In 2006, we met a gentlemen who had spent 40 years of his career as a Radiologist. He was a brilliant man, prolifically intelligent and thoughtful. His body had begun to fail him and as a back injury that never properly healed manifested, he became a FALL RISK.
These thoughts were in his mind with every breath: “Don’t Fall. Don’t Fall. Don’t Fall.”
He was a health nut his whole life. A cyclist, he had long been involved in TOSRV, a serious cyclist’s opportunity to cross an expanse of Ohio’s prettiest roadways amongst thousands of other riders, most of whom would log over 60 miles in a day. He was proud of his health and determined to live to eclipse his own Father, who had lived 2 years beyond 100 years old.
It was in fact this determination that culminated his fears of falling. “Fall and I lose everything” he would often say. While he had lost much of his mobility in his lower extremities, he could be seen several times a day using his Physical Therapy bands to engage his core and strengthen his upper body. His belief was that if he could increase his stamina and energy by as little as 1%, he could avoid ONE fall.
Fears often manifest and become realized. Fears also have the ability to incapacitate us. This gentlemen was obsessed with not falling. Instead of embracing the idea that he would and could recover, he was paralyzed by the very idea of a fall.
We simply can’t avoid all the dangers. We can make them worse however when we obsess about them constantly. It takes an incredibly strong person to admit that he will eventually stumble and fall from time to time. The fear was indeed crippling for this client and prevented him from advance therapies in which he was convinced would expedite his demise.
Here’s one thing we have always advised our clients: “Use it or Lose it!” We can’t let the fear of falling rule out an enriched life. While this gentlemen had extraordinary fears that he obsessed over, he was in fact missing opportunities that he deemed too risky..even in nice weather.
Here’s a secret. The clients who we have come to know who have achieved great health in advanced age? They were NOT worry minded. They embraced opportunities. They continued their social engagements, even in snowy weather and icy conditions. Living in fear is hardly living at all! The clients that do best have worked hard to embrace the reality of their limitations. Want to live to 100? Be like the centurions. Go do church, go to your appointments, challenge yourself with new hobbies. Embrace your grandchildren and all that they are involved with. Write. Read. Love. Eat red meat (if you already do). Stay in your lane. Eat the foods that work for you. Follow your passions, not your fears.
Stay tuned for our next blog, “Secrets of the Centurions” to learn more.
If someone you love is experiencing difficulties in their recovery, rehab, or with remaining independent, call us! We can help!
Ben Smith is the Founder, President and Chief Caregiver in Charge of Always There Home Care. Our ongoing mission is providing special assistance to our favorite members of the population, our treasured seniors.
We are delighted to make a daily difference in the lives of our beloved clients and we have built an amazing team of caregivers so that we can be available 24-Hours a day, 365 days a year.
Call us today on our 24-Hour Home Care Hotline (614) HOME-CARE 466-3227 to discuss how we may help your loved one and to arrange a FREE in-home care assessment.