Tips You Can Use to Support Aging Parents for a Safer Environment
As you watch your parents age, are you concerned about their risk of falling? Be aware that when Florida senior adults fall it can often cause devastating injuries, have long-term effects on their overall health and sometimes even death. However, there is good news! Most falls are preventable! By assisting your aging parents in starting some lifestyle adjustments you can greatly reduce the risk of falling, and the hip fractures and head injuries that too often result.
How can you support your aging parents? With 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 can offer you and your parents a wide range of educational tools and materials to learn about the impact of senior falls and the costs to their families.
As you visit your aging parents do they show any signs of weakness? How can you help them? You should also reach out and include family members to help determine the risk level of your aging parents and whether any additional assistance is needed. Together you should discuss whether anyone has 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
Another prevention tip to consider for your aging parents might be to find exercise support groups that offer evidence-based programs, such as Tai Chi. 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.
How about the home of your aging parents? Home safety is very important and you and your family can introduce measures that can further reduce or eliminate the risk of your aging parents falling. We have tips you and your family can use to support your aging parents with creating a safer environment:
- Improve all lighting both inside and outside the home of your aging parents
- Remove rugs or securing 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, a word of caution and advice. If a fall occurs away from the home of your aging parents, you and your family should contact a qualified elder law attorney and learn about their rights. Falls outside the home are sometimes caused by negligence and there is little anyone at any age can do to prevent them. And recouped monies may be needed to pay for expensive medical care.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. When your family or financial health is on the line, trust attorney Paul Riffel to help you protect your interests and achieve your goals. Attorney Paul Riffel has been practicing law in Florida for over 41 years, focusing in the areas of Tampa estate planning and family law. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.