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Falls are a fact of life at all ages, but they definitely occur more often as we get older. As a member of the Sandwich Generation caring for elderly parents and helping with grandchildren, it’s a subject I’m very familiar with. One of my older loved ones has fallen several times, but never seriously. I, on the other hand, am fairly limber for a 50+ never-admit-I’m-aging member of the Baby Boomers Generation, yet I managed to incur a severe broken left ankle playing with little ones. No matter the age, even if it’s an elderly fall, if a break or other serious injury does accompany the fall, I learned a couple of handy tips I thought I’d pass on to you.
1. Walking with crutches can be incredibly painful for your hands. Within a day or so of walking with them, I felt such a deep pain in them I wanted to cry, even though I was taking Vicodin! If you will be on crutches for any length of time, I would recommend that you purchase a set of bike gloves. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it will make. I had a daughter pick up two different pairs to make sure I got one set that would work. One came from the sporting goods store, REI. The second from Walmart. Both sets worked just fine. Next time, I’d just get them directly from Amazon, using my wonderful Amazon Prime Discount Membership! When I went to check to make sure they still carried them, I discovered they have added some Gel Cycling Gloves. If I had to go on crutches again, I would try them first!
2. Your underarms can also get quite sore. Sheepskin Crutch Covers that fit over both the top of the crutch and the handle section of the crutch make crutches much more comfortable. I used both along with the bike gloves and it made such a great difference. You can also purchase Gel Pad Crutch Covers. I never tried those, but saw excellent recommendations for them. The gel sets appear to be much pricier than the sheepskin. By the time I finished with my sheepskin set several weeks later, it was looking pretty sad. If I were to do it again for the same amount of time, I would probably stick with sheepskin. If I were to need it for several months, I think I’d take a look at the gel. They might hold up better.
Either way, you’ll definitely appreciate them! 🙂
3. I kept several water bottles by my bed at all times, along with some snacks. That way I could help myself without having to make too much extra work for the rest of my family.
4. Laptop computers are total blessings along with TV remotes. Be careful, though, not to accidentally cover your laptop with a blanket while the laptop is on. I did that one night and fried mine! Since I couldn’t go without it, I was forced to deal with shopping for a new one with a severe broken left ankle and lots of Vicodin! Not fun! Amazon can be a big help there, though, as well in picking out the best laptop computers for the money 🙂 And yes, I definitely consider the MacBook Pro one of the very best laptop computers – for the Sandwich Generation and everyone else! (Shhhh – don’t tell my cuz! 🙂 )
5. Regardless of whether the fall caused a broken leg, or another problem, I would suggest you pop in for a cyber visit to My Broken Leg. This site was created by a young man who broke his tibia and fibula in 1995. I found lots of tips, tricks, and sympathy from others going through a similar situation to mine. I’m sure I experienced a bit of the whole “misery loves company” aspect but mostly I appreciated the advice, the ideas, and the understanding. My family was very supportive but the people on this website were experiencing the same pain as I was, understood my concerns about medicines, and were very helpful in a variety of ways.
6. When I was released from bedrest and could start going out and about again, I learned to use those electric powered medical mobility scooters which are available at many grocery stores, along with Target and Walmart. I was so grateful for them! I learned they are NOT easy to maneuver. I also learned that many of the stores were wonderful about allowing you to drive them all the way out to the car with your purchases, accompanied by a wonderful staff person who would return it for me. It definitely pays to ask about that.
Well, those are my six best tips. How about you? What are your best tips for dealing with a prolonged stay in bed due to a fall? I’d love to see tips for all ages – from grandkids on up to grandparents. Each age has different needs and solutions. (When our beloved elderly fall, it can have even harsher consequences!) We’d love to hear from you.