Don’t fall down…

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There was been a recent article in the NY Times about how bad it is to fall, especially as you get older. I have fallen down myself and can attest to the fact that falling down can be serious. People die from falling down!

My Mom has fallen lately. She can’t get up from the floor by herself which makes falling down even harder to deal with. We have had to call the paramedics in the past and they are remarkably nice and efficient when it comes to helping someone stand up.

A few weeks ago she slipped and fell in her bedroom and, thankfully, was only sore for a week or so. Nothing fractured, no concussion. None of us was happy about the fall but Sherry, her home health nurse, came by at just the right time and helped mom up off the floor. And Sherry taught me how to help mom up on my own which is a good thing to know.

FYI: Here’s how: The fallen person needs to be able to stand for this to work. You face the person on the floor. You both bear-hug. The strong person uses her legs to lift the fallen person to a standing position. It requires upper body strength and balance, and it’s nice to have a helper on the back of the fallen person.

Yesterday I took Mom to the library. She usually goes with Carla but she was out of books and the weather was nice so we decided to go. Everything was great until she tried, with her walker, to navigate over an uneven spot. I was in just the wrong place, trying to position the walker, and she fell backwards… in slow motion. Onto the asphalt. I don’t know how she did it, but she sort of rolled into the fall and, while she sort of hit her head, she didn’t really smack it. She has a small bruise on one elbow and nothing hurts. Trust me when I tell you that this was a miracle.

This is the first time that mom has fallen in public. I was amazed that, in an instant, 4 women were right there to help. It turned out that one woman had been driving by, saw the fall, stopped her car, and ran to help. And these ladies did help! Mom assured us all that she wasn’t broken or have a concussion. I did the bear hug thing with other women behind and beside to help, and it worked.

Darned if Mom didn’t, after getting her bearings, decide that she was still going to go into the library to get her books. That woman is a determined sort :-).

Sherry had suggested a week or so ago that it might be good to have a transport wheelchair. Mom liked the idea and it was on the list of things to do. It moved to the top of the list and now this one is sitting in her garage. I got it at Breath of Life in Sherman, but you can find them lots of places. It’s light but sturdy, and rolls really well with Mom in it. It folds up and fits in the car.

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I don’t know if Mom would have been as happy to have this wheelchair before her fall, but now she knows that this actually makes her more mobile, not less mobile. We can take her more places and, as anyone who knows her will tell you, Mom really likes going places :-).

This post is for those of you who, like me, may not have thought about a transport wheelchair. Ours was $119 plus tax, much cheaper than I would have thought.