Community Magazine

The Senior’s Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Fall

By Friday23

Of all the bad things a Senior can do, falling is about the worst. Your immediate and most important objective at this stage in your life is to stay on your feet. It’s bad enough when a young person falls in the street or in the house and the damage can be terrible. When an oldie falls, the consequences can be disastrous. Old bones don’t heal quickly; torn muscles and tendons cannot be fixed. I can cite any number of falls where the victim never fully recovered or if he or she did recover, they were never the same again.

So I walk with my head down; I watch for changes in the floor or sidewalk levels when I am outside; I look for those treacherous two inch steps that building laws ban but which are the favorites of building contractors who don’t know their arithmetic and get their floor levels wrong and have to adjust them.

Of course there are falls that are harmless. You get up, shake the dust off and continue on your way. Others are not as innocuous – you may be unconscious or have hit your head on the concrete and broken bones in your face. You may land up in hospital having surgery. Don’t fall.

Falling is the second leading cause of accidental death worldwide and is a major cause of personal injury, especially for the elderly. The World Health Organization estimates that 424,000 people die in falls every year. Don’t fall.

In the elderly, even falls from standing position to flat ground may cause serious injuries. In a study of 80,000 elderly persons the risk of falling increases for any who are taking multiple prescription medications and for all who are taking psychoactive drugs. Do yourself and everyone around you a favor – don’t fall!

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