The article explained that the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its latest list of how Australians died in the last year, in a report called "Causes of Death, Australia: Doctor Certified Deaths". It is fascinating reading.
58 people died from falling out of bed, 26 from falling off a chair, 715 people died when slipping, tumbling or falling, four died from bumping into someone and the 'home' list goes on and on.
The question put, is why is the family home such a dangerous place. There are so many new rules and regulations put in place by local Councils to protect us all that one wonders - as there appear to be more of these type of deaths today than in previous generations.
What's happening in the family home, or where we live, that there is such a proclivity to accidental death?
The article did not deal with this question, but I have surmised the following ideas by which you may well be able to add and therefore reduce the likelihood of such a thing happening in your home to a loved one or a visitor.
A cursory list
I have no statistical evidence for any of these, rather a good dose of common sense.
The old adage has a certain ring of truth to it – "more haste less speed." When this is transliterated into modern living with all the household mod-cons and conveniences, perhaps in this there lies a hidden aspect of our lives that creates a self induced need to rush around and thus become more accident prone.
I for one, can still see in my mind's eye my own parents in their prime years when we three kids were growing up. No one rushed about much, there was a calm of endeavour about the home. I compare that period to my own life and that of raising my own family, 'rushing about' was and still is the 'norm'.
This is simply an observation and maybe there is no statistical correlation between rushing about in the normal routines of life today, and that of a more steadied pace of my parents time.
Another issue that relates to such home accidental death statistics is what I might refer to as preventable home encumbrances.
My wife of 37 years, Delma, who ministers in visiting oldies in nursing homes, when relating the purpose of this article, made the point that many older people slip on mats and rugs. Perhaps, the first thing, when setting up living conditions for older people is to remove all rugs and mats.
Likewise we might include floor tiling where one specific tile might be just marginally above another tile in sequence, creates enough of a margin of error that the best of us will trip up, given the wrong circumstances (as it were).
Tripping on such a tile in the household might well mean going 'head over turtle' and striking one's head against a heavy leg table or a corner of a wall or any such object.
Standing on chairs of dubious stability to change a light bulb is another of those every day household chores that could become the very essence of what creates an unsafe incident whereupon someone falls and the resulting crash becomes fatal. These are the true reality situations that these statistics reveal.
Two years ago, about 5.00am in the winter time, it was still very dark, my wife Delma got out of the bed to visit the bathroom and it so happened - I was in the ensuite and instead of waiting – Delma headed for the hall way facility. On the way back, she missed the separate bathroom door, and feeling for the door – in actual fact were the steps downstairs – she took a horrible tumble down eight steps.
Whether being sleepy and the body relaxed when in fall mode, whether it allows for a greater physical ability to withstand pressures such as striking steps, I am not sure. Delma was not hurt at all apart from a bruise of two, but quickly realised the possibilities at hand. Now, we always put on the hall way light. The home can indeed be a very dangerous place.
Statistics for church life accidental loss of life was unavailable to me. But what is available are insurance statistics that there are significant increase in premiums should your church have "catches" for those who fall slain in the Spirit.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html