I got word last week that another friend had been hospitalized due to a fall. That’s the fourth time in 6-weeks someone I knew fell and needed care beyond Band-Aids and Bactine.

It stands to reason that anyone hospitalized due to falling is probably older. We all know the story — an elderly person loses their balance, falls, fractures their hip, and ends up in a skilled rehab facility, assisted-living, or worse. However, two of the four people I know who recently fell are my age. 

Falling isn’t just something elderly people do. Falling is something that can happen to anyone who is in a hurry and isn’t paying attention to their surroundings. 

Since teaching balance is a big part of what I do for a living, and that I’ve conducted workshops on balance and fall prevention, it’s a topic I can speak to with authority. 

There are certainly physiological reasons why people fall — inner ear deficiencies, low blood pressure, compromised skeletal structures, muscular weakness, medications, etc. Often falls related to these can’t be helped.

I’ll argue though, to my dying breath, that most falls can be avoided — at any age. If I can use this platform to offer some suggestions on how we might all avoid falling, these are the three that matter most…

1. Know where your feet are…

I say it to clients every day of my life…

Know where your feet are…!  

Create the habit of thinking about your feet — all the time. It’s really that simple. Think about your feet when you’re walking. Think about them when you’re standing. Think about your feet when you’re seated — yes, even when you’re seated. Falling often happens while standing from a seated position, or in the first steps after standing. 

Create an awareness, over time and by regular practice, of where your feet are. Develop a relationship between your brain and your feet. Creating that bond isn’t hard, and it can go to great lengths in avoiding debilitating falls.  

2. Slow down…

This is probably the most stressed-out and hurried generation of human beings, ever. In all things physical though — in cleaning, doing yardwork, hauling things from the car, carrying laundry, cooking, performing work duties, and even in most exercising, slow down. 

It may be overstating the obvious, but unless somebody is standing beside you with a stopwatch and there’s a gold medal waiting at the end of the race, there’s no reason to hurry through any physical action — especially around the house or in the yard.

3. Be aware of your surroundings…

Falling often happens when people are distracted and aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. End tables, changing floor surfaces, sprinkler heads, partially opened doors, small pets, and objects left on the floor are common contributors to falling. They are not causes of falling, they are contributors.

Carrying something while distracted increases the risk of falling. It doesn’t matter if it’s groceries, a broom, a bucket of tools, or a toddler. If one isn’t paying attention to what’s around them and their hands are full, the likelihood of falling increases. 

That’s it — all I got. I’ll suggest that most falls are the result of one or a combination of these three aspects of daily movement.  

1. Know where your feet are…

2. Slow down…

3. Be aware of your surroundings…

If, over time, you can turn these into habits by practicing them regularly, it will reduce your  likelihood of falling and in-turn reduce the risk of becoming injured from a fall.

This is what I think about when I ride.. Jhciacb 

This week by the numbers…

Bikes Ridden: 7

Miles: 190

Climbing: 8,400’

Mph Avg: 15.1

Calories: 10,800

Seat Time: 12 hours 37 minutes

Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this from UFO. Enjoy…!

7 thoughts on “Falling Down…

  1. Very practical advice for a serious problem! Thank you! One of the first things you learn in the martial arts is how to break a fall. I must have been paying attention, because (though I won’t go into it much) because I’ve taken some bad falls and ,so far, the ribs I broke when my horse launched me is the worst injury I’ve had from falls. Just a doctor addition, it is not uncommon for an older person to break their hip and then fall – in that order. Be aware of your bone density as you age.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. According to one piece I read last year, in preparation for a workshop I conducted, a leading cause of falling in older adults is uneven or changing floor surfaces. That feeds right into my argument that the cause of that leading cause is not paying attention to one’s surroundings.

      With regard to bone density, that’s why exercise is so important. And good eating…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for the awareness,education and reminders. I agree with Dr. J on the throw rugs too. Our Mom was upset we removed her rugs. Thanks for the support with Susan’s mom as well. I dig the pics and the UFO Jam.
    Stay safe and Be Well.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great reminder. This past week I have stumbled over all kinds of things including the dogs as I rushed about.

    On a sadder note a fall is what did an elderly uncle in. He wouldn’t wait to get help changing a bulb in his garage. He fell off the ladder, broke is hip and age hardheadedness etc. all caught up to him.
    Everyone be safe.

    Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Cliff. Sounds silly, but I think living shipboard makes people more aware of navigating their surroundings in tight spaces. Whether they keep it with them for the rest of their lives, I can’t say.

      I had a client a few years ago, 85, who survived lung cancer. He survived lung cancer at 85! Woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, tripped, hit his head, and was gone a few weeks later.

      Anyway, dogs are the worst, as far as obstacles go, so be careful…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t fallen on my bike in years but I occasionally trip on my cats. It’s their life’s goal. Thanks for the advice, Roy.

    Liked by 1 person

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