Scott Marquardt, Au.D.
How to Help An Elderly Loved One With Dizziness
Accepting that our parents, grandparents or other elderly family members are getting on in years can be hard. Seeing their health decline is not a pleasant experience, but it isn’t always something you have to watch helplessly unfold from the sidelines. When it comes to dizziness, a common ailment among the elderly, there is a lot you can do to help them cope better and ultimately to improve their quality of life.
So, let’s get started.
It sounds simple but listening to their needs and worries is the best place to start. Dizziness can be debilitating and isolating, as the fear of falling often leaves the elderly afraid to go out or engage in activities they once enjoyed. Talking about it to someone who really cares can immediately make them feel less alone and afraid.
Get to the bottom of it
One of the most common causes of dizziness is damage to the inner ear. Sometimes this damage is due to an accident or infection but in the elderly, it can simply be a result of the aging process. Book a hearing and balance assessment at Clarity Hearing for your loved one and come along with them for moral support. Together we can get to the bottom of what is causing their dizzy spells.
Provide a helping hand
In the literal sense, a helping hand can prevent them from falling when they feel dizzy, for example when they get up from a seated position. But you can also help them make their home a safer space. Frequent dizzy spells can make falls more likely, so get rid of trip hazards and install grab rails.
Get them out and about
Dizziness can lead to falls but so can muscle weakness. It is important to stay fit and healthy in old age. Going for strolls, walking the dog and doing yoga can all help increase their muscle strength. So, when they do feel dizzy, they’ll be better able to prevent themselves from falling.
Get professional advice
Sometimes dizziness is a side effect of medications. Go along with your elderly loved one to see their physician and find out if anything can be done to reduce these effects.
In cases where dizziness is caused by an inner ear problem called BPPV, which a hearing and balance assessment at Clarity Hearing can help uncover, there are exercises that can be done at home to help deal with bouts of dizziness. A doctor or therapist can explain how to do these correctly.
So, now you know just how much you can do, why not visit your elderly one today and start making a difference?