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  • Writer's picturekiehart

Falling


Since turning sixty-five, my mantra has been "Don't fall." And I've been lucky.

 

The last time I took a header was during a leisurely walk with my wife and our dog. I remember feeling my foot twist, and then I was facedown on the pavement. How my glasses didn't smash into my face was one thing. How bones did not break was a miracle.

 

My wife said it was as if I were falling in slow motion…she said my head bounced (which was evidenced by a slightly bruised and sore-to-the-touch left cheek and the overall feeling of whiplash for days afterward). I didn't pass out. I calmly sat on the sidewalk until another dog walker from across the street helped upright me. I had no broken bones, just a cut on the side of my left hand, as that was what I attempted to brace with. And a small cut on my knee. (THEY say if you fall and people laugh, you're still young, but if you fall and people rush to your aid, you are old.”) Whoever THEY is have determined I am OLD!

 

I heard the story of another woman falling and landing as I did on the left side. In her case, a hip bone broke, and her left hand needed three pins in the little finger. Almost everyone who has passed age 65 has at least one 'fall' story.

 

Another woman suggested, "Don't ever tell your doctor you fell… it'll be the beginning of the end." I will consider it. I learned that more than half of those who fall do not tell their doctors. And falling once doubles your chances of a second fall.

 

Someone said we need to 'be in the moment.' That's as helpful as what THEY say.


Who are THEY anyway? who say:


Stay Relaxed: Try to stay as relaxed as possible when you feel yourself falling. Tensing up can make injuries worse.

Protect Your Head: If you're falling forward, try to tuck your chin to your chest to protect your head and neck.

Protect Your Hands: If you're falling forward, try to break your fall with your hands. However, be cautious, as this can sometimes lead to wrist injuries. If possible, try to distribute the impact across your entire arm.

Roll with the Fall: If you're falling sideways, try to roll with the fall rather than resisting it. This can help to distribute the impact and reduce the risk of injury.

Bend Your Knees: If you're falling backward, try to bend your knees to help cushion the fall.

Choose a Soft Surface: If you have the option, aim for a softer surface to fall on, such as grass or a mat, rather than a hard surface like concrete.


Some say, "Tuck and roll when you feel yourself falling."


While those hints seem helpful, who has time for analyzing one's state of relaxation and placement of hands, head, and feet?


People fall off cliffs, cruise ships, rooftops, and ladders; people fall in every room of the house. The most likely places for falling accidents for people over sixty-five are in the bathroom or while on a walk outdoors.


The CDC claims that more than two thousand people fall each day in the United States alone. There are approximately eight million emergency room visits each year because of falls.


But, then, there is this: "Falling is wonderful. 27 million skydivers can't be wrong."

 

With the warmer weather, we are outdoors more often. Have a great month, and please watch your step. And remember, wear your helmet!


Cheers!


Judy



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