How to get up from the floor (after a fall) – MacGyver style!

How to get up from the floor (after a fall) – MacGyver style!


A significant number of people who experience a fall in the home have difficulty getting back up again. They find themselves trapped on the floor for hours, or even days, no toilet, no food, no water – no good. With this video, I want to teach you how to ideally get yourself back up on your feet – in minutes. More precisely, I am going to teach you how to get yourself up from the floor “MacGyver style”. For those of you who aren’t familiar with MacGyver, it wasn’t an action adventure TV series in the ’80s, featuring a character, named MacGyver, who was able to take common everyday items he found around him and use them in unconventional, creative ways to get himself out of all kinds of crazy predicaments. With the eyes of a therapist, I can look around this living room, full of the typical household items and see many things that people can use to successfully get up from the floor. In this video we will explore some of those possibilities. Now each of you out there is going to have different ability levels and different things available for use in the environment. Therefore everything shown in the video will not work for everyone. But one of the most important things you’ll come away with is how to use inventive, MacGyver style thinking, to help rescue yourself in the event a fall does occur. In the case that your injured, your first step may not be to be to try and get up on your feet so hang tight to the end of the video where I’ll also show you what to do in the event you experienced an injury during the fall. I’m going to start off by showing you a basic fall recovery technique and then we’ll advance to the truly MacGyver style techniques. We’ll begin with a basic fall recovery technique. This is a great one to have in your repertoire in case you do find yourself down on the floor. Begin by simply drawing your knees upwards and reaching your dominant arm across your body to the opposite side. Place your hand down on the floor and push down through that hand while pulling the other elbow backwards underneath you. Extend both arms and come over onto your knees and then crawl to a stable surface. Raise your strongest leg and push down through your hands and that leg and simply turn and sit down. and once seated remain seated a few moments to make sure you’re OK. If the basic technique doesn’t work for you, here’s another one you can try. This one is called the Tipping Point. With this technique you simply extend your elbows and lift your bottom just a few inches off the floor. Until you find that nice tipping point where you’re able to lean your head and your shoulders backwards onto the couch. And once your weight is supported on the couch you simply walk your legs to the side lift your feet up on top of the couch, roll over onto your side and drop your legs over the edge And push yourself upright. If both of these techniques don’t work Here’s another one you can try. This is called the Hip Hike. When your hand is on the same side of your body it’s difficult to get enough height to get up on top of the couch. The trick is to reach your hand across you body, lean your head forward and push down through the arm on the right and the elbow on the left while lifting your hips on top of the couch. If none of those techniques work for you, then it’s time to start to scan your environment for something else that can help. In this case I found a nice pull out mattress below this couch. And I’m going to use that as a halfway transition point or a step to help me get up. I’m going to combine it with the hip hike that we used last time. And just to review simply push down through your elbow, through your arm on the right and lean your head forward while you hike your hips up on top the couch. By applying a little MacGyver style thinking, there are many things that you can use to create a step to help yourself more easily get up from the floor. In this case I grabbed the stereo speaker down from the shelf beside me, which makes a great halfway point. And from there it is much easier to transition backwards onto the chair. And of course back to normal activities again. What if there isn’t a couch or chair nearby, this next one gives new meaning to the expression “Get a Leg Up!” In this one you can see I flipped over a common coffee table, I am going to grab the speaker down just like I did last time you can grab anything nearby you think will make a nice step I’m also going to grab the second speaker, because I now need to make a little bit higher transition point to be able to stand up from, since I don’t the couch or chair behind me here you’ll see I work my way slowly up the speaker steps, and once I reach the top the good part now is that I have these great table legs that I can use for balance and to help to push myself up. And here you see me, happy to be back on my feet. Once you’ve turned on your MacGyver style thinking, you’ll be able to find steps everywhere. In this next clip, I found a great set of steps on the back side of this chair. All I needed to do was remove the cushion and flip the chair upside down and ah! a great tool to use to help me get up from the floor. However, once I reach the top step I realize I am still a little too low, and I don’t have armrests to push up but I am not going to give up, all I need to do is turn myself to the side and use the bottom of the chair and I am happy back up on my feet again. And last but no means least, my favorite MacGyver style fall recovery technique is the Book Tower. For this one, all you need to do is lean your hips slightly from side to side and tuck a book under the opposite side and continue doing so until you reach a height where you are able to stand up Try to build your Book Tower near something you can use to hold on to to stand up In this case I use the edge of the book shelf. You can also consider building a shorter Book Tower and placing it in front of a couch or chair. The couch here gives the Book Tower a little more stability and it’s easy to move from the Book Tower on to the couch. Likewise, you can consider building it in front of a window sill, or somewhere else with good hand-holds. Now what if you were injured during the fall? In this case it might not be wise to get back up on your feet. Especially if you hurt a back or a hip during the fall. And trying to drag yourself can be completely exhausting. I have another trick for you. This one is called the “Glute Scoot”. also known as “butt walking” With this one, all you need to do is lean yourself from side to side and as you do so, lift and scoot the opposite hip backwards and this takes very little energy, and I can go backwards, and I can also go forwards. And the goal is to try to work your way across the room either to a telephone or the front door where you can call for help Now if you’re injured to the extent that you can’t even sit up? And as we said, trying to drag yourself around can be exhausting. In this case, I have one last trick for you. This one I call the Sideways Inch-Worm. Begin by drawing your knees upwards and pushing down through your heels as you lift and scoot your hips sideways. And at the top, you want to push down through your elbows as you lift and glide your shoulders sideways. and using this sideways inch worm technique, you want to incrementally work your way across the floor ideally to a telephone, but if you can’t reach the phone, then you want to make your way to the front door, where you can remove a shoe or grab any nearby object to help you make as much noise as you can to get someone’s attention to come help you as soon as possible.

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  1. Only 2 days after watching this video I actually tripped over in a car park and fell full length. I asked my partner to get the esky out of the car and was able to easily get myself upright by using this. Thank you

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