Sam, a family caregiver to his 84-year-old father Adam, got a call at work one day. Adam had been sitting comfortably at his dining room table enjoying a cup of coffee and a long chat with a friend. When it was time for the friend to leave, Adam stood up to walk him to the door. As he stood, Adam became dizzy and fell, striking his head against the table, sending him to the hospital for stitches. Fortunately, the injury was minor. It could have been much worse, resulting in a broken bone or other serious injury. The emergency room doctor asked Adam if he’d fallen before. He hadn’t, but it wasn’t the first time he’d felt dizzy when getting up. The doctor diagnosed him with postural hypotension and warned that it could result in another fall.
About Postural Hypotension.
Postural hypotension, also called orthostatic hypertension, causes blood pressure to fall sharply when the older adult gets up from a seated position or from lying down. The dip in blood pressure means that not as much blood reaches organs and muscles, which can result in dizziness and a fall.
Sometimes postural hypotension is temporary, caused by dehydration or lying in bed too long. However, if it occurs frequently, it could mean a bigger problem. It’s important to tell the doctor if your aging relative is experiencing symptoms of the condition so that an underlying condition can be treated.
Symptoms of Postural Hypotension.
Usually, postural hypotension causes a feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness upon standing. Symptoms typically last just a few moments. Other symptoms include:
- Blurry vision.
- Feeling weak.
How Elderly Care Can Help Manage the Condition.
In severe cases, a doctor may prescribe medication to manage postural hypotension. If that’s the case, an elderly care provider can remind your aging relative when it’s time to take the medicine. Some other ways elderly care can help prevent episodes are:
- Encouraging the senior to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day to prevent dehydration, which can cause blood pressure to drop.
- Increasing the amount of salt the older adult eats, but only after a doctor approves an increase in sodium.
- Allowing the older adult to rest when the weather is hot.
- Assisting the senior with putting on compression stockings, which can improve circulation.
In addition to helping manage the condition, elderly care can also keep the senior safe when they get up from a chair or bed. An elderly care provider can remind them to sit on the edge of the bed for a moment before they stand. And, when the person stands up, an elderly care provider can hold their arm in case they get dizzy.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Modesto, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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