Worth having a discussion about senior housing accessibility for two reasons this week.
First is wife Elaine who will have a hip replacement sooner, or later. We went to “hip school” last week (more on this in a minute) and learned a lot about what to avoid.
Second was – when I went to the store on the semi-weekly food run this week – I managed to trip and fall in the parking lot. Yeah – second pretty good fall, too, in as many months. So let’s start there. Ever see – was it Michael Douglas? – in Falling Down?
Winter Ahead, Fall Down
Pull into the pick up slot. Out comes the cart with a couple of weeks worth of food on it. We eat well, so there was a lot to pack in. I generally mask and glove-up and put some of the delicate stuff in the back seat.
This week, the back seat had 3-bottles of champagne on the floor. 18-eggs and some breads on the seat. And a 96-roll equivalent Mega of toilet paper.
But as I brought two gallons of wine over to the car, I didn’t see the long (black) handle on the shopping trolley. Mask…fogged lenses…following?
But, in one of those martial arts moments on the way down (with a gallon jug of wine in each hand) I had one of those great time dilation moments known to martial artists and people in serious accidents.
I remember thinking “…falling…ah yes. With two gallons of wine in glass jugs. Asphalt parking lot? Could be bad. Yes, this could also hurt. Broken glass? Greater risk… How about we go for a right shoulder rolling impact, while crossing the right-side jug of vino to the left, and get hands to decelerate the wine jug impact to just below breaking speed? Shoulder? Ready? Hands… hands???? Pretend this is the end zone play in the Super Bowl… here comes that asphalt…
It was a pretty good hit, and roll, but the hands got the wine-slowing right and neither bottle broke…which was great.
I laid there for a half-second assessing things: Knuckles of left hand? Asphalt rash. Right hand? 3/8th’s inch bleeder on the outside wrist bone bump. Knees? Left was fine…right one? Asphalt burn, sore as hell. Should??? Mobility was good (sort as hell). Other? A few stars from the impact, but you don’t want to lay on a Wal-Mark parking lot too long!
No rips or tears in the clothing….but why a “second fall?” What the hell’s going on, here?
In the car on the way home two potential sources of trouble: One was the two falls had the same pair of shoes: Sketchers, but on nice and snug. Ah…what about the new glasses worn on both occasions?
Got home and put on the old glasses, then the new ones, then back and forth.
That nailed it: The new glasses (almost black frame) kept me from seeing things about 3-feet in front of me. Ah! Now we can fix!
So popped online to the cheapo eyewear site. Looked for reading (and going out) glasses which were (bottom) frameless.
They will be here in a couple of weeks.
Little things – which might not have been noticed when you were young – can bite you on the ass when you get older.
30-years ago, I would have done a great recovery from tripping over a food cart hand down on the ground…same color, or not. The legs were a bit faster then.
But rather than chalk it up to growing clumsiness with 72-in touching range, I went looking for new causes.
And there it was. Higher level of the lower glasses frame equals less seen. Equals more falls. As things sneak in under the see-dar.
Two things happen when you get older: Your eyes change (and your prescription). Many people find (as I have) that contacts mostly suck. Especially when working in the shop or dusty activities like the garden or mowing.
So, in order to reduce the odds of a fall – from simply not seeing what’s in front of you – go with frameless lowers on your glasses. Anything simple like this to tilt the odds in your favor is a good thing.
Grabbing the Shower
No picture, sorry, but there are some projects that are flat-out fun to do.
One reason is they are important and potentially useful. Anther is they look good. Such was the installation in the master bath of a 2 Pack 16 Inch Anti Slip Shower Grab Bar Handle, ZUEXT Chrome Stainless Steel Bathroom Grab Bar, Knurled Bathroom Balance Bar,Safety Hand Rail for $36-bucks.
A couple of other things (while bending the card a bit): Anti-skid memory foam bathroom mats and one for Elaine’s side of the bed.
As long as we’re doing self-care….
Since we’re in cleaning mode, a portion of this week was spent doing the “shop laundry.” When you have a ton of projects going on, you invariably will find the need for lots of wipes.
Paper towels are fine – too expensive, though. And while we are mostly off paper towels – having gone to Z-fold towels like Genuine Joe GJO21100 Multifold Towels, 9.5″ x 9.10″, pack of 16 ($23, Amazon) – in the house, there are still some things in the shop – especially plastic and glass work – where microfibers are the only way to go.
In order to not buy a new 50-pack a month, we set up a small cardboard box. When it gets full, anything that’s been used in the shop gets tosses into its own “special washer load” with about double the usual soap and then double rinsed.
On the way back to the shop, there’s a stop wherever’s convenient (like the chop saw today) which is turned into a sorting station.
(By the way, notice under the saw is a scrap wood catcher and sawdust bin? Measure and get one. Anything for less work.
There are three piles: Still like new, no lint. These come to the office and electronics bench. Middle pile: Still suitable for plastic and glass. Clean shop work. Right pile (kinda tacky, but good for hands.
Idea it that most towels will have four lives: New/clean, recycled through the office, then through the shop, and then on greasy dirty metalwork or insecticides or whatever…from which they are retired.
No laughter about the white cotton gloves with the grippers: Cool in summer sunshine and the diesel comes out of them if you run plenty of soap in the wash.
I try to do this load with Elaine’s a sleep.
Well, more to do with a big week ahead. Have a second cup and take the rest of this half-hour off…
If KC wins today, the market’s done.
Write when you get rich,