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AL Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

What Steps Should You Take to Limit the Risk of Falling for an Aging Loved One

In caring for your aging loved one, what steps should you take to limit his or her risk of falling? You are probably very aware that when a senior adult falls there may be serious injuries and even long-term effects on the overall health of an aging loved one. Sadly, falls can also be fatal. There is good news, though, because with some common sense steps most falls can be preventable. Research and lifestyle adjustments are steps that could greatly reduce the risk of your aging loved one falling, and causing the hip fractures and head injuries that often result. 

Have you started your research on the steps to take to prevent your aging loved one from falling? If you have started your research have you discovered that on September 22, 2022, National Fall Prevention Awareness Day is celebrated? This event is hosted by the National Council on Aging and it offers a wide range of educational tools and research materials to help you learn more about the impact of senior falls and the costs to their families. More information can be found here.

With all these tools and research how can you determine the risk level of your aging loved one falling and whether additional assistance is needed? We recommend taking steps to look for any of these warning signs:  A decline in mental alertness, a recent fall, vision problems, balance problems, muscular weakness, and changes in physical health.

Other steps to consider to prevent falling would be to have your aging loved one participate in an exercise support group that could offer evidence-based programs, such as Tai Chi. Your next step should be to make an appointment for your aging loved one to be screened for osteoporosis. Another step to take is having your aging loved one’s prescription medications evaluated for side effects, like dizziness.

Home safety measures are definitely steps that can further reduce or eliminate senior adult falls, including:

• Making improvements in the inside and outside lighting of your aging loved one’s home
• Removing rugs or securing their edges to the floor
• Fixing uneven surfaces, including broken floorboards and cracked pavement
• Creating wide walkways by rearranging furniture 
• Removing all clutter and small objects from the floor
• Adding grab bars to bathtubs, showers, stairways and toilet areas

Unfortunately there may be a fall that occurs outside of your aging loved one’s home. If a fall like this occurs away from your aging loved one’s home, it is strongly recommended that your next step be to contact a qualified elder care attorney and learn about your aging loved one’s rights. Sometimes falls outside the home are caused by negligence and there is little anyone at any age can do to prevent them. Taking the step to recoup monies may be needed to pay for expensive medical care.

At the end of the day, legal planning is not just for you. Instead, it is for the ones you love most. If we can answer any questions for you on putting this estate planning in place, please do not hesitate to let us know. For more information, please reach out to our office and schedule a time to meet.


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