Feb 22

Was it a rock in the road or a push from an angry guard? Either way, Jesus found himself in the jolt of panic that takes hold when you lose control and gravity takes over. The impact with the earth slammed the breath from his lungs and ravaged his knees. A second later the weight of the cross fell onto his already bruised and battered body. For a moment, he lay there struggling for breath, the weight of the world on his back, realizing his world was changed forever. Whatever he would choose, he had no choice. He must get up and move on. For the sake of love, he does.

Falls affect us all, they’re the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65+. One in four older Americans falls every year, resulting in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. While not all falls cause major injury, they can cause an older adult to become fearful or depressed, making it difficult for them to stay active.

The good news is many falls can be prevented! Most falls are caused by a combination of reasons. Here are some common things to watch for:

  • Have you fallen before? Do you have problems of balance, coordination, flexibility, or bouts of dizziness? Take note of when, where and how you fell.
  • What medications do you take? Make a list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, and bring this to healthcare appointments. Be aware of those medications that could affect your blood pressure, cause dizziness or lightheadedness, drowsiness or vision changes.
  • Could your health conditions cause a fall? Do you have eye or ear conditions that could increase your fall risk? Do you have conditions that affect your muscle or joint strength, gait, or balance? Do you have shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness or tingling of your legs, or pain when walking or moving about?

Consider sharing this information with your healthcare provider to help develop a fall prevention plan.

Here are some tips to help prevent falls:

  • Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower. Use a bath seat. Install grab bars in the tub/shower and near the toilet.
  • Keep walkways clear of things you could trip over: boxes, cords, plants/plant stands, tables.
  • Remove loose rugs from your home. Repair loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting right away.
  • Increase lighting throughout the house, especially at the top and bottom of stairs. Keep flashlights handy.
  • Make sure there are two secure rails on all stairs.
  • Have your vision/eyeglasses checked each year.
  • Wear properly fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles. Sensible shoes may also reduce joint pain.
  • Participate in an appropriate exercise plan.

To see what classes are available near you or to learn more, visit https://yourjuniper.org/Classes/Search.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for fully understanding these moments in my life when I have lost control and my world shifts forever. Be my breath when I cannot breathe. Out of love and with you by my side, I pick up my cross and move on. 

Elizabeth (Betsy) Clark is a Faith Community Nurse at the Church of Saint Andrew in Elk River, MN since August 2017. She earned her BSN from Iowa Wesleyan College and a Master’s Degree and DNP from the University of Minnesota. Betsy worked extensively in critical care as a staff nurse and advanced practice nurse before becoming a nurse educator. She has also worked in care transitions and care coordination. Betsy has been married to husband Bill for 20 years; they have a 19-year-old son, Brenton. “Faith Community Nursing allows, or sometimes challenges, me to use everything I have learned throughout my nursing career. There are so many opportunities to serve our communities and their varied populations, meeting spiritual, physical and behavioral health needs.”

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