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Published Friday 27 Apr 2018

“I always take my mobile phone into the garden with me. If I don’t have a pocket, I just pop it under my bra-strap up near my shoulder. If you trip over and your phone is on the other side of the garden, what’s the point in taking it out there in the first place?”
Focus group member, Wellington

Falls happen more often than you’d think but there are a few simple things you can do:

  • keep your telephone within easy reach, even from the floor
  • leave a spare key in a secure place outside or with someone you trust so they can let themselves in if needed
  • get a personal medical alarm
  • discuss your plans with friends, family or neighbours.

If you fall

  • Stay calm and assess your situation
  • Decide whether you’ll try to get up
  • If you can get up, use something sturdy to support yourself
  • Get medical help if you need it, and tell your doctor about the fall
  • If you can’t get up, try to get to the phone or call out to attract attention, and make yourself as comfortable as possible until help arrives.

Have you tried getting down on the floor and back up again recently? The Plan Ahead section in the Love you Independence booklet (down load it here http://www.livestronger.org.nz/assets/Uploads/Love-your-Independence.pdf) has a helpful photographic guide showing you the safest way to get up again.

If you have a personal alarm, use it!

A number of people questioned as part of the research had not activated their alarms after having a fall for fear of being thought a nuisance. If you can't get to a phone or call for help, you must set off your alarm. The people at the other end won’t think you’re a nuisance at all, and your family will be relieved to know help was at hand when you needed it.