Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sustainable Saturday - The Dutch Falling Cure

Do the Dutch have the cure for elders falling and hurting themselves?

A fellow blogger, Roy, has become a blogging "friend" of mine. (I hope he doesn't mind me calling him a blogging "friend").  Some of his posts are a bit over my head (sorry, Roy!) especially the tax posts (he is an experienced Enrolled Agent) and some of the scientific ones.  But recently, he sent me a Facebook message about a New York Times article.

This article is about how the Dutch are facing a rising population of those over 65, many of whom find themselves living alone in their golden years.  Many, in general, are at risk of falling.  Reasons vary from age to inactivity to the use of certain medications (I, for one, suspect a medication I take, and it is one I need, also is leading to balance problems).

My spouse fell in October (and is still undergoing physical therapy).  My mother in law has endured many falls.  Falls kill.  Falls injure and lead to decline.  If someone could find a cure for falling, that person would win the Nobel Prize in a heartbeat.

But what do we do until then?

The Dutch may have the answer.  And it's an intriguing one.

Falling classes.

Not falls prevention classes (I've taken one, by the way, and it was excellent.  I still do the exercises).  No, these are actual "How to fall" classes.  The class typically meets twice a week.  In one session, the seniors walk an obstacle course.  In the other session, they fall, in supervised ways, onto mats (not at first.  They work their way up to falling.  It would terrify me, for one, having survived several falls already at age 65).

They learn exercises to strengthen themselves, and simple home modifications, which my falls prevention class also touched on. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful to lose the fear of falling?

Some of the falling posts on my blog - you are welcome to check them out.  Here is one:
Did my Falls Prevention class work?

Day 13 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.


  1. Hi there. It's been a while. I find this very interesting as my mom is living with us and my 94-year-old dad just recently passed away. Knowing how to fall is important. When Dad was in his 80s, he tried crossing a street (jay walking) and didn't see a pick-up truck coming his way. The truck swerved but its rear-view mirror hit Dad and knocked him to the street. My mom watched as he tucked and rolled. No broken bones, just road rash and bruising. He said he learned to fall in the service. He was an excellent faller!

    1. Wow. Learned to fall in the service. It really makes me think about having this training, perhaps, required as part of PE in school, while you are young and much less prone to injury.

  2. We all take walking for granted and do not pay enough attention to what we are doing. I have learned in yoga class to know where my body is when I am moving. Walking is not just a mindless activity.

    1. You are so right, which both my husband and I learned the hard way. (We have both tripped on sidewalk cracks - I was a lot luckier than he was). I keep thinking about yoga...and thinking.

  3. Very interesting. I read someone a few years ago that people start to lose balance at about age 60. I found myself losing balance years earlier. I've always walked a bit off balance. I notice when I'm in better physical shape I walk much better and don't fear falling so much.

    Thanks for the comment you left on my blog. I know how it can be for the caregiver to look after others. So I do hope you are able to look after yourself too. I know it's easier said than done. All the best. xx

  4. My hubby took a local class at our senior center on preventing falling. He now continue to do his exersises.
    Coffee is on

  5. That's a good idea. If you learn how to fall you can do less damage on the way down. I had not considered that before.


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