Caregivers Fall Too: A Reminder on National Fall Prevention Awareness Day

 

All of a sudden, I started falling down a lot.

I’d trip myself up on the street or lose my balance on the step stool doing chores around the house. I cracked two ribs on the edge of Steve’s desk, when I slipped on the carpet in my bare feet. I hit my head when I lost my balance clearing out Steve’s closet. Rude awakening! NATIONAL FALL AWARENESS DAY - Caregivers fall too!

I was alone and had become a cliché: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

I’m not old, I protested to myself. But it was happening way too often. ‘What happens if I break something and can’t get to a phone? Someone will discover my body eventually,’ I thought. So…I made a decision to take care of myself in a way that labeled me as “senior” in my mind. Setting vanity aside, I asked Jonah to do some research on medical alert systems and I am now the proud owner of a wristband, a lanyard and a compact portable GPS device to make me feel safe and sound when no one is around, no matter where I go.

Falling is embarrassing.

I find myself protesting to people on the street who want to help me when I’ve hit the dirt—“No, no…I’m okay. I got it. Thanks anyway.” But there’s no shame in it—just become more aware of what you’re doing that might put you in jeopardy. Be a little more cautious. Get a safety railing in your shower. As caregivers, we rush through everything and look for shortcuts. It only takes a little more time to watch what you’re doing.

Fall prevention– just another piece of self-care.

“An ounce of (fall) prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin (parenthetical addition is ours!)

Written by Adrienne Gruberg
Adrienne Gruberg is a former family caregiver and founder of The Caregiver Space. After six years of caring for her late husband and mother-in-law she conceived of an online support space all caregivers could come to. Adrienne holds a BFA from Boston University. She founded AYA Creative in 1982, an award winning graphic design, marketing and advertising company. Her design training has helped shape the website and her personal and professional experience continues to inform and influence the caregiver centric support experience she has created at The Caregiver Space.

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