Yesterday morning I was taking a load of clothes out of the dryer downstairs and my nine year old leaned over the rail to inform me that he’d just learned something interesting. He said ” Mom, when you turn 60, your chances of falling are 1 in 3.” Who says TV never teaches you anything important? I told him that I didn’t know the chances of falling at my current age but that I’d just fallen down a few days ago when I tripped on my tail.
Let me explain
One day late last year I was watching a TV show with my boys when a commercial came on for a Hoodie Footie. It’s a full body pajama that they said would keep you warm and cozy. Since I’m always cold I jokingly said that I should buy one. Both of them reacted with horror. They had all kinds of objections prime among them that it was “embarrassing and undignified for a grown woman.”
That was the wrong thing to say and it made me want to wear the thing just for a little dose of parent revenge. I thought of the times they did things I didn’t want them to….like when I told my son he could grow out his hair if he kept it neat, then I showed up at his friend’s house late in the afternoon after an over-nighter and he looked like he’d just stuck his finger in a light socket….or when he wore a ratty t-shirt under his collared shirt on picture day and took the nice shirt off before his photograph was taken…or the time my older boy was expressly forbidden to dance in the end zone and then I caught him doing a little gyration after a touchdown.
Hmmmm….suddenly I HAD to have a Hoodie Footie. It was my duty as a good parent to not only have one, but to make it clear that I would wear it whenever I wanted to…which just might be when their friends were over.
That’s how I ended up with my Cheetah Hoodie Footie and that’s how while picking up clothes from the floor, I stepped on my own tail and managed pull myself over. I got a good laugh out of it but was glad there wasn’t anyone else there to witness my very graceful tumble.
On a more serious note, It’s well-known that as we age a declining sense of balance and coordination can make us more prone to falls.
The risk of falling increases with age and is greater for women than for men.
Two-thirds of those who experience a fall will fall again within six months.
A decrease in bone density contributes to falls and resultant injuries.
Failure to exercise regularly results in poor muscle tone, decreased strength, and loss of bone mass and flexibility.
At least one-third of all falls in the elderly involve environmental hazards in the home.
(K.R. Tremblay Jr., Colorado State University Extension housing specialist and professor, design and merchandising; C.E. Barber, former Colorado State University professor, human development and family studies. 5/96. Reviewed 12/05)
The good news is that regular physical activity helps maintain balance and coordination. Working with free weights especially, aids in keeping us strong and aware of where are bodies are in space. Yet another reason to make sure regular exercise is incorporated into our lives…and not that I needed it but now I have even more reason to keep hanging out in the weight room.
P.S. If you’re in the over 60 crowd, it may be best to choose the bunny Hoodie Footie. It has a short fluffy tail that’s impossible to trip over!