Falling down

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Joined
Dec 3, 2021
Messages
234
Location
Georgia
At 73 my Wife and I continue to enjoy hiking all over the North Georgia and North Carolina mountains at least every three weeks. We don't shy away for the moderate to difficult trails and we can still do the 8 to 10 mile round trip, but the 5 to 6 miles in and out gives you time to ponder over the outdoors. We have already planned our 4 weeks of hiking and jeeping in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation area just west of Sheridan, Wyoming. We'll be camping at the Hampton Inn & Suites each night after our day trips.

I'm constantly reminding Ms. Lefty to mind her feet and sense of balance climbing over rocks and going down hill. When we turned 65 our doctor told us don't be falling you could get hurt, that thought has stayed with me over the years as we continue to do our thing outdoors.

The other day I was out trying to remove a large limb on a rather steep section of my property. Well next thing I knew I had hit the ground like a sack of potatoes on my left shoulder and proceeded to roll to the bottom of this 25 foot incline that had large rock protruding out of the ground that I made contact with each all the way to the bottom. Man oh man, when I finally came to a stop I laid there for 10 to 15 second to determine if I was still alive or not. I finally got to my feet and discovered I didn't have a broken bone anywhere just a few cuts on my hands where I was trying to stop myself on the way down to the bottom of the hill.

What a blessing....Just a friendly reminder to all you active folks, mind your feet and what you are stepping on. I finished getting the limb up this morning.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
1,699
You've got about eight years on me but I'm starting to notice flexibility and balance is not what it used to be. Lost a little over a year of several days a week of skating and hockey due to covid and even with work don't think I'll get back what I've lost.
With out going into a long story of who, what and why, I've decided that Bosu balance trainers are a really useful training tool. Been working out on them for about four months now and can feel significant improvements. I think a lot of how they work your body would be of value to hiking uneven terrain with crappy footing. My body was not happy for the first six to eight weeks of using them.
 

blammer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
228
Location
Nebraska
I hear you (I'm 72). My mom had doctor who said '... as we get older ... when he'd explain her old age symptoms". Falls are especially bad for older people as balance may get worse and they are more susceptible in falls to bone breaks and other injuries that take longer to heal.

It's inevitable: your body starts falling apart and eventually will quit. Trick is to keep as fit as you can to keep the worst effects of aging at bay. Figure out strategies for coping that work for you. Your body will tell you your limits: hopefully before serious injury. Make changes like taking more trips with smaller loads of stuff. Go for walks instead of runs. Do yoga instead of massive weight lifting. I'm no expert but have a daughter-in-law who is.

And be nice to your medical providers, and your younger relatives and friends :)
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,484
Location
On the beach and in the hills
My balance sucks. I have had several, thankfully, minor falls lately. Just went through a pretty in depth medical exam to find out why.

They checked my ears, all good. Did a CT of my brain, all good there too. Neurologist diagnosed it as Sensory Ataxia.

Basically, the nerves returning signals to the brain are impaired. Three culprits for it.
First age, it happens to everyone to one degree or another as we get older.
Second injury, even injuries from long ago could be rearing its ugly head.
Third diabetes, sadly even the person with very well controlled diabetes is subject to getting it.

What can be done? Well we can’t get any younger. We can’t prevent previous injuries. What we can do is keep fit. Walk, keep those signals flowing. And if you are diabetic, do your best to control it.

The last thing he suggested is a cane or walking stick. Just like a tripod is more stable than a bipod adding that third support makes a world of difference.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
10,293
Location
Webster, MD.
I understand what falling can do. My wife fell about two months ago. She seriously screwed up her back. Has an appointment with an orthopedic doctor in a couple weeks. Unable to straighten up and in pain a lot. If you are getting along in age be advised...you don't bounce back like when you were 30.
 

OVERLOADDED

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
402
Location
Kansas
Valentine day, brought home a large box of chocolates. Left them on the coach, later I returned to the living room to turn my phone
off. Turned to return to bed, (it was dark)stepped on a shoe, fell on the box of chocolates on the coach. All this was done silently, wife was asleep.
I will be 72 in June, my right knee even survived the fall none the worse. Oveloadded
 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,332
Location
missouri
For a full year after my hip replacement, I fell more than I had for years. I decided it was better to fall in a controlled manner than to ty to catch myself and get hurt worse in the process. The next year has involved less falling but more concern and care in movement than before the surgery. I'm constantly telling myself "Don't walk there"/ "Walk around the obstruction rather than step over"/ "Use more care with which foot I lead off or step down with."
I'm alone most of the time especially during cold weather so I have to exercise extreme caution to prevent a debilitating fall which could easily turn into a fatality if it's really cold. I don't worry as much about falling in the goat pasture since I have total confidence that both of the guard dogs would stay with me if I did fall. Downside of that is no one except a known family member could approach to give assistance.
 

Cholo

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
5,964
Location
Georgia
I'm glad you're okay, Jim!

I don't have good balance at all anymore. I like to fish where I have to climb a lot of rocks. I used to be a mtn. goat, but those days are long behind me. I do find using one of these walking sticks to be a great help. It has different feet you can use depending on the terrain. I use the curved rubber ones. These are lightweight and high quality, though I wouldn't use one as a cane. I suppose you could.

Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Collapsible, Lightweight, Shock-Absorbent, Hiking, Walking & Running Sticks with Natural Cork Grips, Flip Locks, 4 Season/All Terrain Accessories and Carry Bag

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IC7XZ68/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,761
Location
NYS
My wife magically got rid of all my extension ladders when I turned 70.... I don't understand why :)

The roof and gutters are now forbidden territory for this hardy DIY personage.

J.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2002
Messages
5,454
Location
Oregon City, Oregon
Many of us are going through this.

After many knee surgeries and a replacement, I somewhat shuffle with one of my feet. So, any unevenness is caught with my shoe, and it tries to trip me.

In the woods, I use a walking stick. It works very well. If I were to use it elsewhere, it would be considered a cane. I'm not ready for that. But my false pride is why I broke a wrist after a little tumble a couple years ago. I wasn't ready for that either.
 

lipofsky

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
316
Location
Central Maine
On the advice of my Father who is in his 80's, Develop plan A and Plan B, I am approaching the completion of my 68th trip around the sun have had ankle surgery and both knees replaced as well as torn rotator cuffs etc, (My father says age has nothing to do with it but mileage is an as kicker) Plan A is how do I get on the floor safely, Plan B is how do I get up from the Floor. I have added plan C as an option, Plan C is how do I avoid utilizing A & B and either staying off the floor and remain upright or to determine if the value of whatever is on the floor is worth the effort required. Life is Good.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
5,093
Location
Southwest Washington
In November 2020 I suffered a TIA or minor stroke. Since then my balance and weakness in my legs has caused me to experience many falling incidents.

This past October I was determined to give hunting a try. Bad idea. I had a walking stick for support, but still managed to fall. I could not stand up on my own, but luckily I was able to contact my brother on his cell. He helped me up and walked me back to the truck. A couple scrapes and bruises was all the damage to me.

That was the end of my hunting season. I am seeing small gains in my stability and leg strength. Hope to be back to normal by the fall.

Dave
 

dweis

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
166
Location
Garnett Valley, PA 19060
As I am just 2 months away from my 80th birthday I really understand the balance issues that are hazards for us older olds. I have been an avid hiker in PA state forests since my 1969 discharge from the Corps. Around age 70 noticed the beginning of balance issues, mild but real. I bought walking sticks and used one, but recently I have been using two. They would not help escape the OP’s fall while working, but they have value when hiking. They are a bit like having more legs. You have four points on the ground rather than only two. It is very reassuring. Stay safe everyone.
 

Rick Courtright

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
7,863
Location
Redlands CA USA
dweis said:
walking sticks and used one, but recently I have been using two. They would not help escape the OP’s fall while working, but they have value when hiking. They are a bit like having more legs. You have four points on the ground rather than only two. It is very reassuring. Stay safe everyone.

Hi,

Old hiker's adage from backpacking years a half century ago:

One foot: bad

Two feet: good

Three feet: better

Four feet: best

I'm coming to understand the wisdom of that saying as my feet seem to come down in different places than planned sometimes, especially turning.

Paying more attention to the cats as they negotiate the house is educational, too! They always seem to have "a plan", especially when being airborne is part of the exercise.

Rick C
 

NewRuger41

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
48
Location
USA!
I'm shy of 50, but when I was 35 I was walking down a mountain trail with my then girlfriend and I took a step, rolled my ankle, and fell face first to the trail and slid down the mountain for nearly 15 feet like that. She snapped a photo of me lying there as I laughed at how lame we humans are (compared to animals). I wasn't even showing off - just took one step and away I went!
 

akbluz

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Messages
380
Location
Wasilla, Alaska
At age 75 and after receiving 2 new knees last Winter I told my surgeon he didn't know it but that we now have a "lifetime guarantee" with my knees. I told him I plan to live to 100 and I expect them to last. He said that he didn't know about any implied contract, but if I did my part and did not FALL that I might make my knees last that long.
With our snow and icy conditions here in Southcentral Alaska, I wear "grippers" on my shoes and boots while outdoors from about October to April. My aim is to stay vertical because I too don't "bounce" very well anymore.
Y'all stay safe.
 

warren5421

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
220
Location
Indy
I am 76 and have neuropathy in my feet from diabetes so have learned to walk watching where the feet are. It is hard on ice covered with snow as you can't see the little ridges under the snow. I have started using one or two canes or walking sticks and stopped hunting except from the porch swing, deer never even look my way. Had to feed my 33 year old horse last week so didn't have my cane and down I went on the ice. I have to learn my limitations.
 
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