Beyond the immediate physical injuries, the impact of the fall on an elderly person also has a psychological aspect and can lead to a decrease in physical autonomy even when the clinical examination does not detect any injury.

The elderly people who are unable to stand up on their own after a fall are at risk of complications that can severely impact their quality of life. Psychomotor maladjustment syndrome, also called post-fall syndrome, appears in 15 to 20% of cases.

Support in the event of a fall

The benevolent support of all nursing staff is essential. To be cured, the patients must regain confidence in their abilities.

The management must be move quickly and be oriented towards physiotherapy. To detect this syndrome as early as possible, three components must be monitored:

Psychic component of post-fall syndrome

The resident is in a state of bewilderment and expresses an all-consuming pain. He/she is afraid of falling and becomes anxious.

Other symptoms such as loss of initiative or refusal to move appear.

Motor component of post-fall syndrome

Following the fall, the resident or patient sees his/her motor skills considerably modified:

  • Retropulsion
  • Leaning back of the trunk in a sitting position
  • Loss of the anterior projection of the trunk
  • Positioning the feet forward when changing from sit to stand
  • Tendency to fall backwards when standing
  • Misleading adaptation mechanisms: trunk anteflexion, knee flexion

Posture disorder

The posture itself is impacted:

  • Reflection of postural instability
  • Gait initialization disorders
  • Immobility
  • Walking with small sliding steps, without unwinding of the foot on the ground, increase in the time of bipedal pressure
Read more about the consequences of falls

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