Warm greetings are shared, and Grandpa James announces Grandma will not be joining. Already very concerned about Grandma, everyone carefully maintains their warm expressions.
Jodi breaks the silence. “Dad, the other day, you and I discussed if we should ask Grandma’s doctor if she should get a cane to steady her up. I did some research and, frankly, I’m alarmed to learn that statistically, when an elderly person falls, their hospital stays are almost two times longer than those of elderly patients who are admitted for any other reason. Sadly, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people age sixty-five and older with more than half of all injury-related deaths involving people age seventy-five or over.”
Grandpa James, looking concerned, takes a moment to internalize the information. “I had no idea. For Grandma, the most profound effect of falling would be the loss of her ability to function independently.” Chuckling, he adds, “Or her version of independently.”
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