My grandma was our rock, she was 90, she was strong-willed, and she was our glue. She broke her hip but was determined to walk again and did so in six short weeks. She cared for my 92 year old grandpa who had a number of strokes but still lived at home with her. All that changed in the blink of an eye.
Their house started as a log cabin – one of the oldest in the town. One day, climbing the basement stairs she had gone up and down every day for 70 years, she lost her balance and struck her head. She had a head bleed. They took her by medical helicopter and the hospital opened her skull to release deadly pressure. Amazingly she bounced back from this injury too…although not so much that she could stay home and care for my grandpa. That was just too much for her new normal.
In the blink of an eye, two, pretty much self-sufficient, older adults left their beloved cabin with bark still visible on the support beams and moved to assisted living and eventually to a nursing home. It’s a story so many of us know. A loved one who is “doing ok” or caring for their spouse and a fall occurs and it all changes…not for the better.
Falls actually can be prevented. Strength and balance training, mindfulness (yes – that new age stuff), and some simple changes in your home can allow you to maintain your independence. Use our website to find a class, find a resource, but do something to “age in place.” This website was built to help you control your destiny, help us help you to “Age Where You Want To, Not Where You Have To.”
Yours in safety,
Kathi Hegranes is the Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator at the Trauma Center at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah. She is passionate about injury prevention and offering tools for loved ones and older adults to control their own destiny. She has over 17 years of injury prevention experience and is personally practicing what she preaches. (You can do it too!) She hopes to reach 90 and still be at home – happy and healthy.