A Painful Life Transition for Some Seniors

 

Transitions are a part of our life whether we like it or not. Some transitions are beneficial while others are not. In fact, they can be downright painful. Transitions are inevitable and we all have to deal with them in some manner. Here are some of our important transitions:

  • We start our lives as little babies and progress through childhood
  • We transition from early childhood to our teen years
  • We are students who then transition to our careers or lives post school
  • Seemingly all too soon, we are adults with all the accompanying responsibilities.

Other transitions we may face can include job changes, loss of spouse or other loved ones, health issues that leave us less mobile than we expected. Then, more transitions as we move through the decades and into our senior years.

Many transitions we deal with feel like we are going through painful growth spurts while other transitions cause us bewilderment.

Now that I’m an “aging senior” I’ve found there is a transition that seems to be more painful than any other I’ve ever experienced in my life. What I’m seeing as a senior is the loss of respect afforded to those of us who are older.

I’m seeing and experiencing a loss of respect to seniors by their families that is causing great emotional pain.

Depending on how old we are and the family units we have around us, such as older siblings, adult children and grandchildren, etc., our place as a valued member of the family may diminish as we grow older.

We are no longer the decision makers, the movers and shakers of the family.

Suddenly, we realize we are no longer consulted when important decisions are discussed. We may not even know the result of those conversations unless we ask. Those in our family who are coming up behind us have taken over, and when we look back we don’t always realize when or how that happened.

What we do know is that it hurts. It hurts to be left out of conversations. It hurts to have our children and even their significant others discussing what to do with “mom” or “dad” as they make plans. It hurts to have people make decisions for us and tell us later, without us being able to share our opinion.

It hurts not to be consulted about our own future.

And, we wonder how and when this transition happened.

  • Was there something we could have done to prevent it?
  • Is this just a part of growing older?
  • Has this been happening to others throughout the years and we just weren’t aware?

And one of the most painful questions yet?

Is this what we did to our own parents?

Article from:  www.eldercarecafe.net/a-painful-life-transition-for-some-seniors

Preventing Falls on the First Day of Fall

Article from TimeGoesBy.net

Monday, 22 September 2014

Depending on who's talking, today is the first day of fall or tomorrow is the first day of fall. The day has to do with the tilt of the earth, northern and southern hemispheres, daylight savings time and

Oh, never mind. Here in the United States, all of September is designated National Falls Prevention Month By The National Council on Aging (NCOA) and tomorrow, Tuesday, is Falls Prevention Awareness Day in 47 states and the District of Columbia.

I like that someone, a few years ago, connected falls and Fall making it a handy reminder for an annual prevention checkup.

Now don't go yawning. I write this post every year because unlike many old age afflictions, falls are something over which we have a lot of personal control. All we need is some vigilance.

Falling is serious business for old people:

FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF INJURY-RELATED DEATHS, EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS AND HOSPITALIZATIONS FOR PEOPLE 65 AND OLDER.

Did you see those words “leading cause”? That means, the NCOA tells us, someone in our age group dies from a fall every 29 minutes.

Every year, one-third of Americans 65 and older – 12 million of us – fall. Even if someone doesn't die from it, a broken bone can severely restrict the rest of an old person's life.

The good news is that falls are highly preventable. In past years, I have given you a long list of causes and remedies – the 2013 edition is here.

--------------------------------------------------

FACTS ABOUT FALLS
Here are the good – and frightening – facts about falls we should all know and pay attention to, collectively and individually:

  • One-third of all Americans age 65 and older fall each year.
  • To think about it another way, every 15 seconds an elder is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury.
  • More than 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falls.
  • Men are more likely than women to die from a fall. After taking age into account, the death rate from falls in 2009 was 34% higher for men than for women

Many elders have multiple health problems and the more you have, the more likely you are to fall. Here are the most common health problems related to falling:

  • Difficulty walking or moving around
  • Four or more medications
  • Foot problems, unsafe footwear
  • Blood pressure drop on standing up/dizziness
  • Poor vision
  • Tripping hazards in the home

And here is a handy chart that should scare the pants off you about health problems related to falls:

 

All right. Does everyone get it that fall-related injuries are a major cause of pain, disability, loss of independence and premature death in elders? Or have I overdone that part?

FALLS PREVENTION
Most falls can be prevented but we need to make some adjustments to our lives to keep ourselves and others safe. Here is a good general list:

  • Exercise. It makes you strong and improves balance.
  • Stand up slowly after you have been sitting or lying down to help avoid dizziness.
  • Have your vision checked every year. If you can't see well, you have a higher risk of falling.
  • Ask your physician or pharmacist about the drugs you use – prescription and over-the-counter. Some can cause sleepiness and dizziness that can lead to falling.
  • Do a safety assessment of your home and then make the necessary changes.

  •  

In regard to that last item – fall proofing your home – here is a partial list of important measures you can take to ensure your safety.

  • Increase the lighting; no dark areas or corners
  • Add grab bars in the tub, shower and next to the toilet
  • Always wear shoes with non-skid soles – even indoors
  • Remove all throw rugs
  • Immediately wipe up all spills
  • Install nightlights to lead you to the bathroom
  • Use non-skid mats in the shower and on the bathroom floor
  • Remove clutter from floors to prevent tripping

This year, I discovered an excellent, easy-to-read falls and fractures section at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website that lists the variety of causes with links to the best information for prevention.

This NCOA page clears up some myths about falls.

And remember, too, what your mother repeatedly warned you: “Watch where you're going.”

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marc Leavitt: E Pluribus Unum