Alas we watched it happen this afternoon.
Moving at breakneck speed through a large supermarket we reached the end of a row and saw an elderly woman fall as she pushed her cart. Earlier we had watched her moving slowly through the store, but we had not noticed any balance problems.
Still, we know what a fall means to an elderly person — often health deteriorates quickly — so we could not help feeling sad. We remembered how falls altered the playing field for my husband’s mother and father. Each fall meant a few days of hospitalization or at least bed rest, then a few complications after being confined to bed, and finally less mobility and confidence. This fact sheet, Seniors’ Falls Can Be Prevented, from Health Link in British Columbia shares some eye-opening facts about senior falls.
The store management was terrific. Two people sat right down on the floor with the woman while they waited for the rescue squad. No help was necessary from any of the shoppers, and the staff positioned her cart to shield her from the many people who passed by. Shortly thereafter an ambulance arrived.As we continued shopping my husband and I chatted about our future. We both resolved to use canes and walking sticks if we ever feel less confident about moving around. Each of us promised to rely on the other’s observations about balance. Can we keep these promises? I’m not sure.
To learn more about falls, please read my post, Senior Adults and Falling.