As elder law attorneys, one of our most challenging duties is helping clients and their families deal with the repercussions of a devastating fall injury. Falling is a serious issue for all elderly Americans. In many cases, one bad fall can serve as the trigger that forces someone out of their home and into a facility. If a fall lands you or a loved one into a hospital or rehabilitation facility with the potential need for ongoing custodial care services, this may be the ideal time to meet with an elder law attorney to discuss asset protection, public benefits (such as Medicaid), and important questions, like “How am I going to pay for this?”
The Repercussions of a Fall Injury
Many older adults have witnessed a friend or loved one fall or have personally experienced the various hardships associated with a fall injury. For some, moving back home or to a senior living facility is no longer an option due to complications stemming from their injuries. So, in addition to the pain and embarrassment, the potential for institutionalization paints a dark cloud of anxiety around the risk of having a fall. Unfortunately, for many elderly individuals, the fear of falling can cause a decrease in exercise, activity, and socialization. This can lead to seclusion and have a negative long-term effect on a person’s mobility. A decrease in exercise can also result in brittle bones, which are more susceptible to major breaks if a fall does occur.
As much as we enjoy helping our clients after a fall, it is also our pleasure to help with plans that can avoid and prevent falls. Some common fall prevention tips include:
- Continue regular exercise.
- Remove area rugs that are not properly installed on floors.
- Have a geriatric care manager assess the home for areas of weakness and concern.
- Install grab bars and handrails.
- If possible, consider using a cane or walker before resorting to a wheelchair.
If you are interested in learning more about fall prevention, a wonderful local source is SAGES Theater Inc., a non-profit organization that presents “plays with purpose” to raise awareness on key topics for older adults while simultaneously highlighting a positive view of aging. SAGES Theater Inc. is currently performing its unique one-act play, “Denying Gravity,” throughout the Tampa Bay area to raise awareness on what older adults and their loved ones can do to prevent falls. Interested parties can visit their website to see when a performance or screening is in their area.
Explore Your Legal Options with Our Compassionate Legal Team
Contact Hill & Kinsella if you require legal guidance or representation in an elder law matter. Our compassionate, experienced, and client-driven team can help you navigate the estate planning process, life care planning, probate, trust drafting, and more.
Contact Hill & Kinsella at (727) 240-2350 to schedule a consultation with our elder law and estate planning lawyers.
By: Alana D. Horner