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How do you practise getting up on your own after a fall?

By 17 December 2019 No Comments

An exercise for practising how to get up again

Elderly people are among those who run a higher risk of falling, whether at home, in hospital or in a nursing home. In order to know how to react when a fall occurs, it is possible to prepare for the eventuality by means of a simulation exercise.
How do you proceed? Here is a description of the different steps in this exercise which will enable you to get up again all on your own.
  • Act as if you’ve just fallen and lie down on the ground.
  • Take the time to breathe deeply and calm down. After a fall, a person experiences something which can be compared to a state of paralysis. It is therefore necessary to take a moment to recover.
  • Once the feeling of paralysis has passed, locate a chair or an armchair. This piece of furniture will be of valuable help in getting up again more easily.
  • Turn onto your stomach.
  • Support yourself with your arms. Next, raise your pelvis and kneel. This is a particularly delicate step. It is also crucial for understanding how muscles react.
  • On your knees, move towards the armchair or chair. Use it as a support to get up again, using your strongest leg.
  • Sit on the armchair or chair.

Why practise?

Learning how to get up after a fall is of vital importance, from both a physical and a psychological point of view. It is an effective tool for preventing falls.
  • Learning how to get up after a fall is of vital importance, from both a physical and a psychological point of view. It is an effective tool for preventing falls.
    First of all, practising will help the elderly person to anticipate what is going to happen. Practising beforehand helps trigger certain reflex actions during the fall. Developing reflexes enables patients to pass over the first stage with its elements of surprise and paralysis when the fall occurs.
    It also has an impact on autonomy: this exercise enables patients to know how and to realise which points they need to work on. Such as, for example, asking the question: ‘Do I have enough strength in my arms?’ or ‘which is my strongest leg?’ Depending on the answers, it may be useful to do some muscle-strengthening exercises and to ask for some advice from a physiotherapist.
    Secondly, this technique enables patients to work on their self-confidence and so to reduce their fear of falling. If you do not prepare for them, falls can have real psychological consequences, in addition to the physical ones – the so-called post-fall syndrome. This occurs in 15 to 20% of all cases and results in a genuine phobia in the person who has fallen when it comes to moving about.
    Practising is also an opportunity to reflect on the organisation of one’s home. To help you with this, check out this practical check-list which will help you to make your home more secure. Take this list on a tour of your home and identify dangerous situations that should be modified.
    In a nutshell, preparation helps patients to react better if they fall and to improve the quality of life of elderly people. To help you carry out the exercise, take a look at the video presentation of the technique, which is described in detail above.

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MintT is offering a series of tools that you can download to prevent falls and train carers, as well as some documents on the fall detector.

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