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Health & Wellness

After the Fall: How to Stay Safe Until Help Arrives

senior safe fall helpSponsored by MyNotifi

As we age, falling becomes a bigger fear and it’s not unrealistic to be concerned. Studies show that one in four people between 65 and 74 will fall each year. That number goes up to one in three for people 75+. And if you’ve fallen once, your odds are increased for falling again.

Falling can lead to serious injuries, loss of independence and costly medical bills. When you’re unable to get up or get help quickly, that “long lie” makes the situation even more dangerous. Untended injuries, dehydration, anxiety and elevated blood pressure increase the risks that a fall will lead to hospitalization, nursing home admission, and even death. But there are some things you can do to keep yourself safe in case of a fall:

  1. Staying Calm – First and foremost, don’t panic. Take some deep breaths or count to 20. If you can’t summon help and you can’t get up, then at least get some rest. Nothing good comes from a panic attack.
  2. Staying Well – Until help arrives, do your best to keep yourself from further harm. Stay hydrated if you can. Keep in mind the bathtub might be easier to reach than a sink. Keep yourself warm. And move as much as you can, to prevent pressure sores.
  3. Getting Up – it’s not always possible to get up after a fall, but it might help to know it’s easier to get up from a kneeling position. If you can, roll over and try to ease yourself to your hands and knees. Use a nearby piece of furniture for support as you try to regain your feet.
  4. Attracting Attention – if you can’t get up, but still have some mobility, roll or crawl to the door or a window, where you have a better chance to be heard by a neighbor or delivery person. Bang, shout, or do whatever you can to attract their attention.
  5. Checking In – Consider setting up a daily check-in call with a loved one. Even 24 hours can be a dangerous time to wait for injuries to be treated, without access to food, water, or bathroom facilities. But a daily check-in can prevent a wait from being much longer. And most importantly, it can make sure your timely rescue is not just a matter of luck.
  6. Press the Button – If you wear a fall detection bracelet or pendant, now is the time to push the button. If you can reach a phone, call 911. Self-sufficiency is a virtue, but falls need to be taken seriously. If you wear a safety device or have a way to call for help, don’t hesitate to use it, because this is what it’s for. Consider getting an automatic fall detection device that doesn’t require the wearer to press it or do anything. This will ensure help will arrive more quickly, and mitigate potential health hazards of being on the ground for too long.

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Phyllis poole

I feel as i age I am not as strong as I was sometime ago SO I try to get up and move more. To excercise and strengthen my legs. I also find that I do not pick up my feet as before which is the main reason people trip and fall. Being more precise in stepping is necessary. And going slow.
Also be sure to have a way that help can get into the house if needed!

Thomas Haj

Why is it that we are more likely to fall as we age? Is it loss of muscle mass, weaker bones, dizziness, or something else?

TheUglyTruth

If help arrives wearing those senseless circular ear ring inserts, a man bun, or gaudy tats up and down both arms and especially the neck,… Just stay on the ground until a personal friend or relative arrives, you’re likely safer doing so.

Chinook

My father suffered from long lie…was never o.k. again.

A-Jay Eddy

Since you often know when a fall becomes most obvious there should be training classes informing people how to position yourself as you begin to fall and how to align you body to best deal with hitting any surface.