Our parents are in the zone! The Danger Zone!
My wife and I are both blessed to have two parents still alive. They are in their early 80s and live in the same homes they have enjoyed for many years. They are still independent, get along well, make their own doctor’s appointments, and call the kids for tech help when needed. Both houses have family members that live nearby, so we’re covered if or when bad things happen. Well, we should be… Right?
Within the past month, both of our dads took a fall. Now, thank goodness there were no serious injuries, but the “getting back up” conversations were eye-opening. After talking with our moms about what & how it happened, we got into the details of how long it took to get dad(s) back up in a chair or on their feet. I was stunned – not only by the description of the process or the length of time it took but also by the lack of “know-how” from those trying to help. I asked how they tried to help, and I got replies such as:
“I was pulling on him and he snapped at me because it hurt his arm!”
“I was trying to be a brace for him, and he almost took me down with him – he’s triple my size!”
“I didn’t know what hurt or if anything broke, so I wasn’t sure what to touch or how to help.”
“He said, ‘I tripped on a chair,’ but we both knew it was his balance.”
When you’re married for 50+ years like my parents and in-laws, you can be rather direct with your spouse in a time of crisis!
I asked them why they didn’t use a kitchen chair for help & both moms replied, “I didn’t think of that at the moment”.
Before we go any further, check out this great article on “How to get up from a fall: A Step by step guide for Seniors (by Daily Caring). https://dailycaring.com/video-how-to-safely-get-up-after-a-fall/
Due to their age, and since they are trying to age in place, they are in “THE DANGER ZONE.” Everyone wants to ride off into the sunset living in the house they’ve been comfortably navigating for decades. But unless you take steps to make that house “age with you,” you may be in trouble. The DANGER ZONE for them is the likelihood of another fall, and soon! According to the CDC, more than 1 in 4 people aged 65 and older fall annually. And, falling once doubles the chances of falling again.
If you want to stay safe aging in place, then you need to make some changes.
In my job, I help individuals and families alike transition from their homes into retirement communities. I’m shocked by how many homes I visit only to see a lack of “age in place” modifications done to the home.
I always ask right out of the gate, “what steps have you taken to change your home to age in place?” I usually get a lot of “hmms” and “uhs”. I look around & see many trip hazards and nothing in place to help with mobility or balance. I’m often the first person asking them about the use of care providers.
If change is the only constant in life, how can we remain living in the same space when our mind, body & spouse are always in a state of decline?
3 Easy Steps to Age in Place Safer and Easier
- Call a home modification company
Get a free analysis of how slight changes inside (and outside) the home can help you move around in a safer manner. We have a couple of suggestions if you need a good resource.
Sorry folks, it’s time to shed some stuff. Don’t say, “I don’t know where to start” either. If your child pulled that line on you in their teens, what would you have said? There are senior-focused moving/downsizing companies in many areas which are a great place to start. You don’t have to be moving to shed stuff! They’ll help you take steps to de-clutter if that is all you need. Again, we can help you find a great resource. Call HALO today if you need help with clutter.
- Check into home care
You will be amazed at how much home care has changed and what they can help you do on a weekly basis. You’re doing a lot of tasks they can do and that decreases the chance of falling. They’ll offer to help you with things that haven’t even crossed your mind & those things add up. Call us for a couple of well-respected resources in your area. 1-833-284-HALO
If you’re trying to age in place, you better make some changes, or we’ll be talking to your kids. In every seminar I give, I say, “I’m sure you all have lovely children, but I don’t want to meet them, or I’ll be talking with them about you.” Because you didn’t act when you had all the decision-making power to act, it may be too late and now we need the kids to help us make decisions. Act now while they’re YOUR action steps to take. It’s your decision entirely!
If you have done all the work listed above or life threw you a curve ball and now it’s time to consider a transition, please call us FIRST and EARLY. HALO Senior Solutions has helped families navigate the move of their loved ones for years.
We oversee every aspect of the transition and will be your personal guide for the journey. Whether it’s where to move, how to pay for it, how/when to sell the house, packing, moving, estate clean up, and more — We’ve seen it all. If you’re fearing the unknown chaos surrounding a move, call HALO and let one of our HALO Angels bring you peace!
Want to see other ways HALO can make life easier for you or your loved ones? Click here to see we can help!