Friday, August 7, 2015

Falling Friday - Can We Turn the Falling Tide?

The headlines, past and present, produce fear.  Especially if you are a senior citizen or care for one.

"George H.W. Bush [a former United States President, now 91 years old] fell and broke his neck bone", read the headlines in July.  This is a man who parachuted for his 90th birthday.

Actor Robert Culp - dead from a fall at age 79 in 2010. I remember him from a TV series of the 1960's called "I Spy".  The other starring actor became famous, too, but eventually in a different way.

Singer Eddie Arnold, dead after he fell and broke a hip in 2008, just shy of his 90th birthday.

Hillary Clinton, age 67, who is running for President of the United States, has had several well publicized falls.  One ended up as a topic of discussion in her Presidential campaign.

A man by the name of William Bechill, a man famed in the aging advocacy community, died in 2007 after he fell on ice.  He was 78.

Is falling in old age something that can't be prevented?  Is there any hope for seniors as they age?  Do we in the areas of harsh winter weather (I live in one of those areas) have to become prisoners in our homes due to aging?

Many are now trying to turn this around.  And, seniors are ready to listen.

Seniors such as my mother in law's next door neighbor of over 50 years, and good friend.  She is 83 (I hope she doesn't mind me giving out her age) and she and I grew up a mile - and 20 years - apart in the Bronx, a borough of New York City.

This woman, a widow for many years, still leads an active life, and lives in her house of over 50 years.  She walks up to four miles a day.  She travels.  And when I demonstrated the exercises I had learned in my falls prevention class during a recent visit, she was eager to learn them.

Why?  Because she has fallen.  Of course, she said, "I got right up".  She didn't want her companions to see her lying on the cobblestone streets of the city she was visiting.

Except that it was a fall.

Fortunately for this woman, she is not in denial.

If your area has falls prevention classes, don't be shy.  Take them. 

It can't hurt.  I've lost a little on my waist.  I am feeling the difference as I walk my imaginary tightrope.

In just minutes away, you can gain optimism.  Perhaps we, all together, can turn the falling tide.

5 comments:

  1. I was putting down the umbrella on the deck the other day when the wind came up and pushed the umbrella, patio table and iron base completely over. I have a nice bruise on my shin, a sore butt and I kinda ache all over. Luckily it is a big deck and I landed on it instead of 'off of it' like a friend did. She ended up breaking her ankle.

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  2. Good for you, Alana. I think the most important way to stay strong and active is to stay, well, active throughout the middle and old(er) age years. By the way, I've been reading a book about aging that I am really learning a lot from: "Spring Chicken" by Bill Gifford, and I would certainly recommend it. There are many easy strategies to stay strong throughout the older years, but (as you have found) one must be proactive! The old saying "use it or lose it" is about it!!

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  3. We started spending winters in Fl. last year. So much better, very seldom did I have the cramps in the legs and feet and seldom had the back pain either. Bought a used, small single wide trailor in a 55 and over park for cheap and have enjoyed fixing it up and being out of the harsh weather.

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  4. This is big in hospitals, too. They keep track of falling stats and everything.

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  5. Good post Alana, too many people think that getting old has to mean slowing down, stay active and you will enjoy and old age

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