For younger adults who take care of aging parents or other loved ones, it is of the utmost importance to be in the know about any falls that occur and respond appropriately.
Some elders communicate openly with those who care for them about falls, injuries and other setbacks that they suffer. They collaborate with their children and other caregivers to figure out their best, safest and healthiest course of action. However, other elders choose to conceal this information for any of a variety of reasons. They may not want to provoke anxiety or place a burden on their loved one, or they may fear a loss of their independence.
If this is the case, it’s important to be on the lookout for the telltale signs of a fall. Bruises, other bodily injuries and broken household items, are common indicators that a fall has taken place. Additionally, changes in prescription medications or in the amount or intensity of pain that a loved one reports may indicate an underlying medical issue or traumatic event.
If you suspect that a loved one has fallen and not told you, there are several ways that you can go about starting the conversation. Ask permission to have this conversation, showing respect for your loved one’s autonomy. Share an article from a newspaper or magazine if you don’t think a more direct confrontation would be effective. It may be helpful to ask your parents how they responded to the effects of their own parents’ aging. Reflecting on how they were involved a generation ago may help them to accept your involvement in their health-related affairs. Remind them that your top concern is their life and well-being.
Having the conversation about a fall can be very difficult, and oftentimes there is no one immediately obvious solution. Senior Care Lifestyles provides personalized, high-quality advisory services regarding how best to move forward, whether in response to or in anticipation of a traumatic event such as a fall. For more information, email us or call 410-220-2300.