A Tiny Stumble, a Life Upended

Katherine Streeter | The New York Times

After a fall, life is upended in an instant — a sudden loss of independence, an awkward reliance on family and friends, and a new level of fear for those who fall, and their contemporaries. (Art:  Katherine Streeter for The New York Times)

AFTER THE FALL: Second of two articles
By Katie Hafner
The New York Times—November 3, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — Joan Rees, 79, had hardly been ill a day in her life. Her biggest problem was arthritis, mostly in her knees, but at home in San Francisco she walked every day and she traveled frequently.

At dusk last November in Istanbul, on the final day of a cruise, she missed a step and lost her footing. When she couldn’t stand up, she knew something was terribly wrong.

In that trivial act of misplacing her foot and falling, she had fractured her pelvis in multiple places. “It was a complete shock,” she said, “that I did something so destructive to my body.”

Her life would change with cruel, unanticipated swiftness.

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Read Part 1 (“Bracing for the Falls of an Aging Nation”)

By Katie Hafner
The New York Times—November 3, 2014

Older Americans, Falling MorePreventing a fall, and the resulting injuries, isn’t simply a matter of being more careful. Indeed, experts who have studied falls wish that people would take measures to protect themselves much as they do against heart disease or viral infections.

Judy A. Stevens, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stressed the importance of exercise. Among those who do fall, she said, “if you’re in better physical condition, you’re less likely to be injured.”

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One thought on “A Tiny Stumble, a Life Upended

  1. Comment from Donna Yancey via our PNA Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PNAVillage?ref=hl

    The related article, Steps to Avoid an Accident is very good. It references Tai Chi as big help with balance. Karin Collins teaches great Tai Chi class at Greenwood Senior Center on 85th. Great class with awesome active seniors and near seniors or those just wanting to practice Tai Chi! As someone who has had similar experience to woman described in second article, I can testify for how helpful Tai Chi,and my exercise class else where, have been to getting my strength and spirit back!

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