Sep 23, 2015 by Anonymous
Talking to parents or other elderly loved ones about the risks of falling can be challenging. Even if they are aware of their increasing vulnerability, they may not want to discuss it. Conversations about aging and changing needs make some seniors pull away. If your loved one attempts to put an end to the discussion before it has had a chance to begin, persevere for the sake of their well-being and safety.
Don’t give up on this important conversation, even if your loved one assures you that they “are fine.” The truth is that 1 out of 3 seniors ends up hospitalized due to a fall. Many of these accidents within the home are avoidable – if you have talked about safety and made changes to protect your loved ones.
If your senior loved one is dismissing the idea that they need to take precautions for their safety, plan some time for a serious conversation. Will it help to have other family members present? Some seniors will see that more than one person is concerned for them. Others will feel as though they are being ganged up on. Consider your relationship and what will work best for your family when determining who should be included in the conversation.
Talk to your loved one about the statistics and emphasize that you are simply looking out for what is best for them. Ask them what solutions sound feasible to them. They may be willing to wear a medical alert system pendant, welcome an in-home caregiver for a few hours each day, or install some safety equipment in strategic areas of their home.
Part of their reluctance to discuss the topic may come from a fear that you are pushing them to leave their home in favor of assisted living. Once they understand that your objective is to make their home as safe as possible, many seniors will be much more open to discussion.
Encourage them to exercise, monitor medications, and get regular vision exams in order to optimize physical health and balance to avoid falling. With these simple steps, your senior loved one can be safe from falls in their home.