Everyone experiences dizziness from time to time, and there are some instances where an aging adult will feel dizzy for a good reason. However, dizzy spells can be a symptom of a much bigger health issue, so family caregivers and home care providers should not disregard it if their elderly loved one frequently complains about the room spinning or feeling lightheaded. In other words, dizzy spells can be normal for elderly adults on occasion, but chronic dizzy spells are not.
What Causes Dizzy Spells in the Elderly?
Sometimes there are obvious causes of a dizzy spell in an elderly adult. Among the most common are fatigue, dehydration, low blood pressure from standing up too fast, heat exhaustion, too much caffeine, common illness like a cold, and low blood sugar. These dizzy spells are usually resolved within a short time after a family caregiver or home care provider has given the aging adult a chance to rest and have a bit of food or drink.
Some common medical issues can also trigger dizzy spells in seniors. Examples include vertigo, inner ear infections, diabetes, migraines, food poisoning, panic attack, carbon monoxide poisoning, vitamin deficiencies, and Meniere’s disease (inner ear disorder). In extreme cases, dizziness is also a symptom of a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or brain tumor. It’s always a good idea for family caregivers to err on the side of caution and take their elderly relative in to the doctor.
How to Help an Elderly Adult Who is Dizzy
When an elderly adult is suffering from a dizzy spell, family caregivers and home care providers need to spring into action to keep the senior safe and comfortable. It’s always a good idea to have a home care provider stay with the aging adult while they struggle with their health issues to lend a hand when they need it and work hard to keep them out of harm’s way.
Whenever the elderly adult complains of being dizzy, family caregivers and home care providers should act quickly. Otherwise, the elderly adult could fall and hurt themselves. Caregivers should support the elderly person as they walk toward a chair, then help them sit down. If possible, the aging adult should sip some water and loosen any constricting clothing like a tie or high-collared shirt. Family caregivers should make the aging adult sit for at least 10 minutes before helping them up again. If they still feel dizzy, they should rest for longer.
If dizzy spells are increasing in frequency or last longer than 10 minutes each time, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with the doctor. Because dizziness can be a symptom of something more serious, family caregivers should not brush them off as a normal part of aging.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Mason, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.