Ageing may have its up and downs, quips Veeve Holtz, but falls shouldn’t have anything to do with it!
Such is the theme of her sensible and cheerful book, A Solution to Avoiding Falls in Older Adults ** that offers people aged 65-plus a wealth of advice about how to improve what may be a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle and so prevent unnecessary falls and possible grave injury.
Holtz, a fall prevention specialist and an expert in kinesiology – the study of the mechanics of body movements – heads FKS Medfit, a US medical company that runs a virtual exercise rehabilitation service, encouraging patients to have religious faith, self-knowledge and so improve their strength.
“You are responsible for taking care of yourself, and the health care system should not be in control of your wellbeing”, she writes. “Improving your risk of preventable conditions such as falls occurs when you participate in improving your own well-being”.
While I cannot argue with her general philosophy of mens sana in corpore sano - a healthy mind in a healthy body - I must take issue with the author’s insistence that the only true faith is Christianity, thus turning away potential patients from other traditions.
Further, fictional situations in the book and the illustrations on the FKS company website and social media pages, make it unclear whether patients and staff ever meet in real time or only via email correspondence.
Moreover, I suggest the fees for the various e-coaching programmes – which surely involve minimum overheads for FKS - make treatment very much a luxury for the well-heeled, well-insured classes.
Nothing daunted, I conclude with Holtz’s description of the ‘soft “drop and fall” technique’, a routine supposed to cause the least potential damage in event of a fall.
There are many other safe landing procedures illustrated on the web. But how one may be trained to use any method instinctively in a truly shocking situation is well beyond my ken!
If you feel yourself beginning to fall, do not resist it but let your body go limp; this will position your body to roll into the fall naturally. Refrain from stiffening your body and instead bend at the joints, specifically the elbows, wrists and knees. While you are falling, protect your head by tucking your chin and lifting up your arms. The goal is to land on your buttocks!
Now we know!
** FKS MedFit Presents: A Solution to Avoiding Falls in Older Adults is available from Amazon on Kindle ($3.99) and Paperback ($11.95).
© Natalie Wood (28 December 2017)