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Neighbor Falls off Small Cliff
Old 11-14-2011, 09:07 PM   #1
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Neighbor Falls off Small Cliff

I posted this picture a while ago:



which shows a woman unadvisedly climbing down this path holding a kid.

Yesterday, my 72-year-old neighbor fell from the top of this path, backwards onto the beach and broke several ribs and his pelvis.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:52 PM   #2
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Holy craps! Time for a guardrail?
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
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Holy craps! Time for a guardrail?
The bank would soon be undercut and the guard rail would be gone anyway. See that driftwood log? Storms like to use them and much bogger ones as battering rams, and finish the job with big waves. I have seen storm tossed driftwood and waves take out a county road.

Ha
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:03 AM   #4
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It is odd how dumb people can be about safety. If that woman looked at the photo she would probably be horrified at how much risk she was putting her toddler in. One slip and whammo!
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:14 AM   #5
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It is odd how dumb people can be about safety. If that woman looked at the photo she would probably be horrified at how much risk she was putting her toddler in. One slip and whammo!
+1
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:19 AM   #6
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Reading TAl's post the first thing I thought about was the fact that a 72 year old fell and hurt himself. Last week I fell off a step ladder when the bottom leg broke. Who's to blame for that? Me. What is a 75 year old doing on a ladder? When you get into your 70's you lose a sense of balance and can't react as fast. The ladder was old so I can't blame it on the ladder and I was leaning wrong on it in the first place. Warning to anyone out there. When you reach your 70's, stay the hell off ladders and away from dangers like TAl's post.

In talking to my sister this weekend in NC, after I told her of my stupid accident, she relayed to me that the brother of one her neighbors just died from a fall off a ladder while cleaning the gutters.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:20 AM   #7
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Yesterday, my 72-year-old neighbor fell from the top of this path, backwards onto the beach and broke several ribs and his pelvis.
That is a very bad fall for anyone, but for a senior the likelihood that it leads to other complications is high. Your neighbor will need lots of care and help.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:32 AM   #8
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When you reach your 70's, stay the hell off ladders and away from dangers like TAl's post.
Not bad advice in general but I think the age where the 'stay off ladders' rule applies varies by individual.

At age 85 my dad climbed a ladder to hand paint his entire 1,200 square foot wood-siding house using a bucket and brush. Mom sat in a lawn chair with the cordless phone ready to dial 911 at any moment...
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:14 AM   #9
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Not bad advice in general but I think the age where the 'stay off ladders' rule applies varies by individual.

At age 85 my dad climbed a ladder to hand paint his entire 1,200 square foot wood-siding house using a bucket and brush. Mom sat in a lawn chair with the cordless phone ready to dial 911 at any moment...
Damn, pretty impressive. My first house was all cedar and I painted(stained) it once. Not hard, but time consuming. I did recruit one of my nephews to paint the gable end of the house. I figured he would heal faster from a fall.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #10
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I'm still on the corporate ladder, but no worries, I'm on the bottom rung...
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:58 AM   #11
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I have so-so balance at the age of 53. I've always been like that.

My rule about ladders is no more than 8 feet and NEVER ALONE. All it takes is one slip...
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:59 AM   #12
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I'm still on the corporate ladder, but no worries, I'm on the bottom rung...
Take comfort in the fact you don't have far to fall.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:25 AM   #13
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I have so-so balance at the age of 53. I've always been like that.

My rule about ladders is no more than 8 feet and NEVER ALONE. All it takes is one slip...
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:53 AM   #14
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Not bad advice in general but I think the age where the 'stay off ladders' rule applies varies by individual.
At age 85 my dad climbed a ladder to hand paint his entire 1,200 square foot wood-siding house using a bucket and brush. Mom sat in a lawn chair with the cordless phone ready to dial 911 at any moment...
I guess the safest approach would have been for her to do the painting while he held the phone. You know he wouldn't call "the kids" for just a little painting...

I really hope that martial arts aids in maintaining balance and proprioception as we age. I can't afford to lose what little I had in the first place.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:05 PM   #15
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My proprioception has always been bad and is failing rapidly.
There's not a thing I can do about it.
I often ask for help at the store, and pay people to do yard work.
Hope I die before I need to go to assisted living.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:06 PM   #16
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Not bad advice in general but I think the age where the 'stay off ladders' rule applies varies by individu..
I agree. Many of my ski buddies - including DH - are well into their seventies and they would not like hearing that they're too old for anything. As far as declining balance goes, there are a lot of yoga postures and exercises that can greatly enhance balance. A good teacher can gear them to the elderly. Please look into it before scoffing.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:33 AM   #17
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No argument with the theme, but it brings up a beef I have. I believe in activity safety as much as anyone but I'm always amazed how aging boomers develop such a huge paranoia to anything requiring even a basic level balance/speed/skill. Oh sure, we swim, bike, run, golf, yoga...but show us something as simple as a skate board and it's "no way".

Like anything else you're not born with skill, you develop it over time, even if it's just walking a steep path or climbing a ladder. So many people my age cower at trying anything new, but are more than happy to booze/eat themselves to death on the couch watching professional athletes.

Yep, you're gonna look stupid and you're gonna feel spastic/chicken (I excel at these traits) but you gain tremendous confidence when ya develop a skill at an older age,......and ya get to have fun along the way
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:23 AM   #18
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+1 to all on staying off ladders (and roofs).

A friend of mine fell off a ladder a few years ago and suffered a sever brain injury, nearly died and is now struggling with memory problems, was forced to leave his job because he could no longer perform with his impairment and his family is having financial difficulties as a result.

Another person I used to work with fell of a ladder and busted up his back, took a long time to recuperate and last I knew still needed a cane and walks with a limp.

Neither instance was particularly high (both less than 20' as I recall). Both of these made me decide to hire anything over 8' high out - it's not worth the risk.

Also, a couple years ago my 73 yo uncle injured his leg working on a roof. I saw him a short while later while he was still limping around and I said "Uncle, I have a question for you." He said "What" and I replied "What the $%^& were you doing up on a roof; do you have a %^&*ing death wish?". He replied that he had to go up and fix the roof himself because the young guys just don't do it right (he's a builder, still not retired though he can certainly afford to, but that's a whole other story). Stubborn old man.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:22 AM   #19
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My proprioception has always been bad and is failing rapidly.
There's not a thing I can do about it.
I often ask for help at the store, and pay people to do yard work.
Hope I die before I need to go to assisted living.
There are many exercises you can do to improve proprioception. I went to PT for an inner ear problem and they had me stand on one foot, stand on one foot with eyes closed, stand on foam, etc.

Worked wonders.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:22 AM   #20
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I did a four day solo backpacking trip this past summer. There was one pass that was a little hairy to get down. There were a series of maybe 40 switchbacks on scree that dropped 2,000 feet. The first couple of switchbacks made my knees a bit weak. I was really glad I had treking poles, they help a lot when fording creeks and rivers too.

It was an incredible trip and I am going back for more this coming summer.
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