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Old 03-24-12, 11:42 AM   #1
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Reducing exposure to non-cycling injuries in your 70's?? 60's??

I have had several friends in their 70's have pretty devastating injuries from falls off of ladders, one killed falling off a roof, etc. These result in replaced hips and other stuff or more permanent damage.

I have purposely attempted to reduce my exposure to these injuries. No climbing on the roof, very careful ladder use, and not too high, etc.

I think our coordination, eyesight and other things don't work quite as well as they used to.

What about you other 70'ers and 60'ers?
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Old 03-24-12, 11:51 AM   #2
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I have led an active life up till now and hopefully that will continue. Ladders do not bother me much as I used to be a rock climber. The rock climbing has gone by the board as I can no longer get my right foot behind my left ear but the height problem is not an issue. May be in the future as mobility decreases but hopefully not this summer as I have the gutters to paint.


However-Heights are not my problem- Walking long distances is. I know that I can walk a mile to the town and back without calling for the sag wagon- so why do I take a 5 mile walk with the family and have to rest up for the rest of the day in agony?
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Old 03-24-12, 09:19 PM   #3
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No ladders.

No heavy lifting.

Watch your step (I've known people getting injured misstepping off curbs and stairs, for goodness sake).

No love triangles.

No bird-flipping at maniac drivers.

Drive the speed limit. I must be the only one in Loovul to do so.

I guess that's it.
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Old 03-24-12, 09:33 PM   #4
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Denver, I wish I could say that I avoid these risks, but I don't. I think there may be a genetic connection. Just this fall I was visiting my 85 year old father, who has had two knee replacements, surgery for spinal stenosis, and recent prostrate surgery. As I pulled into his driveway I saw him up 15 feet on a ladder trimming branches on a tree overhanging his garage roof. I say, "Dad, what at you doing?" He glares at me and says, "So your eyes aren't working today? What the hell does it look like I'm doing." He still lifts as much as he can. He still mows the lawn with an reel mower, not a power mover. He still changes the oil in his car, and last month put a new fender on, because there was lots of rust on the old one. At the same time, he thinks I'm crazy for continuing to ride a bicycle. I don't know. I think that each of us goes through life with different expectations about what constitutes a quality life for us. It's not likely the same for any two people. We each need to figure out the path that works best for us. I've finally made it into the 60 club and have thought about what that means. I'm not sure I have the answer to that yet, but suspect that I figure it out as I go along.
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Old 03-24-12, 11:48 PM   #5
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I suspect many, if not most, of us have no actual sense of what is dangerous and what is not. Many extremely dangerous things we do we don't think are dangerous because we have been desensitized to the risk. For example; driving on a two lane road with oncoming traffic.

Things like ladders, roofs, etc. have never struck me as being particularly dangerous compared to driving, smoking, not exercising, avoiding bad areas of town, etc.

In my personal case I have never been permanently injured by something that would be considered dangerous, like entering a burning building, living in a remote area, etc. However, I have received serious, life changing injury from a mundane task.

All that only to lay the foundation to say: Live. Take care of the biggies like smoking and exercise. Although for me it is impossible, do a person's best not to worry about the rest. Be smart and careful. But you should do that at any age.

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Old 03-25-12, 03:39 AM   #6
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I know that I can walk a mile to the town and back without calling for the sag wagon- so why do I take a 5 mile walk with the family and have to rest up for the rest of the day in agony?
It's withdrawal symptoms, sir. Your body is simply objecting to the fact that you left the bike at home - listen to your body :o)
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Old 03-25-12, 04:59 AM   #7
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I suspect many, if not most, of us have no actual sense of what is dangerous and what is not. Many extremely dangerous things we do we don't think are dangerous because we have been desensitized to the risk. For example; driving on a two lane road with oncoming traffic.

Things like ladders, roofs, etc. have never struck me as being particularly dangerous compared to driving, smoking, not exercising, avoiding bad areas of town, etc.

In my personal case I have never been permanently injured by something that would be considered dangerous, like entering a burning building, living in a remote area, etc. However, I have received serious, life changing injury from a mundane task.

All that only to lay the foundation to say: Live. Take care of the biggies like smoking and exercise. Although for me it is impossible, do a person's best not to worry about the rest. Be smart and careful. But you should do that at any age.
I personally know no one recently who has been seriously injured in a car accident. I personally know several folks who have fallen off of ladders and the like and been seriously injured or killed. My sample is small, but I will go with it.

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Old 03-25-12, 07:00 AM   #8
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I always move cautiously, climb ladders slowly, drive within the speed limit, etc., so turning 60 entailed no lifestyle change. Fortunately, I have a one-story house with a mildly sloping roof.
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Old 03-25-12, 07:45 AM   #9
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It really is a trade-off. Being active involves certain risks as does being inactive. Unpleasant surprises await those of us in our 70s. Such as my fall down stairs in my own home last October. How was I supposed to know that my left leg would suddenly lose all support because of a herniated disc? Those things that can be avoided such as climbing ladders and lifting heavy objects I will avoid. At the same time I know that my recovery was hastened by being in relatively good shape for my age, a result of cycling and walking and keeping busy around the house. The strengthening of muscles and the improvement in reaction time definitely can help avoid a tumble.
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Old 03-25-12, 08:15 AM   #10
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I suspect many, if not most, of us have no actual sense of what is dangerous and what is not.
It's good to know you hold your peers in such high regard Its never dawned on me that I might get hurt whilst driving a car
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Old 03-25-12, 08:23 AM   #11
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I've always heard that "Old So-and-So fell and broke their hip". And the circumstances would be that Old-So-and-So was just walking along and next thing was flat on the ground and didn't know what happened. But I remember reading years ago, speculation that in many of these cases, the person fell because their hip broke, not the other way around, and that was why they didn't know what happened. Anyway, the point is, there's no guarantees. If you get too careful, you'll wind up limiting your activity and reducing fitness, which is counter-productive.

The other day, I did a hard ride, came in and sat down at the computer, then in a bit, the dog needed out, so I hopped up and started down the hall. The next thing I knew, I was wondering how I got on the ground- had gotten up too fast and fainted. Banged my knee, but didn't break anything. Looked it up on the internet and found "This is more common with older people", which wasn't too encouraging. Anyway, the moral from the lesson is you don't need to be on a ladder to hurt yourself. And I'm only 51, for that matter.
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Old 03-25-12, 08:29 AM   #12
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My ancestors have passed on to me a moderately good mind and a fine healthy body. It is evident that I don't heal or recover as well as when a mere lad of 50 or so. This being so, It is necessary to be unusually careful about injuries that may be difficult or impossible to recover from. I ski in winter but keep the speed down to where a possible fall is not a total wreak. Same on the bike. I try to keep the speed where a fall is not likely to be a catastrohpic.
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Old 03-25-12, 11:17 AM   #13
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One of the best things you can do to reduce the chance of injury in the home is to get rid of all the randomly scattered throw rugs that abound in most of our homes. They are (as John-V will probably agree with me about) falls and injuries just waiting to happen. I can't remember how many patients that I had in my career due to people tripping over them. Just leave the one outside the shower and the one inside the front door, ditch the rest. This concludes my rant.
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Old 03-25-12, 11:46 AM   #14
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I have had several friends in their 70's have pretty devastating injuries from falls off of ladders, one killed falling off a roof, etc. These result in replaced hips and other stuff or more permanent damage.

I have purposely attempted to reduce my exposure to these injuries. No climbing on the roof, very careful ladder use, and not too high, etc.

I think our coordination, eyesight and other things don't work quite as well as they used to.

What about you other 70'ers and 60'ers?
IMO the single hardest fact that older people must come to grips with is that they ARE aging and are no longer able to do all the activities they could in younger days.

True independence must be traded in for learning to ask for help ,or adapting to, for activities that once were easy to do with no shame or false pride.
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Old 03-25-12, 12:03 PM   #15
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Self preservation come with age and experience--definitely more careful today than when I was in my 20s when you feel Indestructible.

Very aware of the danger of bicycling and that is why I use bright flashing front and rear lights and of course a helmet!
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Old 03-25-12, 12:58 PM   #16
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What one person thinks of as foolish another thinks of as sane. We are all different and I for one thinks its great. Do what you feel is right for you and don't judge another for what they think. We all need to be happy and whatever that takes is right for you. I had this conversation with one of our 6 children as she was concerned about me taking a fall. I lovingly told her that I appreciated her concern but that I wanted to in the short form, "live" till I died.
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Old 03-25-12, 03:55 PM   #17
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I have a tree to take down in my garden. It's not that high and I doubt that I would be higher than 15ft up a ladder--And definitely not with a chain saw as it is not worth getting it out so Bow saw will do the job. Have a crowd of mates and they will help me when I want to do it- but although I am as agile as they are- I have been told that I will be in the "Supervisory"Role.

Seems that I am no longer trusted to have fun any longer.
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Old 03-25-12, 04:05 PM   #18
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In general, we all become more risk averse as we become older. Those who do not usually suffer some sort of injury. Our core stability and sense of balance in the ear tends to deteriorate somewhat.

There is a reason the majority of fighter pilots are under 40.
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Old 03-25-12, 04:11 PM   #19
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I have had several friends in their 70's have pretty devastating injuries from falls off of ladders, one killed falling off a roof, etc. These result in replaced hips and other stuff or more permanent damage.

I have purposely attempted to reduce my exposure to these injuries. No climbing on the roof, very careful ladder use, and not too high, etc.

I think our coordination, eyesight and other things don't work quite as well as they used to.

What about you other 70'ers and 60'ers?
I know my eyes and balance aren't as good as they used to be and because of that there are things that I don't do anymore. I no longer race cars. I no longer use the MTB to jump over things. Even my RC flying requires extra care. I find that it's worth my time to think one extra time before using power tools like saws. IMHO, it's just a matter of recognizing what things you took for granted for years don't quite work as they used to.
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Old 03-25-12, 04:12 PM   #20
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What one person thinks of as foolish another thinks of as sane. We are all different and I for one thinks its great. Do what you feel is right for you and don't judge another for what they think. We all need to be happy and whatever that takes is right for you. I had this conversation with one of our 6 children as she was concerned about me taking a fall. I lovingly told her that I appreciated her concern but that I wanted to in the short form, "live" till I died.
I don't see it as a matter of foolish or sane. I see it as using common sense to reduce risks, being aware that balance may deteriorate with age, that feeling in places like your feet is diminished, that eyesight can be clouded by macular degeneration and cataracts, that certain necessary medications can reduce alertness, etc. The OP was primarily addressed at the 70+ group, with a secondary reference to 60+.

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Old 03-25-12, 04:17 PM   #21
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We set our own limitations.
Turning 80 this year and so far doing fine.
Some things I used to do better than I do now, but still doing!
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Old 03-25-12, 04:19 PM   #22
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Famous last words: "I used to do this all the time".
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Old 03-25-12, 05:04 PM   #23
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In general, we all become more risk averse as we become older. Those who do not usually suffer some sort of injury. Our core stability and sense of balance in the ear tends to deteriorate somewhat.

There is a reason the majority of fighter pilots are under 40.
Most are under 30.

Gee, I thought Denver was just raising a common sense topic, for all the discord it's generated so far.

One rule I have as a cyclist is the "always stops". If I can't see 200 yards down both sides of a road at a stop sign, I come to a full clip out feet down stop. I don't trust my reaction time anymore.
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Old 03-25-12, 06:28 PM   #24
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All that only to lay the foundation to say: Live. Take care of the biggies like smoking and exercise. Although for me it is impossible, do a person's best not to worry about the rest. Be smart and careful. But you should do that at any age.
IMO- I believe it is a matter of "use it or loose it". I think this is really applicable where balance is concerned. If balance is not maintained by exercise or practice it tends to deteriorate at almost any age.

I really think what we loose as we age is our confidence. If we think we can not do something we can't.

While not at the same level I did when I was younger; I still ski, climb, and try to master wheelies and track stands on my bikes. However, I usually quit trying to keep up with my wife on downhills when we get much above 40mph
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Old 03-25-12, 06:32 PM   #25
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IMO- I believe it is a matter of "use it or loose it". I think this is really applicable where balance is concerned. If balance is not maintained by exercise or practice it tends to deteriorate at almost any age.

I really think what we loose as we age is our confidence. If we think we can not do something we can't.

While not at the same level I did when I was younger; I still ski, climb, and try to master wheelies and track stands on my bikes. However, I usually quit trying to keep up with my wife on downhills when we get much above 40mph
I use my eyes a LOT, and I am still going in for cataract surgery in 2 weeks. I used it and I lost it. I am practically blind in my left eye, and have a small cataract growing in my right eye. I even use my right eye more now, and I am still losing it.
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