Not all seniors are old. Nor are they bitter, grumpy or dumb. What's great abou seniors who are genuine life-lovers is their capacity to share of themselves in such a way, one can't help but smile and walk away a better person than before meeting that awesome person!
I've had the pleasure of attending something called the Orange County Roundtable for the last eighteen months. The meetings revolve around seniors' needs and the businesses who service and resolve those needs. People working from in-home care businesses to assisted living providers, real estate consultants, and non-profit organizations, we meet monthly at The Orange Senior Center sharing the same goal: to use our businesses in ways to help seniors and their families throughout Orange County. What strikes most is the care, compassion and professionalism I personally witness every meeting I attend.
Today was no exception.
Steve Carpenter, of Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable housing and revitalize communities, spoke on behalf of a coalition he's involved with called, "Down With Falls". Stupendous name, as it refers to their motto of "To raise community awareness of fall prevention in Orange County by promoting comprehensive strategies to reduce the risk of falling."
Steve shared a few alarming statistics such as, 1 in 3 older adults fall each year and 5 in 10 have problems getting up without help after they have fallen. Bad stuff, indeed. About 3 years ago, my dad-in-law fell in his bathroom right before midnight (he lived alone at the time) and I didn't get his phone call until 9:30 the next morning; meaning, he (somehow) dragged himself from the bathroom to his living room sofa, where he sat while making that phone call to me. Dad was fortunate he didn't break a hip, his arm, or his head. His fall did however, prompt a quick fracture in his left shoulder. (And for those who wonder if he had one of those devices around his neck, i.e., Lifeline or Life Alert? Yes, he did. Actually wearing the thing? Another blog post.)
Point is, before my awareness of fall prevention, would Dad have still fallen? Perhaps. Still, probably would've removed that bathroom rug (rubber backing but too thick and easy to trip on). Mostly though, just the simple awareness of making slight adjustments for aging-in-place makes me sleep more soundly at night
*Note: Currently, Dad is living in a board and care residential home, where he wears his Lifeline device on a daily basis. =)