Do you have loved ones in your family who are getting older and may be at risk of falling? You and your family need to take proactive steps now to prevent your Florida senior loved ones from falling. When a senior adult falls the results are often serious. There may be devastating injuries and long-term effects on the overall health of an older loved one. Falls can also be fatal. There is good news, though, because most falls are preventable. Taking proactive steps to learn how to prevent falls and make some lifestyle adjustments and with the support from their family, aging Florida loved ones can greatly reduce the risk of falling, and the hip fractures and head injuries that too often result.
For a place to begin research into preventing falls, start with National Fall Prevention Awareness Day which is September 22, 2022. This is a nationwide event hosted each year by the National Council on Aging. The event offers a wide range of educational tools and materials to learn about the impact of senior falls and the costs to their families. For more information look here.
You and your family can take steps to determine the risk level of your senior loved ones and whether they need additional assistance. The following are warning signs to be aware of:
- Mental alertness seems to be declining
- A recent fall, or near-fall
- Problems with vision
- Balance issues
- There seems to be muscular weakness and they seem to suddenly be frail
- Changes in physical health, such as a recent surgery
Additional proactive steps to consider would be to find exercise support groups that offer evidence-based programs, such as Tai Chi, for your senior loved ones. Also, consider having your senior loved ones get screened for osteoporosis, and having their prescription medications evaluated for side effects, like dizziness.
Most importantly, you and your family should check the homes of your Florida senior loved ones for fall prevention safety. Safety measures should be put into place as soon as possible to further reduce or eliminate senior adult falls. The following are some of the safety measures we would recommend.
- Making sure the inside and outside of the homes of your senior loved ones are well lit.
- Rugs should be removed or their edges should be secured to the floor.
- All broken floorboards, cracked pavement and other uneven surfaces must be repaired immediately.
- Make walkways wider by rearranging the furniture.
- All clutter and small objects must be removed from the floor.
- Grab bars added to bathtubs, showers, stairways and toilet areas are essential.
Sadly, even with all the proactive steps you have taken, your Florida loved ones may fall while away from their home. If a fall does occur away from your loved one’s home, it is strongly recommended that you contact a qualified Florida elder care attorney and learn about your older loved one’s rights. Often 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 know this article may raise more questions that it answers. At Family Elder Law your estate plan is about meaning, not just money. We build a holistic plan based on your values, causes, and beliefs. We believe that peace of mind matters. You should fully understand and feel comfortable with your completed plan. We want you to know we are always here. You can expect a lifelong relationship that includes plan reviews and ongoing communication. Do not wait to contact us to schedule a meeting with our experienced legal team.