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I am caregiving for myself. I need some kind of device for getting up from the ground outside. I fell one time outside on my pathway and my neighbor's were home to help me. Last night I was trying to hook up my hose to the faucet outside on my patio. To get at a good angle, I sat down on the step outside my patio door. Getting up was a little difficult but I finally figured it out. I've looked at all kinds of devices and they aren't quite right. A cane is too tall, even the ones that are in several parts and then connect to make the cane. The step devices aren't going to help either, as I don't have a whole lot of arm strength. I have not come to a place in my life where I need an alarm yet. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

I think the best defence is to be proactive, a little bit of strength training can go a long way. There is a great web site called elder gym with simple yet effective exercises, many of them are exactly what my mom used in physical therapy.
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Reply to cwillie
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I can't think of a gadget you could carry around with you that would not get in your way and make you more likely to fall in the first place. But if you Google "getting up from the floor after a fall" you will see a range of techniques shown - look through a few until you find one that suits you best.

You say you aren't at the point of needing an alarm "yet." Can I just say, if you wait until you *are* at that point, it's going to be too late, isn't it? Much better to have an alarm set up and not use it, than to need one and still be thinking "oh I'll get one later."
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I had this discussion with Dad who at 89, does weight training each day to keep up his strength. He figured that if he fell in the house, he could use the furniture to help get himself back up. He told me he carried his car keys when working in the garden, so he could set off the car alarm and get the neighbours' attention.

I explained to him that all the furniture in the house could be looked as potential things for him to hit his head on one the way down. If the neighbour who works full time is not home, the car alarm is not going to help. (his home is in a rural area)

We are looking into a personal alarm that can work in multiple locations for him. If we wait for the fall that he cannot get up from, it will be too late. Dad has had one stroke already.

We had a family member who had an alarm, but did not wear it when she got up during the night. She fell and it was 3 days before she was found. By then she was in organ failure and it was too late, she died in hospital.

I strongly encourage SoCalGal to look into a personal alarm sooner than later.

In the mean time, call a plumber and have them put an extension on faucet so you can attach the hose while standing and do not need to bend down to do it. Be mindful of not tripping on the hose as it snakes across the deck.
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Reply to Tothill
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SoCalGal75, I know what you are going through. Anytime I am doing gardening, I am squatting down. Then comes to the time to get back up. Oh dear, what to do?

I have one of those orange buckets that are sold at Home Depot that I toss weeds into... it stands a decent size up and I have found that will give me leverage for standing up. I drag that all over the yard with me.  Has also helped when I find myself sitting on the ground not by choice :(

It's like what in the world happened. I remember about 10 years ago I use to be able to work my yard for 8 hours in a day, hauling large bags of mulch, picking up small limbs and pulling weeds. Boy, that ship passed pretty quickly !!
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Reply to freqflyer
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Keeping up our leg and hip muscles and arm strength is critical as we age. The fitness center I go to has many seniors...I’m 65 but many of them are in 70’s and even older! Even some very obese. The key is to have your doctor refer you to a physical therapist for a mobility assessment and they will assess your strength and give you a program to start doing at home and you will go back and they will check your progress. Also, they can talk to you about how to get up and give suggestions. Medicare will pay for this as they did for my dad when he went through an assessment for mobility. Then add daily walking to your routine. Start out small and build up your time. More fun if you have a buddy. You can usually do the program while watching TV. But do work on those muscles to stay mobile and independent.
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Reply to Harpcat
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Get the 20- or 60-minute workout for elders on the NIH website:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8E8iCYG16ho

Near the end of the workout it gives careful, detailed instructions to use a simple chair to get down on the floor and to get up again.
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Reply to Salisbury
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Getting involved with the medical/hospital/rehab systems is an expensive nightmare. Let that alone be your motivation to listen to the advice previously mentioned here and work on developing your leg/arm strength while at the same time getting yourself an emergency alert button. People young and old can slip and fall, even people with caregivers present may not be able to get up on their own...so the buttons can come in handy. Way better to get a little help getting up from 911 guys and gals than to be lying there for hours. Also, look at some ways to garden that don't require being at ground level. Get a garden stool that is lightweight and has handles that work as legs too depending on how you place it; if you garden in pots, you can put one upside down to raise another. You have a lot of life left to enjoy!
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Reply to gdaughter
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Socalgal:

I agree with those who have suggested strength training.

My great uncle is 96 and works out at a gym daily and he is still mentally and physically fit.

He also lives alone.

It has long been a myth that older people can not gain muscle or muscle strength.

This has been proven time and again to be extremely false and harmful to the elderly who hear these myths because it prevents them from working out.

My great Uncle's gym membership is FREE paid for by his supplemental health insurance.

Working out can stave or even prevent dementia and can definitely help you get up more easily and will also improve your balance.
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Reply to Heather10
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We have a metal stool that is padded - when it is turned 1 way you can kneel about 4 inches off the ground but turned the other way you can sit about 16 inches off the ground - it is light & portable - you probably could get a similar one at a good gardening nursery

Otherwise if that is a place that may continually cause an issue - place a stool at the tap area so you can sit to work on the taps

FYI ... when you go out take your keys & hit the alarm button which will set off your car alarm - tell you nieghbours that you are doing so & if they hear the alarm go off then to check your back yard

My massage therapist works from her home & she has a grab bar outside at her front door so maybe buy a few for places that you feel could be a problem - this will be less expensive than a fall!
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Reply to moecam
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I will be 65 years old in September, and I live in a third floor garden apartment. I take the steps one at a time, and I do not get winded. I guess going up and down the steps can be considered a workout, and the garbage dumpster is down at the far end of the complex so when it's time to take out the garbage, I put on my hiking shoes and hike down there. I am considering joining the Y on the Open Door policy
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Reply to cak2135
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