Sam Bauman: Senior falls and how to live with them | NevadaAppeal.com

Sam Bauman: Senior falls and how to live with them

Sam Bauman

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I've written in the past on the subject of senior falls around the house. It's disturbing when it happens because most seniors don't know how to cope. Seniors often have a hard time getting up after a minor fall, partly because muscles have lost tone. I offered directions on how to get up after a fall, something like this. When you fall, try to turn over on your stomach and crawl to the nearest chair of table. Once there, try to get on your knees and boost yourself to a standing position. Then raise one knee at a time and when both are up, try to stand. I recently took a fall at 7 a.m. while trying to take off twisted PJs. Nothing spectacular, just a few feet down. But I quickly discovered I couldn't rise to a normal position. So, I took my own advice and crawled to a chair and tried to use it to get up, but it didn't work. So I quickly decided I needed help, but where was my iPhone? On the breakfast table high above my head. So I lurched and climbed until I could reach it.

Success, I figured, help was only a few minutes away. So I dialed 911 and a sweet-voiced lady asked how she could help me. I explained and she said help would be at my address in few minutes. I didn't get the name, but she sounded awfully nice.

Five minutes later three men in firefighting gear showed up, checked me over and pulled me to my feet; from the Carson City Fire Department, they were Capt. Micah Horton, Bryon Hunt and Jeff Davies. They walked around to make sure I was standing all right, took my name and left. Highly professional and skilled at what they were doing.

That event prodded me to make some changes. For one, I've moved my iPhone charger to a bedside table; never again would I have to search for my iPhone. And I worked on crawling around, despite protesting muscles from earlier crawling. My right hip still hurts, but I can live with it. And I vowed to try the crawling to reestablish standing position. I'll let you know.

It has baffled me why I can't just stand up when I fall. Is it old age or weak thighs? (I work on the thighs regularly for skiing).

Now if seniors would share apartments, maybe this scene wouldn't be. But where do I get a roommate who would put up with a cantankerous old man?

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My Canadian friend, Patti, recently offered to share a book with me, and I'm indebted. The title is "Nevada Women's Legacy" and it's a collection of photos and stories of how these women made the state we live in today. Despite the barriers they faced, they did an incredible job of keeping Nevada civilized.

Authors are Marlene Adrian and Denise Gardes, and they do a marvelous job of "150 years of Excellence," as is the book's subtitle. The women are identified by counties and the copy is short and precise.

For historians and general public it's a sound portrait of the women in our state's history. Get it when some male expert man brags of shaping our state.

More on Ken Burns' Vietnam TV on PBS

I tried to watch all nine or 10 documentary segments of the report, coproduced with Lynn Novak, "The Vietnam War," It was difficult as I had no TV guide so I kept tuning in and hoping.

It was worthwhile as many of the lies from President Richard Nixon to the American public and overseas allies were clearly not true.

The series highlighted the reason the U.S. was fighting was to avoid the "falling dominos theory" if Vietnam went communist then other countries in the area would — Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia. That, the Washington think-tank crowd preached. (An obvious different story unfolded in Cambodia, where a fierce rump government bloomed, penalizing those who could read and worked for the old administration).

Burns and his co-director Lynn Novick spent 10 years on "The Vietnam War," assisted by their producer Sarah Botstein, writer Geoffrey Ward, 24 advisors, and others. They assembled 25,000 photographs, feature close to 80 interviews of Americans and Vietnamese, and spent $30 million on the project. The resulting 18-hour series is a marvel of storytelling, something in which Burns and Novick take obvious pride. "The Vietnam War" provides lots of great vintage film footage and stunning photos.

I expected a barrage of criticism of the series from conservatives who thought the film was unfair to their platform, but it shows some terrible scenes of the U.S. dropping Agent Orange on the country, causing illness with local residents and American troops, some who still suffer from the agent's effects in VA facilities such as Reno's.

And the ill-fated move to establish camps where local citizens would be moved to prevent their helping the Viet Cong, moving them from ancestors' lands.

Obviously the U.S. made many mistakes in Vietnam, such as fighting war with no real aim, and the TV series shows it quite clearly.

But how a TV series explain all the mistakes in Vietnam to the 58,000 U.S. troops who died there.

You can bet such an important film on American policy will be shown again. See it and make up your own mind.

As Burns says, "We think that when Americans talk about the Vietnam War, we tend to think of it in our own terms. Like why at all?"

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.

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