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The Art of Falling: How to Hit the Ground Safely

January 5, 2018 Blog

When an elderly person takes a tumble, the aftermath can be devastating and lead to serious, long-term problems.

Falls amongst seniors are not uncommon. More than one in three people age 65 years or older fall each year. As noted by the AARP, while the risk of falling—and fall-related problems – rises with age, a study in the Journal of Allied Health shows that 50- to 60-year-olds fall more often than their older counterparts. This age group is more active, elevating the risk of falling. Further cause for fall prevention: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found people are more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury from falling than from any other cause. Some risks are easy to avoid, for instance, installing night lights in dark areas of your home. Not all risks can be eliminated, even if you’re not particularly active, but they can be minimized. Here is a checklist from the CDC to help you avoid falls in your home.

With all of this in mind, it is also important to learn how to fall and hit the ground with minimal impact. A recent piece in the New York Times examines a recent surge in courses focused on the art of falling in the Netherlands. Designed for students aged 65 to 94, the classes feature an obstacle course devised to demonstrate how to navigate treacherous ground without having to worry about falling – and how to fall if unable to avoid a spill.

Unfortunately, such classes are not always available in this country. You can contact your Area Agency on Aging to find out what programs are available. Also, this link provides a four-point plan for deftly taking a crash landing – with tips on how to fall to minimize injury.

While avoiding a fall is most important, knowing how to take a fall when it’s inevitable is fundamental. We hope these tips will help you avoid trips and slips that cause injury, but if you do find yourself on the wrong end of a fall that isn’t your fault, let us know so we can determine if there is any liability to help cover the costs of injuries.