying on the side, head back and mouth open, facing the ground. It allows to prevent the senior from suffocating if they vomit.
- If the senior is conscious but agitated, keep him or her seated calmly. Do not give themanything to eat or drink, and do not try to induce vomiting, it could cause suffocating and make the situation even more complicated.
- Dialing 15 is not the only option: you can also contact the closest poison control center to get assistance.
To help an elderly relative after a fall or intoxication, our best recommendation is to dial 15
(Emergency Medical Services), or 18 (Fire Department). The closest regional poison center contact information is available at http://www.centres-antipoison.net/. Trust Medical Emergency professionals!