As our parents and elderly relatives age, we need to be conscious of their needs and minimize the risk of injury at home as much as possible. Fall risks are present as the weather changes and in wet, wintry conditions. But what about at home? The CDC states that one in four elderly people over 65 will fall each year, but more than half do not share this with their family members or primary care physician. Once someone falls at home, they are more likely to fall again. How can you have this conversation with an elderly parent, and minimize the risk of at-home falls? What are some of the causes of slip and falls?
Elderly Slip and Fall Risks
The COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it in so many ways. Many elderly loved ones were isolated from family and friends to minimize spread of the virus. Some people may have cancelled routine screenings and doctor's appointments for fear of contracting the virus, but this is not recommended. In addition, depression among the elderly is steadily on the rise. One of the biggest risks for a slip and fall in the home is a physical ailment such as poor vision, vertigo, dizziness, or difficulty maintaining balance upon standing. It is crucial that elderly loved ones keep regular check-ups, especially if they have diabetes, high blood pressure, or vision issues. In addition, if an elderly loved one is exhibiting signs of depression, they may benefit from speaking to a therapist. Telehealth appointments are widely available and usually covered by Medicare or private insurance.
“Elder-Proofing” Your Home
Fall risks also increase due to poor housekeeping and slippery conditions in bathrooms and conditions. If your mom or dad has difficulty completing basic cleaning tasks, bending and stooping to clean up spills or difficulty getting in and out of a bathtub, you should consider investing in at-home health. A certified nursing assistant can provide a loved one help with basic household tasks in addition to light cooking and personal hygiene. Also consider outfitting your parent's home with handrails for mobility and support, adequate lighting, and non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower. Make sure your loved one knows who to contact in an emergency and can reach the phone, or consider a smartwatch or LifeAlert purchase they can wear at all times to reach you and medical help.
Contact Northern Kentucky Elder Law Attorneys at Darpel Elder Law
We all want to do the best for our parents, but it can be difficult to approach the conversation of needing more help as they get older. It is important to have these discussions with elderly loved ones before an injury or accident occurs. You both will find it is reassuring to know you have a plan and are better prepared should they require more help as time goes by. Our lawyers at Darpel Elder Law specialize in elder law care including helping clients with long-term care Medicaid applications and long-term care needs. We serve clients throughout Northern Kentucky. Call today to schedule a consultation.