The people's voice of reason

Falls Plague Seniors

On June 23, residents at Elmcroft at Halcyon, one of Montgomery's assisted living facilities, learned that one out of three senior citizens falls each year. A troublesome fact that, but one that may be greater than what is on the books. Many seniors who experience falls tend not to bother their family physician, for one reason or another.

This, and other facts relative to falling, were shared with the residents by Delane Richardson, one of the Central Alabama Aging Consortium's team of experts on problems that confront our growing population of older Americans.

Consider that 20 percent of the falls that occur each year involve a serious injury, such as a broken bone or head injuries.

Every year 2.5 million people are treated in the nation's emergency rooms for injuries related to falling. And, what makes this information even more troublesome is that the reported number of falls that occur each year is considerably less than are reported. Older people often are reluctant to report a fall because of its negative indications.

Hip fractures is one of the more common results of falling, along with head injuries and broken bones, reported Ms. Richardson.

She went on to note that living in a facility such as Elmcroft places residents in direct and constant with healthcare professionals who provide immediate attention to falls and their unfortunate result. The importance of this fact are the related facts that there are usually companion injuries involved such as hip fractures and brain injuries.

As part of her presentation Ms. Richardson emphasized the fact that most of these injuries involve multiple

injuries, and a goodly number could have been prevented.

She emphasized the dangers of various household items that we take for granted, such as those related to rugs and furniture—common household items we've learned to take for granted.

The bathroom is another danger zone, she reported, and the danger often is related to or accompanied by another household item.

Ms. Richardson stressed the importance of seeking professional help should a senior be a fall victim, and to be wary of furniture we've come to, over the years, take for granted.

Ms. Richardson's presentation kicked off a monthly serious of programs designed by Elmcroft management to educate seniors on a variety of subjects, and to help them to deal with them should they become involved.

Millions of seniors are injured by falls in their homes, Each year an estimated 250,000 old people are hospitalized for hip fractures—most of them the result of falls in the household, which also includes brain injuries and broken bones.

She emphasized the need for caution, since many of the contributing factors are things we've come to, over the years, take for granted. As to some of the tips she talked about they are available for the asking. Drop by Elmcroft, at 1775 Halcyon Blvd. and ask for: “Fall Prevention Tips,” it's free and informative.


The Saga of the Snark (An evening of fine dining at “the old folks home”)

Whenever a person moves to a new living environment there are certain idiosyncracies that present themselves; one of them is a change in ones environment that sometimes comes as quite a surprise. Such as one that presented itself recently to a new resident At Elmcroft of Halcyon assisted living facility in Montgomery.

It was time for the evening meal, and an unsuspecting diner made his way to a table occupied by three pleasant older ladies, who were obviously regulars there.

They graciously consented to the new resident's petition to seat himself at their table, and then the following experience ensued:

As it became time for the dinner meal to be presented, the servers moved from table to table advising the senior diners what the evening's offerings were.

This scenario took place before the surprised eyes of the new resident:

The server arrived at the table after the salads had been served and consumed and it was time to get serious.

The server recited the evening's offering: “Today we have roast pork, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables as the first choice, or a hamburger patty and French fries, as the alternate.”

At this announcement three trembling voices could be heard in unison asking: “What?”

The server repeated the day’s offerings.

Whereupon resident one, who was deaf as a post but won’t wear a hearing aid, responded in a loud voice: “Broafed snark? What’s a broafed snark?

Ever so patiently the server responded: “No ma’am. That’s roast pork.”

“Roast pork? What about roast pork?”

“That’s the main course, ma’am”

“Roast pork? Why didn’t you say so? What comes with it?”

“Mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, ma’am.”

“Mashed potatoes? Why mashed potatoes? Can’t I have French fries?”

“Yes ma’am. You can have French fries if you like. Do you also want the mixed vegetables?

“What’s in the mixed vegetables?”

“Corn, peas, and Lima beans, ma’am.”

“Lima beans? Don’t want no Lima beans.”

“But they’re part of the dish. They’re all mixed together.”

“Don’t want no Lima beans, but bring them anyway.”

The other resident at the table allowed that she’d have the roast beef. To which the server replied: “We don’t have roast beef today.”

“Well, what do you have?”

“We have roast pork, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables as the first choice, or a hamburger patty and French fries, as the alternate.”

“What about the broafed snark?” she demanded.

“We don’t have anything called broafed snark. You’re thinking about roast pork.”

I don’t eat pork. Why can’t I have the snark?”

“There isn’t anything called snark.”

“But you told her that’s what you have.”

“No, I said roast pork.”

“But I don’t want roast pork you silly girl. Don’t you listen? What else do you have?”

“We have a hamburger patty and French fries.”

“Can I have mashed potatoes instead of French fries?”

“Yes you can. Is there anything else?”

“What else do you have?”


“Then I don’t want anything else.”

And a similar scenario took place with the third diner.

A few minutes later the server appeared with the meals, as ordered.

Whereupon the first resident barked: “What’s this? I didn’t order this.”

“But, ma’am, that’s what you ordered.”

“No I didn’t. I wanted the hamburger steak,” the resident responded in an irritated voice.

The server returned the unwanted meal to the kitchen and returned with the alternate.

Why are you bringing me this? I didn’t order a hamburger steak. I wanted the snark! But since that’s all you have I guess I’ll have to eat it. I really wanted the broafed snark.”

“That’s what I wanted, too,” responded the second lady.

“But there isn’t anything called broafed snark.”

“Well then why do you offer it?”

“Good grief. I guess we’ll have to just make do with what we have, but I was looking forward to the snark.”

And a similar scenario took place with the third diner.

After the main course was completed the desert cart arrived and the main option was chocolate ice cream.

"How come we have chocolate? Why don’t we ever have vanilla?”

“We had vanilla yesterday, ma’am.”

“I’d rather have vanilla.”

But we don’t have vanilla tonight.”............


Significant Births in July

This month we celebrate the birth of our nation. It was also the month in which many significant births occurred, starting on the much celebrated birth-date of our nation, the 4th, and including that of novelist and short-story writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, in 1804.

Songwriter Stephen Foster was also born on the 4th, in 1826.

On this date in 1872, “Silent Cal,” Calvin Coolidge, was born.

On the 5th, Civil War Admiral David Farragut, was born. He was the American hero who also gave us the phrase: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

Also on this day in 1810, Circus showman P.T. Barnum, was born in Connecticut, and on this day in 1853, the South African millionaire Cecil Rhodes was born.

On the following date in 1885, during the Revolutionary War, John Paul Jones declared that he had “not yet begun to fight.”

Baseball pitcher Leroy (Satchel) Paige was born in Mobile, AL on the 7th, and on the 8th Nelson Rockefeller was born.

The stork was busy on the 10th, with Theologian John Calvin, the founder of Presbyterianism, in 1509; Artist James Whistler, in 1834; Pottery designer Josiah Wedgwood, and in 1817, pottery designed Josiah Wedgwood, inn 1730, and Philosopher Henry David Thoreau, also on this date.

Jump ahead to the 14th, and we have Woody Guthrie, in 1912, Gerald R. Ford, in 1913; Rembrandt in 1606; and the first American saint, Frances Xavier Cabrini, but he was born in Lombardy, Italy.

Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy, was born the 16th of July in 1821, and on that same date in 1872, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, was born near Oslo.

On July 18, Nelson Mandella, was born in South Africa.

The following date, in 1834, French impressionist Painter Edgar Degas, was born in Paris.

Jump ahead to the 20th, 1899, and American writer Ernest Hemmingway, was born in Oak Park, Ill.

The man who gave us: “The medium is the message,” Marshall McLuhan, was born on the 20th in 1911.

On the 24th, Alexander Dumas was born in 1802 in France. Among other things, he gave us The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. And on the same day, 96 years later, American pilot Amelia Earhart was born.

And, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was born on July 26, 1856.

In 1929, Jackie Kennedy was born on July 28, 1929.

Automotive pioneer Henry Ford was born in Michigan on July 30, 1863. In addition to inventing the assembly line to manufacture his cars, he also introduced the $5 a day wage. Automobile workers now want three times that much for an hour's labor.

And let us not forget that on July 3, 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army, and a year and a day later the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, and that's where it all started.


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