Friday, August 28, 2015

Falling Friday - Fear

Today, I want to share with you a blog post by a writer and blogger, Amy, who is losing both her vision due to a medical condition called Retinitis pigmentosa (RP). She also has a condition called Usher Syndrome, and is also losing her hearing   She has faced this challenge with her religious faith and with a great sense of humor, but, in this post, she blogs about her elderly mother and her mother's fear of falling.

Amy has increased her mobility with mobility training, but has suffered her share of falls, too.

Amy's mother, who is close in age to my mother in law, has become afraid to go out because of her fear of falling.  She has osteoporosis, too (a condition my mother in law does not have).  Similar to my mother in law though, this woman has children who love her.

Amy tries to find ways to get her mother out and blogs about a successful outing.  Amy has the additional challenge of not being able to drive, and being dependent on others for transit.  But she manages.

In some ways, the experience Amy described reminded me of being in my falls prevention class back in May and June of this year.

We had a vision specialist come and talk to us, and I found that many of the people in my class had Retinitis pigmentosa.  Theirs came on late in life, unlike Amy's, but some were so concerned about falling (everyone in the class, including the instructors, had fallen) that some were prisoners to fear.  Some would not even go out in winter - and our winters here in upstate New York are long and full of ice and snow.

Mobility really matters.  My mother in law has mobility issues due to a stroke and injuries from several falls (and is also recovering from surgery).  Slowly, she is recovering some mobility.  But she has also become comfortable and set in her ways.  Her lift chair, and her TV, have become her friends.

Mobility is something we take for granted until it is gone. 

I hope I can convince my mother in law (with the blessing of her doctor) to go to a falls prevention class similar to the one I took.  And, as for Amy's mother, I hope that other opportunities arise that encourage her Mom to leave the house.

Amy sums it all up:  and if you see yourself or a loved one in her blog, afraid of falling, please seek out help.  Talk to a medical professional.  See if there is a falls prevention program where you or your loved one lives  If you have visual impairments, there is hope, too, as Amy demonstrates in her blog and in her book, Mobility Matters.

As Amy sums up in her post:

Everyone needs to get out sometimes. People need to be refreshed to see their life and themselves in a new way, to know they count. People need to be mobile.

5 comments:

  1. Getting outside also gets you the much needed vitamin D from the sun. Without it, I get grumpy!

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  2. Amy is in my thoughts. Is hard to loose your site and try to adapt a new system to get around .

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  3. Hi Alana,
    You did such a wonderful job in bringing the ideas together in this post! Great job! I did call a member of a falls prevention group (through Hospice here) and they sent me some helpful information. Trying to talk Mom into having them come out but not certain if this will happen.
    Have a great day and thanks so much for sharing!
    Amy

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  4. Hi Alana - there are some really important points in this feature. I am so sorry to hear about Amy's sight and hearing loss and also her mother's problems. I have elderly parents and Aunts and I know how their worlds have shrunk due to mobility issues. It isn't good for their general health and well-being. Thank you for this post.

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  5. Yeah, the worst would be being stuck in your house for a long winter like that. We don't get winter around here, but people still need to be able to get around.

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