“Ring around the rosie…we all fall down!”
And we did. Not one kid got hurt, let alone broke a bone tumbling on the playground. But we’re not kids, and too often, a fall signals the beginning of the end, or at least, an unwelcome lifestyle.
For the aged or infirm of any age, trust rules. Avoiding a disabling fall requires trusting everything we step on or grasp.
We must absolutely trust our feet to find a solid unyielding surface. Trust that the handhold we reach for is firmly anchored. Trust that the chair we’re about to sit on won’t scoot and is properly positioned, because once we let the old knees bend, we’re down — plop! — with no power to stop in mid-air.
To get into or out of shower or tub, trust is imperative. Even able-bodied bathers can appreciate planting their feet on a firm rubber mat — footing is never sure on wet porcelain, plastic or tile. That safety mat must be sturdy, never flimsy, and real rubber — silicone can’t be trusted. It slips.
Our all-time best friend, the trusty grab bar, should be located at the spot our reaching hand goes to naturally, with bars available every place we’re likely to move the old body. Sometime we should have bar help on both sides.
Metal grab bars aren’t as pretty as plastic, but they don’t fatigue and fracture — like the one that once broke when my husband grabbed it as he fell in the tub. They must be attached with long enough screws (not nails) to dig well into studs. Sheetrock crumbles.
Obviously, shoes must have slip-resistant soles. No longer stuck with granny styles, we now can choose from a rainbow of stylish flats.
It’s a cruel fallacy that only the weak and crippled risk falling. Any able-bodied aging man or woman is more likely to fall than I am, because I’m acutely aware of my weaknesses, and I look before each step.
It’s OK to fall for a lover. Just don’t fall on the floor, the sidewalk or stairs.