Handicapped? Using a Walker  Has its Benefits. Like Walking!

Philadelphia, 10/25/2017 – I’ve heard it said that “when you age – – the feet & legs are first to go”.
               True – – as it affects me.
               But first some good things about aging.
               I’m soon to be 88.
               I feel good … from the waist up.  Downward, well no comment . . .
               I have neuropathy .
               That’s where the nerves in the feet take a never-to-return vacation.
               The result is loss of balance.
               And loss of balance is a major problem. Major! So major, I want to say it again, this way:
               “Don’t fall down!”
               To fall, as a senior harboring brittle bones, could result in months of rehab, or a perpetual,
forever, horizontal position. Underground!
               I’m on a walker.
               That’s good. I’m walking!
               I’m here. Living!
                                               So, What Else Is Good?
               There are residual benefits of being “handicapped”:
               They include:
               … Having a vehicle “Handicapped” sign.
I don’t drive.
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               But, I have a driver. (Thank you long-term insurance.)
I’m in a car every day able to get to and from my office.  Also, to the radio station
where the interview shows I produce  are aired …  plus shopping trips … library … family social &
business visits. …
               Here are more of the positives:
               … Experiencing impromptu courtesies from people from all walks of life.
… When entering a restaurant, a medical office, a library, an office,  someone seated will
 almost, without exception offer me their chair. Applause to them!
…  The few times I’ve taken a train, or plane, the carrier’s personnel have been excellent.
A wheel chair is available.  Attending personnel are well trained and pleasant – – and understanding of
… On my walker outdoors … within a shopping center …  inside a business building …strangers
smile and say, or without them even speaking to me,  their body language  says, “Can I help you!”
                                              There are the negatives:
…  To be standing with my walker  in front of a seated person who is aware of my condition,
but stays glued to their seat.
–          The most common individuals so doing are teenagers.
I think to myself, “Didn’t their parents ever teach common courtesy, or respect for elders”
Problems for users of walkers, that I have experienced, include:
               … Uneven pavements: The cracks, ridges, will suddenly stop the walker’s movement causing
the user to lurch forward. Dangerous.
               … Hills: Going up is difficult. Going down is dangerous. The walker’s wheels , because of gravity
pull ahead, which could result in a fall.
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               … Doors: Try to open a door, pushing or pulling with hands off the walker. It’s a balancing
               … Darkness: If you can’t see what is on the ground in front of you – – stay put!
               … Misc: Dangerous slippery surfaces. High curbs. Jostling people. Entering & exiting vehicles.
               … And the possibility of getting round-shouldered, by hunching over the walker while pushing.
                                                               Positive Thinking
–          Being handicapped is also a great “door-opener” for conversation with strangers.
Especially those with a limp, cane, walker or wheelchair.
               People like to talk about their own causes & treatments.
I give them an opportunity (“What  caused your situation?”) That often leads to  an interesting
               Other’s problems usually are much more troublesome then mine.
               Example: I have a long-time friend who just had one leg amputated about the knee. Ugh!
               I feel fortunate … & thankful.
                                                               Life is Good!
               I think: “My handicap isn’t that bad!”
I’m occupied every day.
               I’m still in business —  61 years of doing what I enjoy doing.
               I laugh my way through the day.
               I have wonderful support from others. Especially, my wife of 59 years, Sandy,  my
children, Bob, Yelane & Nan, my long- time clients & business associates, and a staffer of
about 37 years, Kathy Newmiller.
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               Reading newspapers, cover-to-cover , is one of my prime pleasures.
Another is meeting our radio show interviewee guests . That  allows me to be in the company of
intelligent, interesting men & women from diversified businesses, & interests, & accomplishments.
               Helping others with lessons  I’ve leaned over a lifetime brings good feelings.
               Another pleasure is being aware of Mother Nature.
               I appreciate sunsets.  They are magnificent in their beauty of shape & colors.
               I wonder at trees, thinking that there are billions & billions of them – – and no two alike.
               Today’s technology. How is it all possible?
                                                               A Personal Scare
               Recently, I did have a frightening experience in one of my doctor’s offices.
               I was seated, waiting for my turn to be attended.
               When called, I started to get up, I lost my balance, falling backwards.
 Automatically, I  tried to stop the descent by reaching for my chair, and – – it gave way instead
of  giving support.
               My wife, Sandy, who was next to me, quickly, spontaneously, took my arm.
My backward motion was stopped.
               No fall!
               Later,  I thought to myself:
               “If there’s going to be a fall, the best place for it to happen is – – in a doctor’s office.
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Media Contact:
Name: Joe Ball
Title: President, ACT., Inc