Getting Up After a Fall

Getting up after a fall!  No one ever intends to fall.  I hear it from my clients all the time: “I’m careful” or “I’m not going to fall” even though I think what they are really saying is that they are worried about falling.  That level of awareness doesn’t necessarily translate into taking specific measures to avoid a fall or learning what they can do to prevent a fall.  And so falls happen.  Each time the response is “It was an accident, I won’t fall again.” Continue reading

Dignity of Risk and Caring for an Elder

Growing old should not mean that you lose control of your daily life and all the decisions that go along with it. Yet too often that is exactly what happens. If you are a caregiver, have you heard yourself saying “you NEED to use your walker, you might fall”, “you need to drink that water”, “let me carry that for you, you might drop it”, “don’t do that, you might fall”?

the dignity of risk

Even though the person has lived with and managed their risks all their adult life, suddenly everyone else is telling them what they can and can’t do. And based on what? Safety? For what end, hanging around waiting to die?

There is a wonderful concept called “The Dignity of Risk”, which acknowledges that life experiences come with risk and that we must respect a person’s self-determination and autonomy and allow them to make their own choices about which experiences are worth a risk. Continue reading

Get Creative About Home Safety Features

Making a home safe for a senior is an important element of responsible caregiving, but many of us balk at having to change the way our house looks to accommodate new safety needs. Gradually though, designers are beginning to realize that just because you are losing some agility or vision doesn’t mean you are also losing your aesthetic sense.

I was at a seminar listening to an architect talk about ways she incorporates interesting elements into her safety designs. One of her creative ideas is to use rock-climbing holds in some of the places you’d want to add a grab bar. They come in all sorts of shapes, materials and colors, and can be added here and there to provide a convenient handhold as you move through the house.

Rock Wall Grips

Another creative solution is using LED tape to highlight critical areas like doorways or hallways so that someone can more easily find the bathroom in the middle of the night. The LED lights are just enough to act as a nightlight or to prevent the shadows that can distort surfaces. Read more about general lighting considerations for aging eyes.



Photo Credit

Scam Targeting Seniors in Boulder County, Take Care

A very common telephone scam targeting seniors is popping up again in Boulder County.  One of our Dignity Care clients received a call just this week.

This scam is called “the grandson scam” in which potential victims receive a phone call from someone pretending to be their grandson who has gotten into trouble and needs money wired to him as soon as possible.  Our client was asked to wire $8,000.  Once the victim wires the money, there is usually no way to get it back.

Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim of the “grandson” scam:

  • Never give or wire money based on an unsolicited phone call.
  • Verify that the caller is really your grandson before sending money.  Call another family member or the grandson himself.
  • The caller usually starts the conversation by saying “it’s me, your grandson,” and waiting for the victim to say something like “oh, hi Jimmy.”  So if the caller says he’s your grandson, ask the caller for his name. Don’t provide the name yourself.  If the caller cannot provide the name, hang up immediately.
  • Never send money to an unknown account or entity.

This scam has been making the rounds for at least 7 years, and here is a CBS story about it.