Ole Pappy

Falling is all it’s cracked up to be

Falls are the leading cause of death, injury and hospital admissions among the elderly population.

In fact, the National Council of Aging says, “One out of every four Americans aged 65 and older falls every year.” I know for a fact those figures are not accurate.

That’s because I personally fall about four times a year. Not only are seniors more prone to falling, but they are also more susceptible to fall-related injuries such as a broken hip or head trauma. I used to think people were just klutzy when they fell.

Now, I’ve discovered it really isn’t that difficult. All you have to do is shuffle your feet instead of lifting them higher, not pay attention to what you’re doing or simply lose control of yourself.

If falling was rated on a scale of one to 10, I’d rate some pretty good scores. Let’s say a small fall with little consequences is a No. 1. A really bad fall whereby you get hurt bad — well, that’s a 10.

Here’s my list of my top five falls in the past two years:

5. Tripped on an uneven sidewalk when I caught my shoe on the lip of a slap of concrete. Fell forward. It hurt and I had some scrapes, but nothing was broken and I had no serious problems.

4. Was talking with a relative, didn’t pay attention and went down on my right knee. Knee and ankle hurt for a week and needed a lot of ice packs on the knee. Had to wear more open shoes. Took a week to start feeling better.

3. Caught my foot on the curb in front of the Mascot, fell and smashed my face into the lightpole while hitting my knee and arm on the sidewalk. Thought I’d tore open my ear for sure. Very painful for quite some time. But again, it healed.

2. Fell while taking out the garbage. Had on the wrong shoes in the wintertime. Hit a pipe sticking out of the frozen ground and tore a gash in my arm. Took a long time to heal and was painful. But it did heal. Wife bought me three pairs of boots and threw away my shoes.

1. Came out of the door in the winter, didn’t pay attention to the conditions and the sidewalk was very slippery. Went down hard with the back of my head hitting the concrete. Had a big baseball-sized knot on the back of my head. Iced it down for over a day. Got medical attention. Some folks would contend that’s why I’m the way I am today. I deny it made me like this ... I was already crazy.

The National Council of Aging says, “The fear of falling again can cause you to withdraw and become more sedentary, which often leads to further physical and even mental decline.”

Well, I know I can’t afford any more mental decline. I’ve had enough of that in my life. All of this has caused changes in my life. I quit walking on sidewalks, watch my feet when I walk, wear a shoe that forces me to lift my feet ... and most important ... I listen to my wife because she knows best — and I don’t want to tell her again that I’ve fallen.

LAUGH A LITTLE: Get your hair cut A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said he’d make a deal with his son, “You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little and get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car.”

The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he’d settle for the offer and they agreed on it. After about six weeks his father said, “Son, you’ve brought your grades up and I’ve observed that you have been studying your Bible, but I’m disappointed you haven’t had your hair cut.”

The boy said, “You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair, and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.”

The father answered: “Did you also notice that they all walked everywhere they went?”

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “Happiness is when you feel good about yourself without the need of anyone else’s approval.”

Thanks Ole Pappy!

Byron Higgin

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