Today I want to talk, actually brag, about my wife! Over the last two months she has intentionally lost 20 pounds; her goal is 25 pounds and I’m 100% sure she’ll make it because I’ve watched her make an incredible transformation, not only physically but emotionally as well. She looks like, and moves as gracefully as the teen she was when I met her back in 1968. She was eighteen then and we married a year and a half later when she was twenty. There, I didn’t tell you her age but I’m sure you can do the math.
Why did she do it? What was her “Tipping Point”? There were two reasons she decided to discipline herself to get back down to her optimal weight. One reason was the typical appearance/clothes don’t fit/vanity scenario. But her real tipping point was her “Tripping point”.
Let me explain. Over the last several months my wife has had more than her share of falls. None real serious except the last one where she hurt her knee, arm, jammed a finger and chipped a tooth (I can hardly see it but she sees it every time she looks in the mirror). That was it! She decided right then and there to lose the extra weight that was compromising her balance and causing several other unwanted health issues including chronic acid reflux (already totally gone), and pre diabetes. Also, in the back of her mind, was the fall she took coming out of the mall a few years ago that redefined “Shop ’til you drop”; she was loaded down with packages , tripped over a curb and broke both her ankles in one fall! We both vividly remember what that healing process entailed.
From the CDC (Center for Disease Control), here are some of the statistics Bess was trying to avoid:
One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion annually. Hospital costs account for two-thirds of the total.
Those are ominous statistics and they’re getting worse. I’m so proud of my wife for what she has done not only for herself but also for our family to insure our grandchildren will have a healthy nanny for years to come. Of course her husband is a beneficiary too in more ways than I’m willing to share in this column!
What’s your tipping point?
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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