Life Care partners with library to teach about fall prevention, safety

For most people, a simple fall may result in a bruise or a mild ache for a while. For many senior citizens, however, a simple fall can change everything.

Bottney Wilson of Life Care Center of Elizabethton came to the Courtyard on 710 East 2nd Street Friday afternoon, not just to talk about the seriousness of falling, but how to reduce the frequency and severity of such potential accidents.

For those who might say such a thing is not that serious, Adult Services Coordinator of the library Maryann Owen said a single fall for older people can change their lives, if they survive it.

“There is a large number of [older] people who fall every year,” Owen said.

A fall, she said, can be serious, because a weaker bone structure means a greater susceptibility to injuries such as broken bones or worse, which can land them in expensive hospital visits.

“Two of the ladies at the tables said they keep falling, and they said it needs to stop,” she said. “It must be scary.”

Wilson said teaching effective ways of reducing the frequency of falls makes her job easier, as well as improve the livelihoods of her patients.

“I would rather keep you here than the hospital,” Wilson said.

Points of conversation included making sure people take their medications on a regular basis, as well as making regular physical check-ups.

“Do not be afraid of talking to your physician,” Wilson said. “No one is going to take care of you. You have to do it yourself.”

In addition, she said deficiencies such as in Vitamin D can cause instability, which can often lead to such falls, making discussion about vitamin supplements with physicians even more important.

For Owen, she said the event opens up possibilities of future collaborations with Life Care in the future. Already, she said they will be partnering again later in the fall.

“This is quite a success,” Owen said. “They are wanting to work with us to serve the public.”

For those who missed the informational event, Owen said to contact either Life Care at 423-542-4133 or the library at 423-547-6360. Owen said she would be more than willing to organize another event like this in the future for those who missed this one.

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