Caring for Someone After a Fall

Holding hands

After your loved one has surgery, your doctor likely advised you on how to help them avoid falling. Because their body needs time to recover, falling is a risk they want to avoid. Accidents happen sometimes though, so in the event of a fall, what should you do?

Be Prepared

Having a plan in place is the best way to ensure you’re prepared for a fall during post-op recovery. Here are a few things you should include in your plan:

  • Have the contact numbers for your loved one’s surgeon, primary care physician, and physical therapist on hand (for real emergencies, 911 is always a quick call away as well). Make sure these are plugged into your phone and your loved one’s phone. Additionally, you want to have them written down somewhere easily accessible.
  • Always have a phone nearby. If you need to leave your loved one alone for any reason, make sure they can always reach a phone and have your number to call in case they fall when you’re not there.
  • Keep rooms well lit at night. Your loved one may be disoriented from any medication they’re on and could bump into objects throughout the house if they cannot see at night.
  • Tape down or removing any loose rugs on hard, slick floors to prevent slips as well as reduce the risk of tripping in the home. Removing them is preferred.
  • Have your loved one wear comfortable, supportive shoes with good traction and use a walking device, like crutches or a walker, if the doctor recommends it.

Communicate With The Doctor

Keeping in contact with the appropriate doctor is crucial if you are concerned about falls or general pain management after surgery. Improper pain management can also contribute to one’s risk of falling. Talk to your surgeon about a pain management plan for your loved one if they fall and know if you should you use ice, heat, or medication based on the surgery they received. If a fall occurs, schedule an appointment with your loved one’s doctor to make sure there was no real damage caused by the fall. They may need to have x-rays or physical therapy following the fall.

However, don’t feel discouraged if a fall slows down the recovery time! You want to make sure your loved one heals completely, no matter how long it takes. Just be sure to stay in contact with the appropriate doctors so they can stay up-to-date with their patient’s condition. If you need more advice on caring for a loved one, or want more information, Advanced Surgical Hospital can help. Contact us for more information or to get in touch with your loved one’s surgeon for a follow-up appointment.