The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in five senior falls can lead to broken hips, broken bones, and even traumatic brain injury. As a caregiver, how much should you worry about elderly care and keeping your elderly loved ones from a fall? How much do they know and are they taking the right precautions? How do you begin a conversation with them about how to remain safe without giving up too much of their independence? And just because you start the conversation, it doesn’t mean that your elderly loved one will listen to or like your suggestions. The key is to start the conversation and continue it until they have a good understanding of the dangers they could face.
Here are some areas that you can focus on to keep the conversation going:
Be Sensitive to How They Handle Information. Aging is not easy for most seniors, and there are a lot of emotions that go with it. Keep in mind that they are changing almost daily, in physical and emotional ways and that will affect their confidence or self-worth, which may be decreased more with feelings of loss of independence. It may be a difficult conversation from both sides, yours and theirs. Go slow.
Do Proper Investigation. The more facts and statistics about senior falls you have to take to the conversation, the easier it may be to discuss, as they would feel you’re not simply singling them out. For elderly seniors, they may not feel so stubborn to listen to the information if they know they are part of a large group of seniors with that experience. When they hear that one out of every three Americans over the age of 65 experiences a fall each year, they realize that they might be more at risk than they thought. Facts and figures may be your friend!
Use A Fall Risk Assessment Tool. “I only fell once, and it was a fluke!” If this sounds you’re your elderly loved one, they may need a little help to understand the dangers. A fall risk assessment tool is an excellent way for them to gauge their actual risk level when it comes to senior falls and could provide the information they require to decide on a fall prevention plan. Many websites offer these tools to gauge their risks of falling and match them with the best tools for alerting help based on their lifestyle.
Finances. The reality is that senior falls contribute to billions of dollars in healthcare bills each year. Yes, billions! Many of the expenses are incurred each year by using ambulances, ER visits, extended hospital stays, surgeries and then rehabilitation or home care after a fall. Personal insurance will cover part of it but may not cover everything. Your discussion must also talk about how they plan to pay for a fall if it does happen. Being honest about the possible expenses will help them come around and put together a fall prevention plan that works for them.
What you’re trying to do and build your elderly loved ones a safety net, so that if they fall in the bathroom or while you are not with them, they know immediately what they need to do and which course of action to take. A medical alert system is the most effective safety net you can provide for your loved one. It will keep them connected to an emergency operator 24/7, so that no matter when they fall, they’ll have speedy access to help.
Medical alarms provide peace of mind for the individual and their family. With a medical alert system an older adult can summon help at any time. The button worn by the older adult is waterproof and can be worn when bathing. It is small and light weight and easy to wear. In-home systems use either a land line or cellular phone to connect to our monitoring center.
A medical alert device is a great first step in elderly fall prevention. As a family caregiver, taking more precautions can mean making modifications to their home, implementing a new exercise routine or changing their diet, these measures can keep your elderly parent protected. For information about Medial Alert Devices or other services that the OSRG members offer, contact us at 402-934-5500 or email us at info.OSRG@gmail.com.