Falls can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries and significant loss of independence. Those over age 75 who fall are more than four times more likely to be admitted to a skilled nursing facility. The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented. These are some steps developed by the National Council on Aging to help your older loved one reduce their risk of a fall:
- Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe: If they’re concerned about falling, dizziness, or balance, suggest that they discuss it with their health care provider.
- Discuss their current health conditions: Find out if your older loved ones are experiencing any problems with managing their own health, having trouble remembering to take medications, or having difficulty doing things they used to do easily. Remind them to take advantage of all the preventive benefits now offered under Medicare, such as the Annual Wellness visit.
- Ask about their last eye checkup: If your older loved one wears glasses or contact lenses, make sure they have a current prescription and they’re using the glasses/contacts as advised by their eye doctor.
- Notice if they’re holding onto walls, furniture, or someone else when walking or if they appear to have difficulty walking or arising from a chair. These are all signs that it might be time to see a physical therapist or it might be time for a cane or a walker.
- Talk about their medications: If your older loved ones are having a hard time keeping track of their medicines or are experiencing side effects, encourage them to discuss their concerns with their doctor and pharmacist.
- Do a walk-through safety assessment of their home: There are many simple and inexpensive ways to make a home safer, including increasing lighting, making sure stair rails are secure and installing grab bars in the shower/tub. Read our recent blog post, entitled “Remodel or Relocate” for more details.
When taking these preventative measures isn’t enough, what would happen if a nursing home care is needed for your loved one? Nursing homes in Northern Virginia cost $12,000 - $15,000 per month. Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection is the process of protecting you from having to go broke to pay for nursing home care, while also helping ensure that you get the best possible care and maintain the highest possible quality of life, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Learn more at The Fairfax Medicaid Asset Protection Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. website. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.