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It Can Happen to You: Falls Among the Elderly

It Can Happen to You: Falls Among the Elderly

Home > Blog > It Can Happen to You: Falls Among the Elderly

On Mother’s Day, May 12, the Becker family gathered to celebrate. But little did they know that five days later they would be using checklists to help manage Saul Becker’s care.

Upon sunrise on May 17, Saul, who turned 86 that same week, got out of bed and fell to the floor. His wife of 64 years, Sylvia, came to his side quickly. They managed to get him into bed, realizing quickly the full impact of Saul’s fall. Sylvia called her daughter Sue and grandson Ben who came over in minutes and help get Saul to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Having a fall is a scary thing. Not knowing if you are going to recover from it and be able to take care of the day-to-day things is even scarier. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year.

In Saul’s case, he had shattered his hip, cracked his femur and needed major surgery but the good news was that he would be well cared for thanks to daughters Sue and Katie who arranged for everything to see that his every need was met.

And fortunately for him, after surgery, Saul went to recover at the Aviv Rehabilitation Center at The William Breman Jewish Home, a Jewish Home Life Community. Saul shared, “Aviv Rehabilitation is outstanding. The therapists pushed me hard to achieve my goals. They worked the heck out of me and because of that program, I was able to regain my strength and come home.” Sylvia stated, “I felt so lucky that Saul was there. Everyone was so kind and helpful and the staff had a sixth sense about how to care for all of us as a family.  Saul enjoyed many of the Jewish programs available at The Home. From Shabbat Services Saturday morning to the aroma of challah baking on Friday afternoon….”just like Momma’s”

Sylvia added, “To further Saul’s return to good health, we utilized The Home’s private home care service, The One Group. With Saul at home he needs help in a different way than before the fall. He needs help with bathing, walking and more. And I can’t help him with everything. If I’m walking alongside Saul and he stumbles, I worry we might both lose our footing. The One Group’s caring professionals provide that extra support that we needed so he could become independent again and continue to have a rewarding life with just a little help.”

It’s good that the Beckers are receiving this extra care because many people who fall develop a fear of falling even if they are not injured. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness and in turn may actually increase their risk of falling. And accidents seldom “just happen,” The National Institute of Health (NIH) notes on its website. Furthermore, NIH recommends everyone, not just elderly, should take care of his or her health by exercising and getting regular physicals. Eliminating hazards that would increase the chance of falls can help too.

Sylvia concluded, “Falling is a danger for all of us at our age.  We have to move carefully, slowly…and those with us just have to be patient. Thankfully with the excellent care from physicians, therapists as well as private care-givers, so perfectly orchestrated by Bebe from The One Group, our family is progressing toward normalcy”.

For more information on falls, and how you can prevent them and reduce chances of breaking a bone, please visit the CDC online at www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/index.html.

See the Mayo Clinic’s website for useful tips at www.mayoclinic.com/health/fall-prevention/HQ00657.

Also, check out the National Institute on Aging’s page on falls and fractures at http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/falls-and-fractures .

What began as The William Breman Jewish Home has expanded and grown over the past 60+ years to become Jewish Home Life Communities, a comprehensive system of lifestyle communities and services that meet the many needs of seniors and their families. Jewish Home Life Communities includes The William Breman Jewish Home, Aviv Rehabilitation Center, The Zaban Tower, The Cohen Home, The One Group, Weinstein Hospice, The Meyer Balser NORC and our newest assisted living community–Berman Commons. From long-term care, independent and assisted living to rehabilitation, home care and hospice, Jewish Home Life Communities provides care and resources for generations. To learn more, please visit www.wbjh.org.