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The Stubborn Old Goat’s Going to Hurt Himself
Thursday, June 02, 2005
My father is very independent and insists on taking the train everywhere he goes in the city. The other day he must have fallen badly, as he was limping and bruised when I came over. I’m worried that he might have an even worse fall, but his pride won’t let him be driven or take taxis. Do you have any suggestions?
your predicament. Like many older gentlemen (and ladies), your father
is not willing to stop doing what he has always done and believes
himself able to do despite mounting evidence to the contrary. By giving
up the freedom and independence of getting himself from A to B
independently, your father would be giving up some of his pride, but
that may be less costly than giving up his good health due to a nasty
fall. I’ve ridden the LRT and know that it doesn’t always stop
gradually when it rolls into a station!
There really isn’t a way
to tackle this problem except head-on. Don’t be confrontational,
because the hackles are already raised. Bring up the fall that your
father had and make sure that he understands that as he continues to
use public transit, he is more and more likely to have a serious fall.
For seniors, this can mean a broken hip, which is a serious matter for
Suggest that he plan his outings, and offer to
accompany him or have a neighbour or relative tag along. If this smacks
too much of babysitting, insist that he take a taxi or call for a
drive. Explain that although it might put a cap on his independence,
that is a small sacrifice to make for his own well-being and the peace
of mind of all those who care about him.
You also might want to consider home care options. Try a search at thecareguide.com
for Home Care Services or call 1-800-975-9736 for a copy of the printed
guide, versions of which are available for GTA, Southern Ontario,
Northern Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta.