Susan Diamond is counselor-educator-writer with a Masters degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. Her career as a school counselor has been at one of the top public high schools in the country. She was a child of parents who aged well until they died in their late 80's and mid-90's and is a daughter-in-law (her only "daughter") of her husband's inspirational mother, R, who has just made a complete recovery from broken hip surgery at age 97.Help! Aging Parents. It combines her more recent experiences involving her parents and R, with experiences involving families from her first book, Helping Children of Divorce, published in the mid-80's by Schocken Books.
R's wisdom and experience have enhanced Susan's blog,
The new AGS/BGS Guidelines should lessen falls among the elderly. Yet they wouldn’t have prevented my husband’s “with-it,” “amazing” (so everyone says) 97-year-old mother, R, from falling and breaking her hip five months ago.
When R fell, her health was very good (no heart problems, no high blood pressure, etc.). She ate well, took calcium citrate+D, and exercised and walked daily on a non-electric 1960’s treadmill, powered by her feet.
Practicing tai chi, which is now recommended in the guidelines and has been confirmed in countless reputable studies to improve balance and help prevent falls, may have prevented R’s fall.
I attended a tai chi class at our local senior center several years ago. Coincidently, the abrupt twist that caused R’s fall was one focus of that class – practicing a gentle turn of legs and body, as opposed to twisting part of the body, which disturbs balance. Isn’t that what we instinctively do, for instance, when a phone or doorbell rings unexpectedly?