It was one of those moments that you realize that in the blink of an eye, life can change. I was going into a nursing home on Friday with my arms laden with the holiday packages donated for me to take to the elderly in the assisted living facility.
My pocketbook was dangling over my arm. It was raining and the ground was slippery but I didn’t know that until I fell to the ground and half-slipped under my car. My initial feeling was how I am going to get up and my next thought was did anyone see me fall? Is anybody going to come out to help me?
I looked around and could see lots of windows in the nursing home but no one was looking out and no one came rushing out to help.
Thank goodness, I got up and got myself together…..at least on the inside. I looked down and my foot and knee were bleeding. My long velvet skirt had buttons that went down the front….a few of the buttons had popped off. And I had excruciating pain in my ribs. I must have fallen flat and somehow twisted on the way down.
Now, two days later, I am still taking Advil for the pain and keeping a heating pad on my chest. The lesson to me is clear: We are just one fall away from being like the people in the senior living communities who have broken bones in a fall.
My Aunt Mary fell in her apartment about a decade ago. She laid on the floor for two days until someone in the family went over to check on her. She could not reach her phone and no one heard her calls for help. So there she was unable to get up….no food, no medicine, no bathroom, no blanket, no pillow…and it was January in Pennsylvania. Very, very cold for a ninety-year old sweet auntie.
My friend’s mother fell while she was in the bathtub. No one knew she had fallen until two days later. Just picture that – cold water, cold porcelain tub, no clothes on because you were taking a bath…..wondering if or when someone will come to check on you.
And as I recover from my recent fall, I am fortunate to have my mother bring me tea, and check on my hot compresses. My son helped me walk up the stairs. And his sweet voice said, “Mom, if you need anything, let me know.”
I am only 61-years-old. I have family living with me. What if we all looked around our neighborhood? Is there someone who needs our help?