A lot of articles are written about being safe during the Holidays. There is a reason, a lot of accident happen over the holidays. People are out of sorts they are doing things they don’t normally do and in some cases with more food and alcohol in their system.
Over the years of caring for people we haven’t taken care of many people whose injuries resulted from a car or industrial type accident. Falls on the other hand are a significant portion of any agencies client base. Women have their share of falls but most are from slips or trips that tend to break hips. Men are so much more creative that we go right to the term fall because generally there is some risky behavior prior to the man picking himself up from the ground saying “I’m OK. I’ve never heard a women use that phrase but my grandson uses it all the time. It’s like a man’s badge of courage; you did something with a little risk (women often use risk and stupid interchangeably) and it didn’t completely work out; but you survived. Plan B almost always works out because it is simply doing the job without a shortcut.
Women break hips because they land on their behind. Men tend to break skulls, shoulders, arms and legs. Why? Because when we fall it started from a less than desirable position and it is difficult to do a twist, flip, or knock to land behind first.
The holidays include over eating, over imbibing and over working. Plus, because of all we have to do we are out of our routines. Not only so we have to put up decorations but the house must be cleaned inside and out because this is the number one time of the year to host guests. Cleaning flower beds, trimming hedges, power washing the house and driveway are large exhausting tasks. If you cannot spread the task over time consider jobbing the out to a reputable company. Moving furniture to put up the tree and other decorations can be a major task for some. Get help from family and friends; then return the favor. Another solution to avoid hanging lights is to use some of the projection lights that have recently come on the market. Or just lighted ground ornaments like Santa or reindeer. This way everything is from the ground.
A ladder, like a chain saw is very safe when used properly. Use either improperly and all bets are off. A chair is not a one-step ladder; a 20 inch first and only step makes it very difficult to get on and off. Put wheels on the chair and you have a ride any amusement park would be proud of. I personally would be too embarrassed to go to the hospital or tell EMS that I was standing on a chair with wheels just prior to the condition they found me in.
Many times accidents aren’t caused by apparent risky behavior but rather a side effect from another issue. Doing more cleaning or yard work than normal can make you stiff or sore slowing reaction time, drinking more alcohol than normal (not to excess) can affect balance and coordination, eating larger and richer meals than normal tends to make us tired and sleepy. Throw in some medications that state “Do Not Operate Machinery when using this” or a cold or flu that affects the ears and you have the ingredients for a disaster.
Nothing is more important than making it through the Holidays. Do everything in moderation, If you get tired take a break, job to big , get help and if you move the ladder 2 more times than you have too, you will never fall because of an over reach.
Wishing Everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday.
Gailen Spinka has been working with our senior population since purchasing a Comfort Keepers Franchise in 2004. Most opinions are garnered from interactions with clients and their families. Should you like more discussion on the topic please call Gailen at Comfort Keepers 352 726-4547.