Falling is one of the major risks elderly adults face. Falls can result in very serious injuries, including fractures and traumatic brain injuries, and have a lasting negative impact on your parent’s quality of life and health as they age in place. While much of this negative impact comes from the physical effects of the fall, including the pain, diminished mobility, and potential for a long stretch of bed rest needed after experiencing a fall, it is important not to discount the emotional impact a fall can have on your senior.
Many seniors experience emotional challenges after falling, and this emotional impact can be detrimental to their health and well-being as well. It is very important for you to take the proper steps to help your senior cope with the emotional issues that can arise from falls, and support them moving forward in a healthy, beneficial way.
Use these tips to help your parent cope with the emotional issues that they might experience after suffering a fall:
Acknowledge what they are feeling. Your parent might feel as though they are being silly for feeling fear, anxiety, or even depression after suffering a fall. This can cause them to hide what they are feeling and not talk about it, which can have a detrimental impact on their mental and emotional health. Acknowledge what your parent is going through, and encourage them to be open and honest when talking about it. This allows them to express themselves and gives you a chance to validate their feelings and reassure them that they are not over-reacting.
Resolve their embarrassment. Your parent might feel embarrassed that they fell, or that they injured themselves. Reassure them that there is nothing to be embarrassed about, and that many older adults experience these falls and injuries each year. Avoid making fun of or teasing your parent in any way, and never use their injury or their fall as a means of shaming them.
Prepare them for the future. Now that your parent has experienced a fall, they are much more likely to experience another. This is often the stem of emotional issues, resulting in fear, anxiety, and nervousness. They may resist going out, not want to be active, and withdraw from activities they have enjoyed. This can worsen emotional issues, and put them at risk of suffering further physical issues. Work with your parent to face their fears and encourage them to get out, stay active, and continue to engage in a fulfilling lifestyle. Help them to understand that this will not only support a better mental and emotional state, but it will keep their body stronger and healthier, and reduce the risk of further falls.
Being a family caregiver can be one of the most meaningful decisions you make during your life. This is an opportunity for you to spend quality time with your parent, give back to them, show them your love and respect, and make sure they get the care they need throughout their later years. This role can also be one of the most challenging and sometimes overwhelming you can experience as well. You may find yourself feeling as though you are unable to fulfill your parent’s needs in the ways they need and deserve, or that they would benefit from further care.
Fortunately, senior care can help. A senior care provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule to fill care gaps, handle care tasks that are too challenging or that you do not feel comfortable managing, and ensure you have the time to handle other obligations in your life. This will relieve your stress, support quality of life, and allow you to focus on your relationship with your parent while knowing they have everything they need to manage their individual challenges and issues.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Cornelius NC, please call the professional staff at Caring at Heart today at (704) 379-7510. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail.