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When a Fall is Unavoidable: Strategies for Falling More Safely

Learning to fall is a valuable lesson for people of all ages to learn, but it’s particularly helpful as we age and begin experiencing muscle weakness and balance issues. Strength and balance can be impacted by illness or physical conditions, but can also be a side effect of certain medications or a sudden startle. Taking the time to teach yourself how to fall more safely may be the difference between a small bruise and a permanent injury.

How to Fall Safely

When trying to control a fall, the goal is to limit physical injury by actively aiming for a softer landing. Review the following techniques to avoid unnecessary injuries:

  • If possible, swing your arms and lean into the fall to control the direction in order to avoid other people or objects that may cause punctures or fractures.
  • Rotate to fall sideways, rather than forwards or backwards, so your shoulder can protect your head from direct impact.
  • Relax your muscles – you’re more likely to injure yourself if you tense up during impact.
  • Aim for the softer areas of your body, such as butt and thighs, to provide more protection as you land.
  • When you’ve landed, remember to bend your knees and roll onto your side to reduce further movement.

Consider creating a plan with your loved ones for what to do after you have a fall. Take your time to pause and breathe for a few minutes as you take stock of any possible injuries, as falling can often cause shock to set in. Take as much time as needed to sit up – moving too fast or suddenly can make an injury worse. If you feel confident you are unharmed, shift to your hands and knees first, and then use a support, such as a sturdy chair, to sit and call for help. If you experience a fall, call 911, an emergency contact, or use a medical alert necklace to get assistance immediately.

If you need additional support, inquire about fall prevention courses that may be available at your local community center or senior living communities.

Explore more about Preventive Measures To Decrease Your Risk of Falling.

Willow River is Here to Help

At Willow River, we understand the challenges that Alzheimer’s and dementia can bring. If you have questions or need help, Willow River has the answers and resources you need. Call Willow River Senior Living at 888-546-1886 to start the conversation today.