David T. Leung (75) has been married to Yuet Ngor Leung (68) for 46 years. I met them at the Weinberg Center for Balanced Living, a couple of weeks ago.
About 5 years ago, David had an accident. His right shoulder was dislocated; he had to be taken to emergency room. After being discharged from the hospital, he still had pain in his shoulder. No assistive device or physical therapy was prescribed to him. He began taking advil to relieve himself of the pain. He then took an initiative, and began exercising to remain active and injury free. Now-a-days, he volunteers at the center. He is able to push service carts and help the center in anyway he can.
One day, while Yuet was walking on a sidewalk by the streets of Manhattan, she slipped and fell down. Unfortunately, no one came to help her at that time. She felt helpless as people walked around her, ignoring her. Eventually she stood up, and luckily, she only had minor bruises around her arm. When I asked whether she was willing to use any mobility device to help her walk, she said that she would rather not use any device now. However, she will use it if she doesn’t have a choice.
Stories such as David's and Yuet's are heartrending, and are a constant reminder why most older adults prefer remaining independent rather than relying on someone. However, with a little motivation and encouragement, they can help themselves to remain active and avoid falls.