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Falling Over - Help getting up!!

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BeaBea

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Hey Folks,

This isn't exactly a 'Health' Issue but I couldn't figure out where else to put it.

If you're a large person and fall over, getting up can be difficult. Folks who want to help don't know where and how to grab you, and being pulled up by the arms runs the risk of damaging both you and them. I know the fear of not being able to get up again haunts lots of us, and I've also seen it given as a reason why people chose to not to ever leave their homes.

I mentioned this method to a girlfriend recently and she hadn't heard of it so I thought I'd share it. They it occurred to me that other people might also have helpful hints and tips they could share...

THE PROPOSAL

Ask your kind assistant to go down on one knee for you (like they were about to propose) That way you have their knee and their shoulder to use as supports to press down on and to pull yourself up by. Both joints can take a fair amount of your weight without risking damage to the helping person. Even relatively insubstantial people can assist this way, and in this position the support they provide is stable too.

If you are worried about your knees on a hard surface (and it feels like mine are about to pull themselves apart if I try) then kneel on wadded up clothes. Either take off an item of your own or ask your assistant if they can remove a coat or something. Last resort, use your handbag (purse) Any cushioning is better than nothing so take a few seconds and think creatively before you risk damaging yourself further.

The Back Story:
I thought I'd share my own personal horror story here... I used to work in The City of London in the heart of the Financial District. I was crossing the road one day when a bike courier came out of no-where and knocked me flying. He didn't stop but I was immediately surrounded by people wanting to help me up. I was very grateful but their offers to pull me up by my hands scared me. I had visions of them landing on top of me or of them dislocating my shoulders. I was stopping the traffic and drawing a HUGE crowd by this time but I had no option other than to crawl across the tarmac to a road sign and use that to pull myself upright.

Not my finest moment but I survived :)

Tracey xx
 
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butch

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Hmm, this is a good thread, BeaBea. I've never been in this situation as the fallen person, but have offered my help to others in this situation, and on my end, as the helper, I've never had problems with the joints in my arms when I've taken someone's hands and helped them up, nor have I been injured or fallen myself helping another large person into a standing position. If I plant my feet far apart, and lift, I'm good to go when helping someone else get up, but then again, I don't know if that is ergonomically (and I don't feel like looking up the spelling of this word) wise to do, for either party.

I hope you get some helpful tips in this thread.
 

SocialbFly

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ouch ouch ouch, but what a great idea...i have a bad knee, so the thought of kneeling on it, makes me wanna puke...as i get older it only gets harder to get up...even really big bathtubs make me concerned...

thanks for the info, great ideas
 

BeaBea

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Butch, Babe, can you explain a bit more of how you find the best way to do this? Where do you grab them or where do they grab you? I'm trying to get my head round it!

Thanks - Tracey xx
 

Lady at Large

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Tracey,

I have had a lot of those not finest moments. I am a clutz and I have Multiple Sclerosis...so falling down is a given. It is hard to know what to do exactly, I too worry that I will pull some unlikely helper down upon myself if they try to help me up...which I guess is an interesting way to make a new friend...but not always.

I do the proposal thing for myself though, one knee up and I can put my body weight on it and get my other leg under me and bam! I'm up! (and looking around to make sure only HALF the world saw me do it.) :D

Butch sounds like she is using herself as the counterweight to the other person.
 

butch

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Hmm, well, I squat and spread my legs out, grab both of the other person's hands, and gently pull up, rocking back slowly as I pull. Depending on the person's position, I have been known to offer parts of my body for them to lean on as they work themselves into a sitting position for the lift-up portion of the getting into a standing position.

Also, if a ledge or a pole is nearby, then the person can crawl to that, and that support helps us get the person into a standing position, if that makes sense. Sometimes all thats needed is a shoulder to lean on, literally and figuratively, in these situations.
 

AnnMarie

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I do the proposal thing for myself though, one knee up and I can put my body weight on it and get my other leg under me and bam! I'm up! (and looking around to make sure only HALF the world saw me do it.) :D
I used to be able to do that, but my knees are both so shot, that now I need something very solid to push up on to get myself up.

The position of helper that Tracey proposed is what I almost had to resort to last time I was down, but I got lucky and was able to do it.

I thought, until very recently, I could use a wall... it would be enough to push against, but I actually tried it at home in a test run, and NO GO!

Bah, I absolutely hate the thought of it.

I've had to help up very, very large friends after a couple of falls, and usually one of us in front with crossed arms and hand holding, and one behind with arms under the arms is enough to get them up and running... it just depends on the position they fall, and how much help they're able to give. Over the years, my friends and I have been able to get up lots of fallen fatties... so we're pretty damn good at it, even if it's not always graceful.

Also, a super way if you have access is to use a sheet. You wrap the sheet around the persons back, under their arms, you grab the ends, and they grab the sheet... as you pull up, so do they.... it removes the possible pain of tiny hands digging into fat, and gives more overall strength to the pull.
 

EvilPrincess

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Also, a super way if you have access is to use a sheet. You wrap the sheet around the persons back, under their arms, you grab the ends, and they grab the sheet... as you pull up, so do they.... it removes the possible pain of tiny hands digging into fat, and gives more overall strength to the pull.
I recently attended a session about big people and falls. There is a lifting device that is made just for this, heavy material, and there hand straps on the sides. I need to look for the resource! (that means I have to unpack my suitcases..... not a pleasant thought...wet bathing suits....shudder)


I shall return!
 

Risible

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Another great thread, Tracey. Thanks!

I fell here at home a few months ago; tripped over a 1/8" thick computer chair mat :rolleyes:, and fell on one knee. Ouchie! Fortunately, I was right next to the bed, which I used to steady myself and pull myself up.

I have a fear of falling on the street without a chair or bench around to help me up. I have a fear of relying on a mere human to pull me up. My husband is a big, strong man, but if I were to put my full weight into it, I'd probably pull him over.

Your method sounds like it'd work, Tracey, and yours too, AM, but I think if I were to fall outside my home, that I'd be in a state of such panic and embarrassment that the adrenalin would help me up as much as another person or my own body.

A little off topic, but an incident that has helped to shape my fear of falling in public, is an event that occurred while we were sightseeing at the Grand Canyon a few years ago. We went to board a tour bus, one of the free shuttle buses that they have there, and the step up was a little much for me. A passenger, a smallish man, gallantly offered his hand to help me up, and I guess I misjudged the effort it would take to haul my 400-pound body up that step, because I needed to pull on the stranger's hand to get myself up, and, of course, I very nearly yanked him off his feet and out of the bus. I was hideously embarrassed and apologized to him, red-faced, sweating and profusely.
 

Cat

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Great thread!

My experience -- falling on ice. I've done it several times and survived.

If you happen to live in an icy area, you've gotta know how to pick yourself up after doing a pratt fall on one of the sneaky hidden ice patches or in ice storms.

1st. Look around to see if anyone noticed. You know if someone did it's going to be 50 times more painful than if you're all alone.

2nd. Remove your shoes. If you have socks/stockings on, the warmth of your feet will warm the ice and give you traction with the texture of your socks. (If you want to avoid falling in the first place and you've got glaze ice everywhere, remove your shoes and walk in your socks. Obviously only do this if you're coming home or going someplace warm/dry immediately afterwards...Promise, this works! It's saved me many, many times.)

3rd. Find something to lean on. If you're kind of close to something, crawl or roll over to it. Tracey did it, so can you! Even a wall will come in handy if you press against it while coming up from a one-knee stance. Snow banks are perfect, too. I seem to fall on sidewalks and crosswalks often, and when doing so, I've found that even the difference in height between the pavement and a curbed sidewalk can be all the leverage you'll need to get up relatively easily.

4th. After getting up, make sure you're not seriously injured. Oftentimes the adrenelin will make you think everything is fine for 15 minutes. If you start to notice swelling, severe pain or the like, please get medical attention. What's the old saying? "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." Something like that, anyway.​

I think it's a good idea to practice getting up without assistance, too. I don't mean to say that you should do it often -- such things can wrack your body out of shape -- but to do it every once in a while just so you know you can in case of an emergency.
 

supersoup

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Slightly off-topic, but a friend of mine, his mother, fell a few weeks ago and no one was home to help her. She was outside, not near a phone, and literally could not get up off the ground, she was so weak and trembling. She literally crawled on her arms around their house over the course of an hour to get to where she could stand! I was mortified when she told me this!

What I would like to do is buy her a pre-paid cell phone and rig some kind of necklace that she could wear and keep the phone with her at all times for these emergencies. Had she been near a cell phone, she could have called her sister who lives 5 minutes away.

Could you all help me brainstorm for small pre-paid phones and necklace-type hanging ideas -- or any other ideas for these cases?
as far as the actual phone, id just get a trac fone...they are typically the cheapest, and you only need to buy a 7 dollar card every 30 days to keep it activated. and the necklace part...you can get little cell phone cases most anywhere these days that are like little pouches with wrist straps...i'd just hand sew on a longer piece of lovely, hardy ribbon that she could wear around her neck, and with the case being a pouch, the phone wouldn't fly out if she ever fell again!
 

BeaBea

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Could you all help me brainstorm for small pre-paid phones and necklace-type hanging ideas -- or any other ideas for these cases?
Hi Missaf,

My Grandma wears something very similar to this I dont think its this exact one but I did a quick google and this was top of the listings. Its very tiny and discrete but has proved to be life-saver on more than one occasion.

Tracey xx
 

Zandoz

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I'm a veteran of several nasty falls a year...klutz, shot ankles, knees and hips, plus a screwed up balance system due to ear problems.

My best tidbits are if you are going to be venturing out alone, take a cane...and not a decorative one, a solid sturdy one with a non-slip tip. If you can get as far as your knees, on one or two, the tripod effect of the cane can be a tremendous help in getting up. But remember to position it relatively close to the body so that your center of gravity is not thrown dramatically out of line. One technique that has worked for me is instead of using the cane one handed/armed as when walking, have it centered in front of you, straight up and down, with both hands fingers interlaced over the handle...this allows the use of both arms strength in getting you up, instead of just one.

The other thing that I've found that at least helps get as far up as the knees is that if there is space enough, don't just land from your fall, try to use your momentum to kind of barrel roll and come up on hands and knees.
 

Risible

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Could you all help me brainstorm for small pre-paid phones and necklace-type hanging ideas -- or any other ideas for these cases?
The poor woman! It dismays me to no end when I hear about stuff like this happening to seniors.

Have you looked at the AARP website? They probably have resources and suggestions galore.
 

Lady at Large

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Missaf,

Like the thing Tracey mentioned my gran also wore a necklace thing with a panic button on it. There was a service (very reasonable per month fee) that would monitor it. She got so frail at the end that she would never have made it up alone. The peace of mind alone is worth any price. Thinking about a loved one in a precarious position is just frightening!
 

liz (di-va)

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In my modern dance class in college, we did this exercise where we helped people off the floor in a dead weight. It wouldn't help in every situation, but it works surprisingly well when it does, using the Lever Principle. Most people just pull with their arms when they're trying to help people up. But if you step back quite a way, then lean in with your whole body, prepared to then lean/pull all the way back, then you're using *your* whole weight as a counterweight. I was able to send some very big people flying off the floor/chair. Like I said, I know it doesn't work in every position, but I thought I'd mention it as another tool here.

I freakin hate falling. I need to move to a less icy city. From Nov-Apr I take tiny steps all day long. I think this is a good thread.
 

stillblessed23

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2nd. Remove your shoes. If you have socks/stockings on, the warmth of your feet will warm the ice and give you traction with the texture of your socks. (If you want to avoid falling in the first place and you've got glaze ice everywhere, remove your shoes and walk in your socks. Obviously only do this if you're coming home or going someplace warm/dry immediately afterwards...Promise, this works! It's saved me many, many times.)
One thing we do in the ice Cat is actually putting socks on the outside of our shoes. It actually does add extra traction and helps to prevent falls. We just buy a pack or two of cheap socks and roll them on over our shoes.

I wish I would have seen a thread like this a few months ago my aunt is a SSBBW and she is very pear shaped. She has had a few falls and my father and I had the hardest time trying to figure out how to help her up without hurting her. Hopefully she will never slip or fall again but now I have some ideas of how to better help her and I am actually going to relay some to her.
 
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Cat

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Oooh...interesting. I never really thought about putting the socks on the outside for traction. Good tip!
 

Paul

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Stillblessed the socks are a good idea. I know that shoemaker repair shops can add something to the bottom of your shoes for extra traction. I think they are pieces of rubber, but I am not sure since it was quite a while ago that a saw the sign outside the shoemaker at our local mall advertising grips which can be added to the bottom of one's shoes.
 

BigCutieCindy

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I've taken several falls over the last year or so. Until the one I took at the 2006 NAAFA convention I could always manage to get up on my own. Since that fall I can no longer kneel, even on a bed it's incredibly difficult.

When I fell at the convention there were a bunch of fatties/fatty lovers around and getting up wasn't horrible (with the help of 5 or so strong fa's). Exactly a week later I fell on my slippery floor after getting out of the shower. I was home alone, wet and nekkid! There was no way I was getting up on my own since I was still healing from the previous week's fall (I had hurt my knees and wrist). I managed to roll over onto my bum and bum walk into the living room where I still had my clothes from the convention (laziness does come in handy sometimes). I slipped a dress over myself and proceeded to bum walk to my cell phone. To make a long story shorter, I ended up calling 911 and 2 ambulance attendants and a cop or two wrapped a blanket under my shoulders, and around my back, then slid me up the backboard.

2 weeks after that I fell yet again at a restaurant with a bunch of fatties/and a fa or two. I fell right one my bum...two people pulling me and one behind me giving support as I got up (like AnnMarie said...thanks, AM...lol) worked. I was pretty apprehensive about going anywhere after that month. When you are afraid of falling it does a number on your confidence.

I managed to stay on my feet until February of this year when I fell while alone at my apartment....hello 911...again.

A friend has suggested that I get an aerobed and use it as a lift system. I'm not sure it will left me high enough though. My legs can be pretty week. I probably will try the aerobed thing, though.

By the way, I always wear my cell phone on my shirt (clippy holder thingy) except in the shower. I was going to get a lifeline thingy but I don't have a land line, only my cell
 
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