As you watch your parents age, are you concerned with the potential impact of their falling? Your concern is justified because falls can lead to devastating injuries with far-reaching consequences on their overall health. Even though the issue of falling is grave, there is hope. That hope is because most falls are preventable, with the right knowledge, lifestyle adjustments, and support.
Unfortunately, a fall can trigger a domino effect of health complications. By starting now to equip yourself and your aging parents with understanding, making necessary lifestyle changes, and enlisting the support of the entire family, the risk of falls can be significantly reduced. This is especially important because of the profound ramifications of injuries, such as hip fractures and head trauma, from a fall can starkly impact the overall health of your aging parents who were previously flourishing.
Mark September 23rd on your calendar now, because it underscores this issue, which is recognized as National Fall Prevention Awareness Day. This day was set aside by the National Council on Aging. It is an event that serves as a platform to educate individuals on the impact of senior falls and the consequent toll on families. Resources and insights are readily available to delve into this subject further.
Addressing fall prevention requires a proactive assessment of your aging parents’ relative risk level and the potential need for additional assistance. The following indicators can serve as warning signs:
- Decline in mental alertness
- Recent fall incidents or near-falls
- Vision impairments
- Challenges with balance
- Frailty and muscular weakness
- Alterations in physical health, including recent surgeries
Your aging parents could also begin practical prevention measures that could make a substantial difference. They could engage in exercise support groups that offer evidence-based programs like Tai Chi and enhance their stability and coordination. They could also undergo screening for osteoporosis and have their prescription medications evaluated for potential side effects, such as dizziness, which are also integral precautions.
Evaluating and enhancing the safety of the living environment of your aging parents could contribute significantly to fall prevention. You, your family and your aging parents might take simple steps like optimizing indoor and outdoor lighting, securing edges of rugs, addressing uneven surfaces, creating spacious walkways through furniture arrangement, decluttering spaces, and installing grab bars in critical areas like bathtubs and stairways can substantially minimize the risk of falls.
We know that all this information might raise questions and prompt a desire for proactive planning for your aging parents. If your aging parents are ready to take steps to safeguard themselves and create a comprehensive plan, we encourage you not to hesitate. Feel free to reach out to our office and schedule a meeting. Our team is here to provide the guidance and support you need to ensure the safety, well-being, and quality of life of your cherished seniors.
We know this article raises more questions that it answers. Our office can help guide a family through long-term care planning for aging parents and loved ones. At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.