Most of us have seen or heard the commercial “Help me. I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” The commercial even comes with a warning before it shows that it may be upsetting.
It’s pretty funny to the younger folks, but not as funny as it used to be for me. I fell and broke my shoulder. Couldn’t get up. My husband found me and eventually got me up. I can’t imagine not having help for days.
Here are some sites on falling:
Idiopathic Drop Attacks
Causes of Falls
Otoliths (“Ear Rocks”)
These become more common as we age. Below is information that explains them.
Ear rocks are small crystals of calcium carbonate called otoconia, which collect in the inner ear. If they fall out of place into the ear canal, they can cause vertigo. Northwestern University
Pay attention to see what causes you to start losing your balance. Mine is when I’m turning — which would include taking a shower or getting out of a car.
A physical therapist asked me what I would do if I started falling at the mall, I told her “I’d grab everyone and everything within reach!”
I am not a medical professional nor am I a physical therapist. But I am letting you know what has helped me fall down less.
- Flashlight at night.
- Step ladder in the kitchen so I always know where it is.
- Grabber/reacher in the kitchen as well.
- Throw rugs with rubber backs.
I went to a gym for help (free through Silver Sneakers.) A gym trainer helped me with my balance. She explained that as we age, we tend to let our hips, knees, and ankles stiffen.. The best thing she taught me is ROTATION. I HATE to exercise but I hate falling even more, so I practice these.
Imagine Hula-Hoop. This video will remind you how frustrating it was to keep the hula- hoop up; that’s why I want you just to imagine one.
Hold on to something stable when you try these exercises.
Knees & Hips – Pretend you’re using a hula-hoop. Swivel this way and that. Don’t let the hula-hoop fall!
Ankles – Sit on the floor with a ball under your calves so your ankles are off the floor. Rotate your ankles around one way, around the other way, up, down. 15 times each direction with 3 repeats.
Don’t hesitate to get those hips, knees, and ankles swiveling to obtain your balance. Use your arms for balance too. If you think you look like a clown, imagine how you’d feel if you fell down.
PONDER: Intentionally losing a game of rock, paper, scissors is just as hard as trying to win
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