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Getting up off the floor

 
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I had an interesting discussion with my mom this morning about how to get up off the floor.

My body and my mom's bodies are different, the way I get up easily she can't do, what helps her doesn't help me. I wonder if anyone has ever done a study of the ways people are able to get up easily, and sorted them by types. It would be interesting if you needed help or an item in the house to help you get up, you could say "I'm a type C" and type C devices or assistance would be the right thing for you.

I often feel bad when people who are trying to be nice offer me a hand to get up, as 98% of the time, that will not help me in the least, and I refuse the offer. The angle a hand can be given is the wrong angle for what I need, and I need both of my hands to be at the angle I can get up easily. So I try to be nice about the offer, but I know people are confused. If I could say "I'm a type E" and people understood what that meant, maybe they could offer "oh, then, want this rug moved out of your way?"

Has anyone ever heard of a study of this sort of thing? I know they teach classes to seniors about getting up, but the one I saw there was no way I could have gotten up the way they were teaching. Seems like something that would be neat to have as common knowledge, what the types were and how to help each type.
 
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It sounds like to are talking Occupational Therapy territory.  I know there are a few on this site. Hopefully they will respond.  I find your question to be fascinating.
 
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I have fallen twice due to a balance problem.

Once I was outside with the dog who caused me to lose my balance.

The second time, the cat ran by touching my leg and that is all it took for me to lose my balance and hit the concrete floor.

This video shows the only way it works for me to get up.  I have to have something under my knees and something to grab onto.



I know everyone is different and we each need to find what works for us.

 
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And, having multiple options is a necessity for me. If my balance is the 'problem du jour', I need something to hold onto, and pull as close to straight up & level, as possible. If it's my knee(s), it's all about leverage. If it's my hips or lower back, I need to roll to my knees and 'climb' my hands up something stationary, if anything is combined with my shoulders acting up... just hand me a hankerchief (because I'll likely be in tears), and be super patient with me.
 
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I reached out to 2 people who I thought would be able to suggest good resources.

Alas, I think my sister missed the point...

Mom and I took courses at the Y.  Best bet to get up is having a chair to hold onto.  Use arms and legs to pull your self up.  Make sure you are steady before trying to get up or you could just fall again.  Best is to eliminate stuff you can trip over etc. so you do not fall in the first place.  And stay away from ladders.



To be fair, the course was aimed at frail elderly people, most of whom had already had a fall which is what got them referred to the "course at the Y". I don't know that this is true everywhere, but the YMCA in my sister's region has a deal with one of the Government supported health branches to subsidize group exercise programs for people in need. I think the idea is to try to keep potentially marginalized groups integrated into the community through healthy programs. If someone's embarrassed about being short of money as a retired person, going to the "Y" doesn't smell of charity, so they were attracting a lot of elderly to their daytime programs which is their "quiet time" compared to the evening demand. I mention this because if anyone is living urban, this is a model which could be beneficial in many communities.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Best bet to get up is having a chair to hold onto.  Use arms and legs to pull your self up.



That works if you are "Type A"  :D

I'm NOT that type, and that doesn't work for me in the least. and I'm not the only one like me. I can't get up that way even if I'm not hurt from falling.

So no, not real useful. I'm more curious if anyone has figured out the different types of ways people can get up, and and if it's enough of a system to be useful.
 
Carla Burke
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That one wouldn't work for me, either - I'd end up pulling the chair over, on top of me. I think this is the kind of approach Pearl is looking to address - a one-size-fits-all approach rarely fits even half the people. I'm liking the concept of type-based categories, I'm just unsure how to get it recognized and adopted by the greater population.
 
Jay Angler
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Carla Burke wrote: I'm liking the concept of type-based categories, I'm just unsure how to get it recognized and adopted by the greater population.

Absolutely - and I totally get that part. However, step 1 is to figure out what the experts are suggesting, step 2 is to figure out who that works for and who it doesn't work for (I don't see many convenient chairs randomly sitting in my food forest in case someone needs them!), step 3 is getting permies to test these ideas in real life and as you identified, with different health issues changing best practices depending on flare-ups etc, and step 4 is a distant goal of getting the word out past permies.

A good intermediary to the long-term step 4 is helping people here on permies to identify the first things they need to do if they fall in public. People respond better when you tell them "do X" rather than "don't do Y". So being able to say, "due to back damage, I need space to roll onto my side to get back up. Please help clear that space."
 
Carla Burke
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Jay, I definitely agree - on all points! And here, even if we had those chairs conveniently placed, they'd be useless on our horribly uneven ground. I am often wont to use trees - be it a low branch or a sturdy, small tree - not just for getting up, but for maneuvering the steep, rocky inclines, when encountering them, unexpectedly (think hauling up a tipped and displaced water tub, for the goats, when they're near/in the ravines). Back when I needed a walking staff, I chose one of heavy sassafras, that was about shoulder height and roughly 2 inches in diameter. It allowed me to use it for leverage from the ground, the bed, a chair, whatever, and by only being a staff, not a walker or something with multiple legs, I had nearly infinite options, for positioning. But, since I'm so much more mobile, now, I don't take it with me, everywhere (unless I'm having a truly horrible flare), so it's rarely around, when I need it for getting up.

 
Pearl Sutton
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I was hoping there IS a system, I don't care to attempt to make one up, too many factors at play in everyone.

The way I get myself up involves having very damaged knees, very high flexibility, and I work out every day that way. No one who doesn't fit all that cares how I get up, they can't do it.

It's the idea of a system that has been figured out that I want.

My aunt fell. My other aunt couldn't help her up. I'd love to be able to tell her "Buy a Type C support for your house, so you can get up" or whatever type she is, and know that the product they are selling would be what she needed.

There was a lady across the street who fell on a regular basis, she'd call 911, and it took them a while to figure out how to get her up easily when she did. I think if 911 response crews knew what "type C" meant, and she knew to say it, they'd have an easier time of helping people.

That's what I'm hoping to learn, IS there a system out there that might be useful? Not any particular style, but a system that has figured out the basic styles and might make it easier for us all to learn how we can get up, and how to help others. Seems like the Occupational Therapy folks might have something like that figured out. Or someone.
 
Jay Angler
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Carla Burke wrote:Back when I needed a walking staff, I chose one of heavy sassafras, that was about shoulder height and roughly 2 inches in diameter. It allowed me to use it for leverage from the ground, the bed, a chair, whatever, and by only being a staff, not a walker or something with multiple legs, I had nearly infinite options, for positioning. But, since I'm so much more mobile, now, I don't take it with me, everywhere (unless I'm having a truly horrible flare), so it's rarely around, when I need it for getting up.

Yes, a walking staff is great if you need it, but it takes up a hand that might otherwise be used for carrying something else! If you drop it, it might end up being hard to pick up and you might fall trying. If you put a wrist strap on it, you might end up breaking your wrist in a situation that otherwise wouldn't have. The list goes on...

However, using any old stick on the ground to get yourself up, has other risks, as you may not know how strong it is.

So Pearl needs a "Type B" system, and it sounds like you need a "Type C" system or maybe, because you flare in different joints, you actually could use "Type B" some days, but need Type C or Type D on other days/weeks.

I'm suspicious we may have to generate this ourselves and let it spread like ripples on a pond.

I do know of one way that's taught to "good Samaritans" is to get the downed person into as good a sitting position as possible with their knees bent in front of them. The Samaritan puts the toes of their shoes against the toes of the victim, holds both the victims hands, and then uses counterbalance to get them to their feet.

It would take some research to sort through all the repeats on the web to find a good selection - not a this morning task for me.
 
Carla Burke
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Jay Angler wrote: Yes, a walking staff is great if you need it, but it takes up a hand that might otherwise be used for carrying something else! If you drop it, it might end up being hard to pick up and you might fall trying. If you put a wrist strap on it, you might end up breaking your wrist in a situation that otherwise wouldn't have. The list goes on...


Precisely the reason it sits in the corner of the garage, now, unless I've had a horrid flare or injury that forces it back into my hand.

Jay Angler wrote:However, using any old stick on the ground to get yourself up, has other risks, as you may not know how strong it is.


Exactly! That's why I carefully choose sturdy small trees, if at all possible, instead - sometimes, even big &/or buried rocks or roots.

Jay Angler wrote:
So Pearl needs a "Type B" system, and it sounds like you need a "Type C" system or maybe, because you flare in different joints, you actually could use "Type B" some days, but need Type C or Type D on other days/weeks.

I'm suspicious we may have to generate this ourselves and let it spread like ripples on a pond.


Yeh. And, Pearl is right - you'd THINK someone would have already figured out this 'type' system.

Jay Angler wrote:
I do know of one way that's taught to "good Samaritans" is to get the downed person into as good a sitting position as possible with their knees bent in front of them. The Samaritan puts the toes of their shoes against the toes of the victim, holds both the victims hands, and then uses counterbalance to get them to their feet.  



That method has helped me, in the past. Another, meant for those who work all day with folks with mobility problems, is a sturdy,multi-layered canvas belt that they wear below the waist - preferably settled at the top of their hips. It has handles in several positions, for their patients to grip. This gives the patients a place to hold on, for stability, and some often needed forward pul, while freeing the care giver's hands to allow them to grip upper arms, shoulders, add support in the form of pillows, etc. This obviously isn't a portable means, for the rest of us, but it might give a bit of insight, and find its own place, in the type list.

Pearl, I know you're not looking to 'start' anything. But, like the rest of the permies concepts, it has to start somewhere, the perennial nature of this site could give the idea a spotlight, later on, and it seems like you may have at the very least, drawn more attention to the need. Also, we have an aging population that could greatly benefit from it. Kudos for starting something you never meant to start!
 
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Jay Angler wrote: Yes, a walking staff is great if you need it, but it takes up a hand that might otherwise be used for carrying something else! If you drop it, it might end up being hard to pick up and you might fall trying. If you put a wrist strap on it, you might end up breaking your wrist in a situation that otherwise wouldn't have. The list goes on...


Carla Burke wrote:Precisely the reason it sits in the corner of the garage, now, unless I've had a horrid flare or injury that forces it back into my hand.



There are skills and techniques to using a stick. Just like all other walking aides, you can get training in how best to manage them with your current capabilities. I remember working with a very nice Occupational Therapist who gave me a stern talking to, gave me a new way to look at life after brain surgery, and taught me how best to use a walker and make the transition to a walking stick (not a cane. I can't use a cane.) and to where I am now, moving away from the use of a stick.
When I need to use a stick to remind me where the ground is, because my brain forgets, I can easily carry my bo with me. I have a collapsible version for taking on trips that I need to practice more with, but it works just the same.  For those times when I need it with me, but need two hands for reasons, there are ways to tuck it into my armpit, lean it against my shoulder, or otherwise have it touching me while I do other things. I can lean it against something nearby and grab it up again when I have to shift position. It's all part of what I learned to do with it as a weapon first - always know where your weapon is! - and then with the fun body awareness of learning to use it as "part of what I do".

Jay Angler wrote:However, using any old stick on the ground to get yourself up, has other risks, as you may not know how strong it is.


Carla Burke wrote:Exactly! That's why I carefully choose sturdy small trees, if at all possible, instead - sometimes, even big &/or buried rocks or roots.


Yes. This. I know there are a bunch of sticks around. I plan my yard so there are piles of brush and sticks around. I have also started "making useful sticks" by separating those that are best for certain jobs and trim them up in a way that makes them obvious from the others. They are ready for trellises, supports, something to wave at a chicken or herd a goose, and chase away a dog, and even support me. By going through them when I have the time and inclination, I can prestage them around the yard so I know there's a handy stick just a few feet or yards or ... away. It gives me an intermediate step to getting inside.

Jay Angler wrote:
I do know of one way that's taught to "good Samaritans" is to get the downed person into as good a sitting position as possible with their knees bent in front of them. The Samaritan puts the toes of their shoes against the toes of the victim, holds both the victims hands, and then uses counterbalance to get them to their feet.  


Carla Burke wrote:
That method has helped me, in the past. Another, meant for those who work all day with folks with mobility problems, is a sturdy,multi-layered canvas belt that they wear below the waist - preferably settled at the top of their hips. It has handles in several positions, for their patients to grip. This gives the patients a place to hold on, for stability, and some often needed forward pul, while freeing the care giver's hands to allow them to grip upper arms, shoulders, add support in the form of pillows, etc. This obviously isn't a portable means, for the rest of us, but it might give a bit of insight, and find its own place, in the type list.


In martial arts you are taught several ways to get up. "Do what's most comfortable for you" is the first. Then you are asked why you chose that way.

I have a belt like you describe that was part of my kit for leaving the hospital last time because I was so weak and unable to move easily. It's a wide webbing with an adjustable buckle that's supposed to go under the arms and across the chest and fasten, center mass. Your helper can then help to lift you while you are "body stable". It should be the first thing emergency responder crews reach for, unless it's preferable to keep the patient reclined. I'm sure we paid for mine, but I have no idea how much or to whom.

Most people who try to help others get up do it wrong. Y'all have the right idea (because you're there, with me and might have the training from the "useful helper" viewpoint) in having the patient, if possible, grab the Useful Helper. Too often, I ask for assistance and have some helpful person grab my arm. All that does is pull me off balance. Hold out your arm and let me grab onto it. I have a better idea of what support I need and where. Trust me to know what I need to stay upright.

When I get up from the floor, thanks to training in falling and getting up - 2.5 hours one night when I was getting ready to test for a belt and my instructor realized he hadn't taught the skills in about 2 years - I roll to my stomach, get my arms and legs underneath me, into a hands and knees position, then shift to downward dog, and stand up like a toddler learning to walk. If you think of trying to be stable as being much like a toddler - and copy what they do with modifications for whatever your particular troubles might be, you can start more stable and transition easier.

I have had 25 years of practice in both being stubborn about standing up even when it's the least logical thing to do, and standing up properly and what that means for me. When I first started to have trouble, it took me 2 weeks to figure out that passing out when I stood up meant I should probably stop standing up for awhile. It's hard to Not Stand Up, even when it might not be the best idea.

I'm pretty sure someone has a system of some sort. The chair idea wouldn't work for me. I'm sure there are other techniques that just don't work for certain people for different reasons. I think the idea of a system of categories based on techniques is a good one and would love to help set one up or try to find one. This is something that will only become more important as the years pass and our populations age.  
 
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