senior scribes

Along Life’s Way
Help! I’ve Fallen!
By Lois E. Wilson
In the past, I slipped and fell on carpeted steps as I walked down from the second floor to the first in our former house. The Good Samaritan ER doctor informed me that I had a severe back injury that would require my missing work for a couple of weeks. Later, my family doctor reported that they had mixed up the X-rays. The injury they thought was mine was from a man who had fallen from his semi truck and landed on his back. I had a less serious injury and went back to work in a few days. I looked like Scarlett O’Hara in my new lace-up corset brace.
In the 90’s, I caught my foot in a low garden fence and fell backwards catching myself with my hands. I broke both wrists. After two surgeries at Wayne HealthCare, I mended well.
This spring, when my husband was in Rest Haven for therapy, I thought I would be safer with a medical alert system. I investigated the options and rented Rescue Alert from Comprehensive Health Network. There was no fee for its installation. They checked it out in my home and instructed me on its use. They required no contract which obligated me to keep it for any period of time. There is no extra charge if I call for help. I push the button once a month so that they can confirm that it’s working properly. If they don’t hear from me, they call me to do a test.
One Sunday morning this September, I debated whether to take off my call button and put it in my purse before going to church. That is my usual procedure. I was fortunate I left it on because the combination of fumes from a freshly painted room and my bending over and standing up quickly caused me to swoon and fall hard to the floor. I hit my head on a cabinet. It was bleeding. I pushed my call button.
Rescue Alert responded via its equipment and told me what to do for my injury. They called Greenville Rescue and the neighbors designated on my list of those to be notified. They called my family. Everything worked as promised.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2016, older Americans experienced 29 million falls causing seven million injuries and costing an estimated $31 billion in annual Medicare costs.
Falls by older adults often end their ability to remain independent. Check your environment. Remove household hazards. Keep lighting and vision good. Talk to your doctor and eliminate or change medications that might make you more likely to fall. Exercise to improve your balance and keep your muscles strong. Consider a rescue call system. The Rescue Alert lady asked, “Lois, do you need help?” It is a great feeling to know at the push of a button someone is there when you need them.

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