Talking About Falls with Aging Loved Ones

Falling is a major medical concern for older adults.

Among seniors in the United States, falls are the number one cause of death (resulting in, on average, one fatality every nineteen minutes) and of non-fatal injury that requires hospitalization (resulting in an emergency room visit every eleven seconds).

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.

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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