First Fire of Fall – Alarming?

First fire of fall ©

Sunday was the first day this fall that I made a fire in the fireplace…..actually the wood stove insert in the fireplace. Sure glad that Ben Franklin invented these wonderful devices that give off so much more heat with much less wood, especially since I’m the one who cuts, splits, and stacks the firewood at our place. I’m not complaining mind you. I actually enjoy it and count it a blessing to still be healthy enough to do it.

There is something almost magical about that first fire of fall and I like to use it as a reminder to set aside one column of the year to talk about Fall Prevention. As if the first fire of fall weren’t enough, this year I had another unwelcome reminder… “almost fall” of my own.

I was in the shower the other day when all of a sudden one foot went out from under me and I had to do a very quick shower dance to recover my balance to keep from falling; it was a stark reminder to me of what I’ve been preaching these several years of being in the senior business: That the bath room is the most dangerous room in most homes! And this was no ordinary shower. It was a senior friendly, walk-in shower with a large grab bar but it would have hurt just as much if I hadn’t been able to catch my balance and prevent a full fall. It was a real wakeup call!

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • One-fourth of Americans aged 65+ falls each year.

  • Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.

  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.

  • Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.

  • In 2013, the total cost of fall injuries was $34 billion.

  • The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020

But all these numbers are just that, numbers, until they happen to us personally or to a loved one, especially a loved one that we have to provide cars for. That is when these statistics become a stark reality for us.

So what can we do? The old adage of “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is really true when it comes to fall prevention. So much so in fact that Visiting Angels ® has prepared a special free brochure on how to minimize falls for seniors in their own homes. Along with this free brochure, a free in-home inspection is also offered to help keep your senior from a potentially life destroying fall. You can get the brochure by calling 478 971 1606 for the brochure or a free home inspection.

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!

PS….. Hope your fireplace provides you with lots of warmth this fall too!

Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

Photo courtesy of

#fallprevention #firewood #seniorsafety #visitingangelsofcentralga #homecare #seniorhomecare #neveralone #planandprevent #visitingangels #billmilby #allaboutseniors

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