Falling . . . In Slow Motion

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Yesterday my BFF and I started out for town to do the last of our Christmas Shopping. I got a little more than I bargained for. Lesson learned — watch out for those cement car stoppers.

After a successful trip to the Tractor Store and the Dollar Tree, Linda and I headed on over to Wally World. I got out of the truck and spied an empty cart in front of my old Ford and headed that way. Before I got to it, my eye caught some greeting cards held down by the seat flap in the shopping cart. That’s when I started going down.

Instead of watching where my feet were going, I was just thinking about that shopper who paid a lot of money for cards that would never make it home. My right foot hit one of those pesky cement things and I started to fall. I reached out for the shopping cart which I thought would keep me from really falling. Nope — not a good plan. The shopping cart turned over and I hit the sidewalk.

It Could Have Been Worse

As I sat there with my wounded left hip and a whole lot of embarrassment, I looked up to see who was talking to me. Linda had already made it to the doors of the store and missed my ballet act. The voice was coming from a very nice gentleman who asked me, “Should I call 911?”

“Oh, my!” I answered. “No, I think I’m okay.”
“Can I help you up?” He asked.
“No, I just need a minute,” I said. By that time Linda had missed seeing me and was back to see what had happened.

I felt lucky I was in pretty good shape to take that fall. Okay, I’m not in really good shape . . . but that extra padding I keep around the hips did soften my fall. With Linda’s help I was able to finally get to my feet along with my wounded pride and we marched on, very slowly towards the store. We took along the greeting cards that seemed to have been the catalyst for my fall and handed them in to the door greeter telling her where we found them. I hope their rightful owners got them back.

Aging and Falling

I’m only 62 but I learned in gerontology classes that a fall can happen to anyone at any age. If I had been 10 years older it probably would have been a lot worse. Even if you don’t break a hip or a leg, you will feel the effects of falling for a long time after the accident. I will be fine but the fall sure made the arthritis in my knees act up and my elbow is badly scraped. But I am thankful that I didn’t have to go to the ER!

Be especially aware of the dangers of falling with your older loved ones. Always take even a small fall seriously and have them checked out by a medical professional. Bones are not the only things to be affected. A fall jars around your innards and there may be consequences.

Also I’ve learned that you never get someone up right away unless there’s another danger. Give them time to get their bearings. I just needed a minute or two to see if I was really okay. I was able to get up with just a little assistance from Linda. The skin and body of an older person can be extra sensitive to being pulled on.

While working at an assisted living facility, a daughter brought her aging mother in to tour the community and while there her mother started to fall. The daughter reached out and grabbed her arm to prevent her mother from actually falling. The older woman’s skin was literally ripped off down to her wrist.

Stay safe!

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