Recently I learned about an 81 year-old woman who had a fall. No she did not miss a step, trip on a throw rug or tangle her feet in a toy her grandchild left on the floor … it was leg weakness, she collapsed like a pool of humanity on her living room floor. It took a while for her rescue team to find her, as she wasn’t prepared for a crisis and during that time, while lying on the floor, she was seething with embarrassment, frustration, anger and not knowing how to correct the situation. All she wanted was to not be scolded, find out if she broke any bones and get on with life as she knew it.
Sage was shocked and sad to hear of the development; the woman always appeared so self-determined and resolute about not falling; the least she expected was leg weakness. Thus began the awakening of needing to do things differently but not knowing what. She had to begin to learn to ask for help when she did not think she needed it. She had to discover the fears that prevented her from asking for help and then learn to adapt to her new reality.
Do you ever feel at risk? Or if you have elder parents, what do they feel they are they are at risk of doing? Over the years, I have found that to reduce the risk of aging with a disability, you have to empower yourself; it is a ‘best kept secret’. It’s the way we tend to end up with a crisis. So let’s stop keeping it a secret and learn to set goals so you chose to do what you want AND do what you need all in the same activity. Sound simple? If yes, then why do we not do it more often?
Here are a few questions which are worth spending thinking about. Can you think of what you want to do differently based on your goals? Any chance you would chose to be more responsible for yourself? Any chance you could increase your strength, whether in your legs or your breathing? After all, who knows better about what you need than you! By starting with thinking about what is not working well for you, then asking yourself questions how it needs to change, then you can start stating your goals. Next, list the help you need to address your goals. This makes it easier to ask for help and seek support when you know exactly what you need. One small step after another and you will find you are making changes for yourself and feeling empowered and more confident.
FOLLOW THROUGH RESOURCES:
BenefitsCheckup.org provides better way to find benefits in your community.
SCFYMCA.org your local YMCA has many programs to help you maintain mobility
womendrivingwomen.org provides transportation by women and for women in Sonoma County.