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I arrived to find my Dad on the floor

My girlfriend was leaving to visit her parents and asked for a copy of the MemoryBanc workbook to help her mom get a handle on the accounts and finances. I gave her two and suggested she show up to her parents home with the plan that they would work through the book together. Most of our parents won’t appreciate us showing up and telling them we think they are disorganized so make it a project you do in tandem for your individual households.

After her mom picked her up at the airport, they return home to find Dad on the floor. This isn’t the first time.

She shared that there was no way her mom could have helped get her dad up, she is younger and in better health than dad but is now exhausted caring for him and growing frail. Her dad is adamant that he wants to “age in place” and won’t considering moving to a life care community.

If you are in a similar situation, here are some things to consider:

  1. If your parent is falling and can’t get up, don’t continue to run over and help them if you are local. Tell them to call 911. I say this because I was local and kept driving over when this happened to my parents. It finally dawned on me that I was enabling them to stay in their home by showing up and making light of the issue when neither of them was hurt in the process. We were lucky that Dad didn’t fall on mom, but in many cases the caregiver is the one that ends up getting hurt. My parents finally recognized it was a big deal that they had to call 911 and made changes.
  2. Suggest your parents get on the wait list to a community of their choosing. They don’t have to move in, but for those that get on a wait list to a life care community, they usually have the ability to go there if they need Rehab or Skilled Nursing. In general, when you are being checked out of the hospital, you only have a few choices of the stand-alone facilities that have an open bed (versus have good reviews). The Life Care Communities generally have better ratings and most importantly, you are choosing where you would like to go rather than having to go to the bed that is open and maybe further away from family and friends.
  3. Ask the individual who is falling if they realize that their next fall could harm their loved one. Most people think of their issue as something that only impacts them and don’t realize that their next fall could start a chain reaction that puts their loved one in the hospital and will also impact their options for daily living assistance.

Falls are reported as the leading cause of death from an injury for older Americans. One of every five people who breaks a hip after age 50 dies within a year. According to the CDC, three quarters of those with hip fractures are women.

This is a tough situation and there are a lot of ways to assist and manage toward safer choices. Sometimes, our loved ones don’t recognize the risk to those they love if they don’t make some changes. Experienced.


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