Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Those walking aids probably won't make you fall

That dog could be a falling hazard, though.
I have bad knees--am not getting into any more surgical extravaganzas since my 4-operation eye debacle--and everyone is trying to get me to get a walker.

I do gimp around and am pretty housebound. But I just hold onto the walls--or use them as a guide on my blind side to keep me upright.

My friends actually get mad--get a walker, get a walker.... I, ever the charmer, say bite me.

In the last decade older people have increased their use of walking aids--canes, wheelchairs, scooters, walkers--by 50%.

Some previous research seemed to show that there was a correlation between use of these devices and falling. Falling is the leading cause of death among adults 65 or older!

They looked into this at the Univ of Vermont and published findings in the J of Am Geriatrics Soc.

No link.

Why do older people still rely on these devices--that is another question. The Univ of Vermont people think it's because of increased acceptance and people living longer. Or maybe more senility or obesity leading to more falling.

More than nine percent of the aged population also rely on more than one device. More than 16% of seniors use a cane, 11.% use walkers, 6.1% use wheelchairs, and 2.3% rely on scooters.

Still, exercise and mobility are key to not falling. Cane users, in particular, still have a great fear of falling.

The upshot? For now, I like my walls. I am deathly afraid of breaking something--I am tentative, gingerly.  And I try to be ever-vigilant. I even say out loud, "Mindful, mindful" when getting out of the shower.

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