In the last blog, we discussed what is the most suitable wheelchair to use when both the carer and wheelchair users are both elderly. We concluded that KARMA’s Ergo Lite ultra lightweight wheelchair is comfortable, sturdy, and easy for an elderly caregiver to use. Carrying on from this, we will talk about what to do when the elderly fall and how we can prevent them from falling.
When an elderly person is falling down, the carer’s instinct is probably to hold onto their arm from the side. However, these methods are dangerous and actually put the carer at risk of falling down with the elderly person, especially if the carer is elderly. Instead, try using a shift belt with the elderly user!
A demonstration of how useful a shift belt can be to keep elderly people stable when walking and prevent falls as well as help the elderly caregiver feel safe and secure. Source: KARMA Medical Taiwan; KARMA Academy
How to help an elderly person stand up from sitting
The caregivers first thought might be to attempt to pick the elderly up from under their arms straight up however, this risks hurting the elderly and the elderly caregiver. Source: KARMA Medical Taiwan; KARMA Academy
Instead, have the elderly sitting on the edge of a chair with a walker in front of them. Make sure the elderly have their feet under the chair, so the angle behind the knees is less than 90°. From here, most people’s instinct would be to lift the elderly person under the arms upwards.
However, this will cause unnecessary strain on the elderly caregiver. Instead, with the aid of a shift belt, the caregiver can use gravity to their advantage and guide the user forwards towards the walker instead of up into the air. From here the elderly user can put their weight on the walker and stand.
Use a shift belt and gravity to assist the elderly to stand up without putting a strain on the caregiver. Source: KARMA Medical Taiwan; KARMA Academy
There are different types of walkers depending on the distance the user can walk and their ability to balance. Read more about the variety of walkers available; “How to Recommend the Best Wheelchair or Walker”.
What to do when the elderly fall?
Once you’re sure that the elderly person hasn’t sustained any serious injuries from the fall, there are two methods that a caregiver can do that are very simple. First is to use a chair;
- Ensure the elderly person is not injured.
- Help them sit up on the ground.
- Have the elderly put both hands on the chair for support.
- Use the shift belt to help them into the kneeling position.
- Bring the stronger leg up and push off the ground with the hands on the chair for extra support. All the time, the caregiver is holding onto the shift belt for extra support.
We’re here to help
Iif the elderly person being cared for is prone to falls, then the safest solution for both the elderly being cared for and the elderly caregiver is to invest in a lightweight wheelchair. A high-quality wheelchair should be lightweight and support to not only the user but also the caregiver. Talk to a KARMA representative today!
Call us: 03-5612 1921 / 010 – 238 1921
Email us: [email protected]