To err is human… but to really screw up, you need a computer!
That might be a chuckle-and-a-half when it affects somebody else, but it’s no laughing matter when it happens to you – especially when you’re in the hospital.
And if you’re on the older side, computers can actually increase your risk of a major fall, according to new research.
We’re not talking about tripping over the cord or anything like that (although that’s certainly a risk in SOME hospital rooms).
It’s that when a doc uses a computer to order your prescription, there’s often a default dose already filled in – and those pre-set amounts are usually far too much for seniors.
It happens with drugs like the sleep meds so many seniors are automatically given in the hospital… as well as relaxants like Valium… anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax… and not to mention loopy opioid painkillers.
Even in the “right” doses of those meds can leave you wobblier than a Christmas tree in a cheap stand.
Take them in a hospital – where you’re already out of sorts – and it’s “TIMBERRRRRR!”
Nearly two-thirds of seniors who suffer falls in hospitals have been given at least one of the drugs known to increase the risk of falls, and 16 percent had three or more of those meds.
And in 41 percent of those cases, they were given the HIGHER, default doses in the computer instead of the careful, lower dose seniors are supposed to take.
Any fall is dangerous for a senior and can leave you with some bumps and bruises you’ll remember for a long time… and that’s if you’re lucky.
If you’re not, you could suffer a serious or even crippling injury.
What was supposed to be a short hospital stay could get extended due to the injuries from your fall – and in some cases, that fall could even KILL you.
Imagine that. Going in for, say, a kidney stone… and DYING because you fell trying to walk to the toilet in the night.
You don’t want that to happen to you, and you don’t have to – but you can’t wait until you’re in the hospital to try to figure this stuff out.
The time to deal with it is NOW.
When you can’t speak for yourself, you need others ready to step up and speak for you. So, whether you’ve been sick on and off, or you’re the picture of perfect health, you need to make a plan for what to do if you’re hospitalized.
That means talking to your spouse, kids, friends, and neighbors about keeping watch over you and your care if you ever go in – and a promise to do the same for them if the tables are turned.