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Three Questions Too Easy to Overlook When an Elderly Family Member’s Safety Is at Risk

Are you worried about an aging family member’s safety? Perhaps it’s your mother. Maybe it’s your grandfather. It could even be your spouse. Whoever it is that’s getting older, you may be worried about his or her safety, especially if you’ve noticed certain things happening, such as difficulty getting up from a chair, using the wall for balance while walking down the hall, or even struggling to get out of the car.

It’s easy to overlook many aspects, especially in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Below are three questions that far too many family members don’t ask, even when they notice this senior beginning to slow down and struggle with their own mobility.

Question #1: Would home care be an asset?

This is one of the most commonly overlooked questions out there because when we see an aging parent or other family member struggling, and when they live close enough for us to reach out and help, we offer that assistance.

Many of us believe it’s our responsibility to look after our aging parents or spouse. Even though we have no prior direct experience supporting somebody as they get older, we just take that role on without question. The first question that will improve safety tremendously is to ask if home care would be an asset.

It would.

Question #2: How much longer can he/she go on like this?

You’ve seen the writing on the wall, so to speak. You know this person is having trouble. You know they’re getting older. How much longer can they go on and escape potential injuries due to falls?

When you notice these things changing, when you notice him or her slowing down, realize that this may be just about their limit before a bad accident or injuries occur.

Question #3: What happens if he/she falls?

What do you think will happen? In truth, the older a person is, the greater the risk of serious injuries. In fact, the risk of mortality increases by four percentage points every year as a person approaches 80. In fact, by the time a senior is 80, there’s a greater than one in four chance he or she will not survive a year after a broken hip (Schnell et al).

There is no reason to take those risks. There is absolutely no purpose in avoiding these questions. It may lead to an uncomfortable conversation, but it is a discussion you and this elderly person in your life should have whenever questions of safety and security arise.

Angel Alliance Caregivers of Galloway, NJ is dedicated to helping seniors maintain full, independent lives where they most desire to live: in the comfort of their own homes. Call us at (609) 965-0028.

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