From the moment we learn to walk as children we discover falling.
Something I never thought to discuss with my Father as he was aging, is his ability to stay on his own two feet. I spent a lot of time with my Father when I was younger and I can remember a handful of times watching my Father fall down.
I was about 10 years old when my Father was carrying my brother on his back crossing a large water puddle in the street so that my brother would not ruin his new shoes. My brother being two years older than I, was heavier. I remember my Dad falling after putting my brother down, of course my brother and I had a great laugh at my Father’s expense.
The second time was when my Father was moving some 2 x 4’s at a construction site. I ran over to him to see if he was OK. When I got there he was a little scuffed up, agitated and angry that someone had placed a scaffolding bar in the area he was working. After about two minutes of cursing he looked up at me and smiled and said “It’s hell getting old Son” I helped him to his feet and we finished our day.
The third time was when I traveled back home to see my Father and spend some time on the farm helping him. This was the hardest fall for me because it didn’t take place in our home or on the farm. Instead we were buying some groceries at our local Walmart and a lady came up to me and said “excuse me sir but I think your Father needs your help by the men’s room”. I rushed over to the area to find my father on the floor next to the water fountain. I asked him dad are you OK? In a quiet voice my father said “Son you’re going to have to help me up off the ground”. I got my Father off the ground and put him onto a nearby chair. I asked him what had happened. He looked up at me with shame in his eyes and said “It’s hell getting old son”
He was getting some water from the fountain and his legs just gave out. That night I come to realize that my Father was aging. The man who raised me, who I depended on for everything looked up revered as the man of steel, Superman in my life could not even get a drink of water without worrying about falling. I asked him how many times has he fallen before today? He told me just a handful of times. But the worst thing was asking a stranger to help him up. (Dad was a proud independent man and this bothered him a lot) I tried to explain to my Father that there was nothing to be ashamed of. This will happen to everybody in their life at one time or another.
I immediately got onto a few websites to get information about what is happening to my Father. I was astonished to find out the statistics of falling while aging. In fact, falls are responsible for over 40% of nursing home admissions. Even worse, 70% of accidental death in people over 75 years of age are caused by falls.
I found a fall prevention brochure by Legacy Home Care online. It had me do a self-assessment, and of course we scored really high. With the information from the brochure and website we put together along with his physician a very good fall prevention plan.
I went back home knowing that my Father was in good hands. His doctor was aware of his issues. His medication was being watched carefully. Later we got him a personal care assistant and she was a big help with his fall prevention plan.
My Father passed away but he was in his own home living his life the way he wanted to live it, with dignity and respect.
If you are looking or need more information on the subject contact us at 702-564-2979.