A momentary drop in the temperature this week, reminded me that it’s time for my annual “Fall Prevention” post. This year, my message is more personal because the subject hit close to home. My mother, who is 85, fell in the middle of the night a few months ago. She conveniently tumbled to the ground during one of my periodic cross country visits. She is a an active, healthy, senior, who can even play a bit of tennis when she wants to. She still fell. It was an accident, and sometimes stuff just happens. While she was lucky and escaped serious injury, I learned a lot from her fall, and I want to share it with you:
- Posture, balance, and core training are key components of any fall prevention approach. But I’m thinking there are a few other things that are even more important.
- Make your house fall proof. Remove area rugs, shoes on the floor, and poorly placed furniture that you could trip over. Make sure your path to the bathroom is well lit at night.
- Stay strong. You will be less likely to fall or seriously injure yourself if you are fit. You don’t need to be marathon ready, just a healthy, moderately active senior will suffice.
- Make good decisions. Don’t hang your own Christmas lights or clean your own gutters. It helps the economy when you hire people to do those things anyway.
- Have a plan. Falling is often an accident--like in my mother’s case. What are you going to do if you end up on the floor? Can you get up? Do you need to practice? Can you get to the phone to call for help? Don’t wait until you’re down to ponder these questions. Your daughter may not be visiting from 3000 miles away on that particular day.