Sigmund Freud said: “There is no such thing as a joke.” The statement deserves a full analysis, too lengthy for treatment here, so I will save it for a future blog on “Freud Comes to Charbonneau.” Suffice it to say that if you have adopted Freud’s statement as a guiding principle to live your life by, you have made a mistake.
Today’s blog has two sections. The first, called The Problem, is a straight presentation of facts, untouched by the tiniest insertion of humorous or sarcastic input from The French Prairie Muckraker. The second section, called The Charbonneau Solution–well, I make no such promises for that section. Both deal with a subject with which we here in Charbonneau have either personally dealt or have heard about happening to other folks almost weekly, i.e., someone taking a serious fall.
Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and over falls. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injuries–both fatal and nonfatal. Twenty to thirty percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, or head trauma. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls. Men are more likely than women to die from a fall, with a death rate 40 percent higher than women’s. In 2010, about 21,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries.
The Charbonneau Solution
1. We start by installing 87 miles of hand railings along every roadway, walkway and sidewalk. No more than six steps need be taken anywhere in Charbonneau without a hand rail to grip. 2. We legislate changes to all existing and new ceiling heights to be no more that six feet high. No need for ladders or stepstools to place or retrieve items on high shelves or to change light bulbs. No attics, no stairs at all. Ramps only. 3. We limit the taking of baths or showers to one every two weeks. Bathrooms are dangerous. A shower assistance brigade is forming so that a schedule can be kept. When your assigned time arrives, you must take a bath or shower whether or not it is needed. 4. We close the Red Course and make it a workout area for mandatory tai chi classes. 5. We require a daily check-in from each household with the CCC to state: “It is 5:00 p.m. and no one has fallen today at my house.” Absent the call, the Rapid Response Team from the CCC will be at your house within three days. 6. We cut down all the trees anywhere on Charbonneau property, so no one is tempted to climb one to see a bird’s nest or get a piece of fruit. Most importantly, by doing so we eliminate the danger of slipping on the killer leaves of the sunburst locust trees.
Sometimes I feel the FPM is the only one in Charbonneau looking out for our common welfare. Such is my lot in life. Probably something Freudian about it all.