How to speak to a loved one about falls

Published on
May 14, 2024

How to speak to a loved one about falls

Talking to your parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, neighbours or friends about falls can be tricky.

Any conversation about personal safety, health, or well-being  has the potential to touch a nerve — which is why we’ve put together a go-to guide to help you navigate the conversation.

According to leading psychologists, the best way to approach a potentially ‘controversial’ conversation is to be kind, open and understanding while doing your best to avoid confrontation.

We recommend these four tips for addressing fall risk:

Ask questions:
Being curious is always a kinder approach than being accusatory, and it will let the conversation flow.

Avoid blame:
Falling isn't anybody's 'fault', but if falls are a concern, discussing solutions is always better than discussing the problem.

Be assertive:
These conversations can touch a nerve for some people, but it's important to react assertively rather than emotionally.

Even if you don't agree with them, it's important to make them feel heard and give support when they're ready to discuss falls in more detail.

Here are some conversation starters that might help you along:

  • “Have you had a chat with your doctor about falls lately?”
  • “I read some concerning statistics about falls, and I’d like to talk about it, is that okay?”
  • “Do you mind if we have a talk about the last time you had a fall?”
  • "I understand falls must be scary for you to think about. I'm here for you."
  • “I read about this great assistive technology for falls. Can I tell you about it?”
  • “I found this quiz online that might help us protect you against falls. How about we have a cuppa and do it together?”
  • “I know you want to be independent and stay in your home, but I don’t want you to fall and get hurt.”
  • “You’re important to me and I want to make sure you’re safe.”

There are several resources available to assist you in having these conversations, but what’s important is to remember to be calm, supportive and receptive.

If you’re looking for assurance that your loved ones won’t be alone if they fall while living independently, HomeGuardian may be the answer.

HomeGuardian can automatically escalate an alert to up to 3 emergency contacts (including you) within two seconds of incident detection. For more information call 1300 248 324.

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