Preparing for the First Parkinson's Disease Fall
For Parkinson’s patients, a spill or tumble is an inevitable occurrence of the symptoms of the disease. Some live in fear of it as it’s not quite so simple an event like it is for everyone else. You can never really adequately prepare for a fall; you can know that it’s eventually going to happen, but unless it occurs in your home or another environment that you have control over, all you can do is hope that it isn’t a truly bad spill. In your home, however, there are things you can do to prepare, and you can also be ready for the aftermath.
Because the disease progresses rather slowly, it’s easy to catalog the advancement of symptoms with the aim of predicting how close you may be to the day when a fall occurs. Working closely with a physical therapist can help with many of the unanticipated results of or reasons for a fall.
For those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, it is not always easy to deal with day to day. There are frequent occurrences of inevitable symptoms, and many patients live with the constant fear of those unpredictable happenings. There is no probable way of fully preparing for a fall since, although one may be aware that it will occur someday, one cannot control whether it happens at home or in an unknown surrounding. One can only hope that it would not be a bad incident whenever it happens. Since Parkinson’s disease is known to progress gradually, one should work alongside a physical therapist for help with any kind of unanticipated result.
The first step in the course of preparation is to have a basic emergency plan ready. Try to list out the names of the family members, friends, close relatives, or neighbors who are easily accessible and who are also aware of the condition so that they can arrive on the scene quickly whenever a tumble occurs. There should be some kind of emergency medical device for communicating, something that can be worn to alert emergency personnel as well as the police. This should also be a part of the second step. Whenever the fall occurs, try not to panic. Also, one should be sure that the person who is to help the patient should be trained properly so they are not rushing around when the patient is not able to get up from their fall. If there is an increase in one’s tremors, this can possibly cause a fright and thus a second fall could occur, which can worsen the injuries the individual might have already sustained from the first fall. Encourage the patient to scoot themselves around on a piece of furniture, and help them into a sitting position as well. If the individual wants to stand, then, with the help of a transfer belt, try to assist them into a standing position without causing any kind of injury.
As important as it is to have emergency help at the ready, similarly, one should also prep the home to avoid any possibility of a fall. The caretaker can work closely with a rehabilitation specialist who would be helpful in providing better guidance on the ways in which one can make their home safe for a Parkinson’s patient. A phone should be maintained close to the patient, and be sure to have accessible stationary phones in all rooms for easy communication. Install grab bars or handrails in several areas of the house for the patient to hold onto. Instead of rugs or carpeting, use hardwood floors. The kitchen can also be renovated by lowering one of the surface areas so as to avoid any overstretching or reaching out, which could induce a fall. Also, whenever the patient falls, be sure to take them to the hospital immediately, since there could be certain injuries which are internal and thus not able to be seen outside of the body.