Is your aging Florida loved one a fall risk? Do you know what makes them a fall risk? What could be the result of your loved one falling? Unfortunately, when an aging adult falls it can result in devastating injuries with long-term effects on the overall health of the senior adult, even to the point of being fatal. However, the good news is that most falls are preventable. Adult children could begin to implement lifestyle adjustments and support for their aging parents and grandparents which will greatly reduce the risks of falling, and the hip fractures and head injuries that too often result.
With the serious rise in falls among seniors the National Council on Aging annually hosts the National Fall Prevention Awareness Day in the month of September, this year it is on September 22nd. This day falls during National Fall Prevention Awareness Week, which this month is September18-24, 2022. During this event a wide range of educational tools and materials are available to learn about the impact of senior falls and the costs to their families. More information can be found here.
As a family member with an aging loved one, what are the issues that may cause a fall? There may be warning signs now that may reveal the relative risk level of your aging senior parent and whether additional assistance is needed. So look for these warning signs:
• Decline in mental alertness
• A recent fall, or near-fall
• Vision problems
• Balance issues
• Frailty and muscular weakness
• Changes in physical health, such as a recent surgery
Now there are other prevention tips to consider including finding exercise support groups that offer evidence-based programs, such as Tai Chi. Ask if your aging loved one has been screened for osteoporosis. Also, find out if prescription medications have any side effects, like dizziness that could cause a fall.
Make sure to look at the home of your aging loved one to see whether any safety measures should be implemented to further reduce or eliminate your aging loved one’s potential falls, including:
• Improving lighting both inside and outside a senior parent’s home
• Removing rugs or securing their edges to the floor
• Fixing broken floorboards, cracked pavement and other uneven surfaces
• Rearranging furniture to create wide walkways
• Removing clutter and small objects from the floor
• Adding grab bars to bathtubs, stairways and toilet areas
Now, if a fall occurs away from your senior parent’s home, it is strongly recommended that you contact a qualified elder care attorney and learn about your older loved one’s rights. Sometimes falls outside the home are caused by negligence and there is little anyone at any age can do to prevent them. However, recouped monies may be needed to pay for expensive medical care.
We believe in a collaborative approach to helping our clients. This means that our assistance does not end with just legal help. We work closely with other senior providers to make sure all our clients’ needs are taken care of from start to finish. Our mission is to make sure every family feels that they have been taken care of, have peace of mind and have someone to lean on during difficult times.
We know this topic may raise more questions that it answers and want to help you plan for the future, and the unexpected. Whether you're young and single or a married five-time great grandparent, your voice and wishes need to be known. Worley Elder Law, based in beautiful Bradenton, Florida, focuses on helping you understand your options in designing your Estate Plan or Elder Law needs. Whether it's preventative incapacity planning or establishing your legacy, we will take the time to explain every option and work with you to create a customized plan just as unique as you and your family are. Please do not hesitate to contact us to let us help you.