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.
It does take physical strength to get back up from the ground. You can find resources online demonstrating the right technique, but basically you have to get yourself onto your hands and knees, and then you can use a stable piece of furniture to steady yourself as you put your stronger leg forward and get back up. This page from an Australian health department shows the process
How to teach older adults to get up has not been particularly clinically studied (to my knowledge), but exercises that strengthen your legs, core, and arms will help.
Especially if you have fallen, I recommend bringing this up with your doctor and asking about a referral to physical therapy, for gait, balance, and strength evaluation. Many older adults who have fallen have low leg strength, and also often poor balance.
A physical therapy program called Otago has been extensively clinically tested and was proven to reduce falls in older adults. The CDC was trying to promote it a few years ago. You may or may not be able to find it near you.
At a minimum, you can tell the physical therapist that you'd like to be strong enough to get up off the floor, and they can recommend suitable exercises.
I also agree with considering an emergency response pendant. Another option is to install a home sensor system that can alert someone if you aren't moving around as usual (this doesn't usually enable you to get help right away, but can help you avoid being down for days before you are found).
Good luck and take care.
Good work. Yes, climbing three flights of stairs, daily, is excellent exercise because stair climbing requires lifting your own body weight.
Joining the Y is a great idea. You will meet like-minded people and stay stronger.
Working out is a life long endeavor. If a person stops working out they will start to lose muscle strength within a few weeks and then the muscle will slowly deteriorate.
Walking will help maintain muscle but it will likely not improve muscle strength. It is a good cardiovascular choice.
Lifting weights is far better for maintaining muscle and building strength. That is why stair climbing, in which you lift your entire body weight is a good choice.
For the elderly, using machines that keep the core stabilized, while using a specific muscle group to lift the machines weight, is a safer way to work out as the machines prevent back injury by keeping the core stabilized.
My parents use to walk 2 miles a day, come rain or shine for over 30 years. Then my Dad had a heart attack in his late 80's and they had to stop those walks. Dad never was able to do that much walking ever again.
What happens is that time becomes so limited when working full-time and the extra time was helping my folks that I had to cut out the gym or any type of exercise. I was amazed how all that hard work being at the gym was slowly disappearing. Then throw in a serious illness on myself. I never got back to my gym weight or strength :((
Now I can't even walk around the block without getting winded.
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!
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.
It may be time to ask at your church for "handymen" to come help around the house. Boyscouts would be another choice for helpers. But a lot of churches have lists of people needing assistance around the house - like for mowing.
They can evaluate your strength for sitting, standing, getting up...Once the evaluation is complete they can work on strength and mobility. You will need to keep this up on your own. If you are on Medicare I think there is a program Silver Sneakers and it covers a gym membership, you might want to check that out.
Last resort...Call 911 and ask for a "Lift Assist" they will come out , help you or anyone else up. They will ask if you need medical attention, transport to the hospital. Just say NO, all I needed was the lift assist. There will be, in most areas, no charge if there is no transport.
Do inform your Doctor that you are having problems and would like the PT evaluation that can help in many ways.
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.
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 !!
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.
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."