Learn How to Fall Safely
No one wants to fall, but unfortunately, “One out of every four adults over age 65 falls every year.” (CDC) Avoiding falls is critical, but knowing how to fall can help prevent serious injuries.
Falling is scary for the elderly. But, preparing for a fall can help an individual gain more control and confidence. In my last blog I reviewed tips on how to decrease the risk of falling. This
week we are going to discuss the proper way to fall in the event a fall occurs.
Injuries from falls are a worldwide concern.
In the Netherlands courses on falling are popular in the generic community. Obstacle courses with thick mats are designed to simulate falling. The Simulation Fall Obstacle course helps seniors develop better balance and falling techniques. Hopefully, courses like the ones in the Netherlands will become more popular in the United States. (Schuetze)
In the United States Fall simulation courses are not as popular.
Fall expert and professional stunt woman Alexa Marcigliano, teaches a four-point technique for falling. (Zimmerman)
Stay bent. When you feel you are about to fall bend your arms and legs. Crunch up like a ball. Falling when your arms or legs are straightening can lead to hand/wrist and hip fractures (Zimmerman)
Protect your head. If you are falling backward tuck your chin to your chest, if you are falling forward turn your face. (Zimmerman)
Land on the “meat”. If the point of impact is on the “meat” or the fleshy parts of the body, bruises will result but you will be less likely to break bones. (Zimmerman)
Roll with the fall. Spread the fall out over distance. (Zimmerman). If you are falling roll to dissipate the impact. In addition, slapping the ground with an open palm can also decrease the impact.
Preparing for the worst things is difficult.
No one wakes up in the morning wanting to fall but embracing our fears might help us overcome them.
Schuetze, Christoper F. “Afraid of Falling? For Older Adults, the Dutch Have a Cure” New York Times. Jan. 2, 2018.
Zimmer, Michael “The Art of Falling Safely” AARP The Magazine. Jan. 2018