'I just didn’t want the neighbours to see me': Stigma surrounds seniors falling
SASKATOON -- Orvin Kent didn’t want to call an ambulance after a serious fall while doing housework.
The fall happened a few years ago when Kent, now 89, was doing some painting.
His son warned him to take it easy, but Kent said he was stubborn and thought he could handle it.
“Oh, five minutes and I’ll be finished,” Kent told his son at the time.
“I was about half way up and one of the legs on the step ladder sunk into the ground and fell backward."
Kent landed on his back and broke two vertebrae. He was home alone at the time and instead of calling an ambulance, he called his son to come home.
“I don’t want an ambulance going to the house,” Kent said.
“I just didn’t want the neighbours to see me. They always tell me you shouldn’t be doing this, you shouldn’t be do that, you’re 80-something years old.”
Falls affect one-in-two people over the age of 80, said Daphne Kemp, regional falls reduction and injury prevention coordinator with the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
Kemp was one of the speakers at a fall prevention fair at Market Mall.
“The consequences of falls are disastrous. Although people may not admit they’re having falls, we know that we can do more to prevent them and they can be preventable.”
There’s a stigma attached to falls and what happens after a fall, Kemp said.
“We need to have more people coming forward who have had falls, so that we can do the things to help them prevent future falls.”
As for Kent, while the injury still hurts he said he’s “doing pretty good.”
“I like to keep busy,” he said.