Oh, My Aching Back/Hip/Arm/You Name It

I sat quietly in the lounge this morning with my cup of coffee watching the residents of this retirement home. First I concentrated on the walking aids. There are many different types, ranging from a simple wooden cane to a highly efficient Pilipino caregiver who is fully focused on her employer and takes great pains to make sure he or she remains vertical as they move along. Then there are 3-wheel walkers complete with cable type handbrakes. I reckon that if the walker flies ahead on its wheels for any reason, nothing will save the resident from falling flat on the floor. There will be no one and no time to operate the brakes. Next is the three-footed chrome cane. It looks strong and sturdy. My guess is than in the event of a fall the 3 feet of the walker will dig into the floor and stand firm while watching its owner flying.

The simple wooden cane with the curved handle seems most sensible and can be easily reversed to deal with pests and collectors and in a case of extreme need will make a usable golf club.

From these Senior supporters I moved on to studying the hand-pain relationship. I see men and women walking along gripping odd parts of their bodies. One can even hear a low-pitch mantra as used by Tibetan monks. “Ohhh, mmmy aching back/hip/arm…, Ohhh, mmmy aching…” The left or right hand is glued to some spot on the offending back or hip or back. I estimate the pain relief to be about zero, the comfort level about 50 per cent and the sympathy level at about 70 per cent. On the other hand we’re all doing it so it must be doing something.

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