FAQ: What Should I Tell the Doctors in Urgent Care or the Emergency Room About the Faller's Dementia?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 28, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What should I tell the doctors in urgent care or the emergency room about the faller's dementia?

Expert Answers

Dr. Leslie Kernisan is the author of a popular blog and podcast at BetterHealthWhileAging.net. She is also a clinical instructor in the University of California, San Francisco, Division of Geriatrics.

You should be prepared to relay a lot of information. Especially after a fall, it's important that someone accompany a person with dementia to see the doctor, in order to help relay essential facts to the medical team.

Particular information to share with the doctors:

  • The stage of your loved one's dementia (mild, moderate, or severe).

  • What you know about the fall, including how it happened, how the faller has been since then, and whether there have been other recent falls.

  • Any worsening in mental or physical ability compared to the faller's usual abilities. For instance, is the faller more confused than usual or less able to walk? Be sure to mention any changes even if they predate the fall by a few hours or days; sometimes a fall happens because the person has become delirious or weak because of an infection or other illness.

  • An up-to-date medication list, including over-the-counter drugs. It's even better to bring all medication bottles in a bag. Be sure to point it out if any medications are new; many commonly prescribed medications can increase an older adult's chance of falling. It's also helpful to note if the faller recently ran out of a usual medication.

  • Any other major medical conditions that your loved one is currently being treated for (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, lung problems).

Once you've shared this information with the doctors, try to stay close to your loved one during the whole time he or she is being evaluated. Your familiar presence will provide much-needed reassurance to the person with dementia, and you'll want to be present in case another round of information-sharing becomes needed (which is often the case in the emergency room).

Community Answers

Gas doc answered...

many times when a oerson with dementia falls one,two or three times, and following these falls has diffaclty walking or can't walk at all. I feel he should have a c-scan to rule out a subdural bleed. The patient may also may have caused some brain swelling due to a contra coup affect.

Kilani answered...

When you go to an urgent care, tell the doctors about Faller's Dementia. Annualy 40%-60% people affected by it. In addition, the person's sex and the facility type are also a risk factors for the fallers, while severe dementia a risk factor for the repeat fallers. Urgent care Nurses should recognize the combination of severe dementia and unstable gait as a warning sign for potential repeat fallers.