“What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?”
According to Greek Mythology, this is the classic riddle delivered by the Sphinx. According to the myth, if any person who was asked this riddle could not answer, they were thrown down against the rocks and killed by the Sphinx. When this riddle was posed to Oedipus Rex, he considered his words carefully and declared the answer in one word; Man.
His reasoning was as a baby, a human goes about on all fours (“four legs in the morning” – morning being childhood). Then he learns to walk, which he does well into adulthood (“two legs in the afternoon” – afternoon being adulthood). Finally, advanced age requires him to use a cane to support himself (“three legs in the evening” – evening being old age).
It is the evening I wish to discuss in this post.
It is so important to avoid falls. Statistically 1 in 4 aging adults will be injured in a fall this year. Falls prevention is such a hot topic that the federal government NCOA has devoted a whole program strictly centered on fall prevention.
As we age, our once strong bodies sometimes need additional support to continue to be active. Using canes, walkers or crutches becomes commonplace as balance or coordination skills become affected. Making certain our home environments are adapted to our new skill level is important. Here are 5 easy to accomplish tips to ensure your environment helps you avoid falls.
- First thing to remember is to remove unnecessary clutter in your home. Removing unnecessary clutter from walkways will help prevent unwanted tripping over objects that you meant to throw away years ago. Yes we all have them! Clear the pathways of stacks of books and magazines, extra furniture and scatter rugs.
- Next thing is to install grab bars in and around your bathing areas. Nothing feels quite like a hot bath after a long day, so ensure you can traverse these wet, slick areas by installing grab bars everywhere you may need a handhold. Apply non-slip appliques in the bottom of your tub for extra traction, or use a rubberized bath mat with suction cups.
- Make certain you can see objects around you properly to avoid falls. Knowing where things are supposed to be in your home is not enough. Be certain you have the proper lighting in your home to see clearly so obstacles won’t become obstacles to you! Add nightlights that come on automatically as night falls- so you won’t!
- Have dual handrails installed on stairs- not just on one side, but on both. While climbing stairs we can become fatigued more quickly than walking
on a level plane. Dual handrails will help to steady your gait and provide additional support for the body. Avoid falls as you avoid carrying things up and down the stairs as much as you possibly can. Countless falls happen every year as people negotiate the stairs with hands full.
- Finally, review your medications side effects. If a medicine tells you plainly on the bottle, “May cause dizziness”, avoid physical activity for a couple of hours after you take that medication. Instead, pick up a book or read your favorite blog to enhance your mind! Always use your walker or cane if you do find that your medication is causing dizziness issues, and do speak to your doctor about any side effects you are experiencing. Your doctor certainly doesn’t want to increase your fall risk either!
What happened to Oedipus? Once he answered the riddle of the Sphinx he was free to pass and enjoy life. All of us here at SpinLife wish the same for you, and hope that using these 5 simple tips will prevent a fall that could do serious damage to your “Oedipus Rex!”
Every October thousands of Home and Professional Medical Equipment industry professionals attend the Fall MedTrade convention in Atlanta.
The annual conference is known as the place where the both well-known and start-up manufacturers show off their latest and greatest products. The SpinLife team was there to visit with our vendor partners and meet some new brands. MedTrade is the perfect opportunity for our team to see, touch, and try out the new products we’ll be adding to our site. Every year we see new companies showcasing innovative products, helping SpinLife keep our commitment of bringing the world to you!
We experienced several new exciting products on the show floor. The new Graphite-fiber folding ramps from EZAccess can weigh as little as 7 lbs which is great for life on the go. Pride Mobility is building on the success of the Jazzy Air by releasing it, the Jazzy, and GoChair in new fashionable colors. We got to sit in Golden Technologies’ new space saving wall-hugger lift chairs that only need 4” of clearance against a wall: perfect for smaller homes. One new product we loved was Comodita’s new Avanti rolling walker. It has one-handed braking and it stays upright when folded! Anyone who’s had to load a walker into a trunk will appreciate that.
One trend that stood out at the show was the number of recreational scooters. Manufacturers are introducing many cool new scooters that go faster, longer, and come in fashionable colors. We also saw a trend towards scooters that can seat two people and some even collapse between one and two seats. People of all ages and with many different mobility needs will be well served by the wide variety of scooters coming onto the market, and we’re excited to see what’s next.
Our Merchandising team left the show excited about the new products that will soon be available. And our Marketing team can’t wait to show you what’s in store for 2017!
Stay Tuned! It’s getting exciting!
Below are some snapshots from the expo hall.
It can be difficult to decide on the best ways to help your aging parents. This dilemma faces so many family caregivers every day! Does this readers’ question sound familiar?
“My sisters and I have been taking care of our aging parents who are in their late 80’s. They live in their home and said they won’t leave until they die. BUT my mother won’t let us hire paid help. What shall we do?”
I have been in your position. My dad didn’t want to hire help either. Even if your parents say they don’t want to be a burden, they would probably always choose you to help them over paid care. Put yourself in their shoes–it probably is a bit daunting to have someone they don’t know doing services for them.
It may help if you can get to the heart of your parents’ concerns. Perhaps you think they don’t see how dirty things are, or maybe you think they are concerned about the cost. One day while scrubbing my own father’s bathroom, he told me, “I’ll pay you forty dollars an hour to do that.” It dawned on me is wasn’t lack of understanding or concern for money that bothered him. He was just reluctant to have strangers in his personal space.
You and your sisters also need to validate your parent’s feelings by letting them know that you endorse their hope of staying in their home. It may also be necessary to re-assure them that paid help will not substitute for the visits they count on from you.
Your aging parents need to understand that it is impractical to think that you can do it all while taking care of your own responsibilities. You and your sisters should get together and review the tasks you currently do, the ones you no longer wish to do and the ones that are simply not getting done. Sit your parents down and go over this list together.
Suggest a compromise that shifts some of the burden, to start. Perhaps you can get your parents to agree to once-a-week housecleaning and grocery shopping while you and your sisters continue to take them to appointments. Or like my dad, who was willing to accept transportation assistance but needed to ease into the idea of strangers in the house.