Do we wait too long to educate people about the danger of falls and how to go about preventing them?
I ask myself this question over and over as I consider past aging parent falls and anticipate what might happen in the future. I’ve perused a wide range of fall prevention resources, ticked off countless fall prevention checklists, been a cheerleader about balance classes and seminars, and even read a recent study about walkers and canes, Walking Aids Associated With Falls, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At our house we’ve taken this Public Health crisis seriously, making changes — hand rails, non-slip surfaces, and grab bars — so our parents are comfortable and secure. But guess what? We are using them a lot, too. The fact that we casually, even nonchalantly use handrails, grab bars, and the like, makes me wonder whether it may be way too late to try to educate and inform 70 and 80 year olds effectively about falls. I’m thinking that the real fall prevention needs to be addressed with people who are now approaching age 65, that is in this case baby boomers. I am in this age group and am amazed at how, as we gradually modify our house, we are also modifying our own behavior. Continue reading