Sunday, 7 October 2012

Falling ...




… knowing how to and how not to
One of the mums who I meet each week often mentions how the conductors taught her son very early on how to fall. He falls a lot because he plays a lot of football and runs a lot of races and climbs a lot of trees, so his mum notices a lot now seldom he hurts himself when falling. His muscles are strong so he stays on his feet a lot more but he has also learnt what to do if he falls.
Our growing Little Princess showed her speech therapist recently how she can take steps alone, but more importantly for the child was to show the lady how she knows how to fall without hurting herself, without bumping her head or hurting her knees.
Fear of falling, teaching falling, prevent falling
These two children are just examples of children in our groups who have no fear of falling because they know how to do it and how not to. They practice falling at the same time as practicing standing up. They are also children who at the same time as practicing falling also practice many other things that prevent them falling so often.
My dad does not fall often. I try to teach him how not to
I have been thinking a lot recently about how to begin working with the elderly. My Dad is the main reason behind my thinking but I was also speaking to someone in the department of our Association that has contact with the elderly in the local community. We are planning a project in the future.
I suspect some part of that project will be on preventing falls by being aware of the possible dangers about the house and in the used environment, by exercising to strengthen the body and improve movement awareness, checking that eyesight is good and that shoes are suitable and of course it will include when appropriate learning how to fall.
As it often is thoughts and ideas float around and other things just happen to crop up at the same time. I discovered this link last week on deans' stroke musings website but I forgot to post it –
The TRIL Centre with Get Ireland Active announces Falls Awareness Day, Thursday 4th October
“One in three people over the age of 65 will fall every year in Ireland. Two-thirds of this group will fall again within six months, leading to risk of hospitalisation and significant health decline. As well as physical injuries suffered, the psychological and social consequences of falling can have a huge impact on the faller.
People who fall may suffer depression, anxiety, isolation and loss of independence.
Keep physically active. Exercise can help to improve your balance and your strength
Falls are very common in older people, however they are preventable. We have many treatments that can help people back to full health and independence, particularly if risk assessment and intervention is provided at an early stage.

Falls in older people can be prevented by increasing awareness of falls risks.”

It looks like I am on the right track and I hope that the work with my colleague in the community centre begins as soon as the funding becomes available.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

We all do it sooner or later, fall down, and the later in life that we do it then the worse its possible outcomes.

A very long time ago, I had to learn how to use a parachute if I needed to. Nothing to it, a piece of cake, at least in those simpler times. The catch came with landing, and the main component in the instruction involved how to hit the ground. No point in getting down if you cannot do that bit safely and without injury.

They taught us well and several times in my life since I have used what I learned: usually in minor incidents but it did rather save my bacon once when I was thrown from a car smash.

A couple of months ago I was up a precarious ladder trimming a high hedge when I leaned back to view how I was getting on, and toppled over backwards. No big deal, my feet were only about three or four feet from the ground when I went, giving no time for ratiocination but plenty for long-learned lessons to kick in – 'automatically'. I rolled out of the fall, laughing. It could have been otherwise.

Old people are recommended to take aspirin, and something beginning with S, to ward off heart attack. Perhaps teaching them all how to fall and, more importantly, how to hit the deck, would make a similar contribution to human welfare.

This still leaves the task of teaching them to behave more sensibly and pay better attention to what they are doing in the first place. That, I suspect, like many other things requires something a bit wider than just pedagogy.

Good luck.