Do you currently have aging parents living in Florida? Are they still living in their own home where they raised their children? As you watch them age, are you concerned about their health and welfare, especially when it comes to falling? Unfortunately, when Florida senior adults fall it can cause devastating injuries and have long-term effects on the overall health of senior adults, sometimes even death. However, the good news is that most falls are preventable. By initiating lifestyle adjustments and support from you and your family your aging Florida parents can reduce the risk of falling, and the hip fractures and head injuries that too often result.
Because of the serious rise in falls among seniors the National Council on Aging hosts National Fall Prevention Awareness Week, which this month is September 18-22, 2023. This event offers a wide range of educational tools and materials to learn about the impact of senior falls and the costs to their families.
So, with all this discussion on falling, how can you help your aging parents? As a family, you need to determine the risk level of your aging parents and whether any additional assistance is needed. Have you or your family noticed any of the following warning signs:
- A 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
As you think about prevention, have you considered finding an exercise support group that offers evidence-based programs, such as Tai Chi? Also, you might want to help your aging parents set up screening for osteoporosis and have their prescription medications evaluated for side effects, like dizziness, which are also manageable precautions.
Because your aging parents are continuing to live in their own home, you need to seriously take a look at their home. Home safety is very important and you and your family can introduce measures that could reduce or eliminate any possibility of your aging parents falling. The following are some suggestions we would recommend you and your family taking care of as soon as possible:
- Improve all lighting both inside and outside of the home of your aging parents
- Remove rugs or secure the edges to the floor
- Fix any broken floorboards, cracked pavement and other uneven surfaces
- Rearrange furniture to create wide walkways
- Remove any and all clutter and small objects from the floor
- Add grab bars to bathtubs, stairways and toilet areas
Finally, we have a word of caution and advice. If your aging parents fall while away from their home, it is strongly recommended that you contact your qualified Florida elder law attorney and learn about the rights of your aging parents. Falls outside the home are sometimes caused by negligence and there is little anyone at any age can do to prevent them. Recouped monies may be needed to pay for expensive medical care.
We know this article raises more questions that it answers. We provide expert service to guide you through the medical, financial, and emotional stress of caring for an aging parent or spouse. Our law firm was born out of the personal journey of Attorney H. Frances Reaves as she cared for her own parents. This experience taught her that most seniors in the United States are ignored by society, the government, business and, sadly, their children. Most children of elderly parents don’t know how many benefits and resources are available for their parents or ailing family members. Let us help you. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.