Friday, June 24, 2016

Falling Friday - Getting Up Again

One of the most important things to know, if you are susceptible to falling, is how to get up again.

Lying on the floor for just a few hours can be deadly, we were taught in the falls prevention classes I took last year where I live near Binghamton, New York.  To be blunt, the longer you are on the floor or ground after a fall, the less likely it is that you will return to living independently.

Last year, I participated in a falls prevention class called Stepping On.  It was a lot more than just falls prevention, and was well worth my time.

In one "Stepping On" class, two physical therapists came, and showed us exercises to do to make ourselves stronger and less prone to falling.  They also showed us what to do if we fell. 

I've been in that situation more than once.  And perhaps you've been, too.
What I like about this video is that it teaches you what to do if you fall at home.  By using various objects in the typical home, this physical therapist is able to improvise and her household tools help her get up.

Towards the end of the video, she briefly explains a couple of things a senior could do if he or she was injured in the fall.  The key is to try to get up safely, or to a phone, or to a door, to call for help.

I also note that more than one of my falls were outdoors, and several people in my class were injured while walking dogs, so this video does not cover all situations.  But it is still well worth watching.

Learning to recover from a fall is NOT a do it yourself project and we only received a general demonstration.  Your particular circumstances should be evaluated by a physical therapist or other professional.  Experts suggests practicing what to do after a fall on a regular basis.

However painful to think of, the topic of what to do if you do fall is something I believe the falls prevention classes need to spend more time on.  It's great to spend a lot of time on how to prevent a fall.  But, if you fall again, it is even more urgent that you can get up by yourself, especially if you live alone.

Because I was fortunate.  And one day, we will all face this element of aging.

12 comments:

  1. Well, it's Summer now. The time when we end up doing more than we have the entire calendar year. It is critical to have a plan should we find ourselves stuck to the floor rather than perambulating.

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    1. You are right. And you know what? I don't have such a plan. You are making me think.

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  2. Of course, if you fall outside, there is the possibility of passersby. Who may assist.

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    1. Actually, the first time I fell, it was in a neighborhood and there was no one around (except my spouse). If I had been alone, I could have yelled for help. The second time, I was on a well populated walking trail and guess what. No one stopped, even to ask if I was OK. Again, my spouse was there with me, and perhaps that is why no one stopped. But that was a bit scary.

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  3. What a useful video. So many people injure themselves more in trying to get up.

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    1. Thank you. I found out about that video from a senior newsletter I subscribe to. It's well worth the watch.

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  4. Oh, ask me, I keep tripping and falling so many times. I think I inherited that from my mum, she keeps falling almost everywhere. It has become a family joke!

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    1. It is, until it isn't. My mother in law made jokes about it when she was 60. In her 80's, it almost caused her to lose her independence. I have balance issues and I hope the exercises increase my strength and awareness.

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  5. Thank you so much! I wonder how many people stay on the floor just because they don't KNOW they can help themselves up. My mother got one of those Life Alert systems, but I'm going to tell her about these techniques, too.

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    1. I hope you do. Many people don't know the damage that can be done to the elderly if they lie in one place just for several hours.

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  6. LOL...I think I need this information. I'm already klutzy and as you get older, that can be super dangerous.

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    1. Yes, it can be super dangerous. But you've taken an important step and decided to educate yourself. I applaud you.

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