PIFS - Pride Induced Fall Syndrome?

Posted on September 08, 2015 by Jamie Jordan

Gravity ... 

                          ...it keeps us grounded.

Woman Falls Down StairsJust imagine if gravity disappeared - we would have the ultimate in fall prevention and say 'goodbye’ to all the pain, injury and deaths caused by them. But on the other hand, without gravity, everything would float and we’d have no fascination for balloons, airplanes or dropped passes in football games.                                                                     (Click to see how Google thinks this may work. This is fun - Like the game Asteroids!)

We are, no doubt, stuck with gravity, and stuck to the earth with gravity. But, does it not seem as though gravity has a stronger hold on us some times more than others?  We are all subject to the weight of gravity’s pull and we all experience a fall on occasion.  Even the best athletes among us take spills.  Babies and children fall a lot and most of their falls have little to no effect on them.  Being low to the ground and having pliable bodies are benefits they have over us more mature folk.

The consequences of falls in older people can have much greater health consequences due to the general decreased flexibility and durability of our bodies.  The medical cost for treating non-fatal falls in the US in the year 2000 was $19 billion.  According to the National Council on Aging, the Centers for Disease Control reports that in America an older adult it is treated  for a fall related injury every 14 seconds.  Therefore, fall prevention as we age can extend our lives, avoid injuries, and help ensure a better quality of life.

There is another very powerful factor in our lives that contributes to increased falls – PRIDE.   Many folks avoid using a walking cane as they become balance compromised and are willing to suffer serious repeated falls.  The condition these people are afflicted with is quite common and known as PIFSPride Induced Fall Syndrome.  Apparently, smashing your face on the concrete is less embarrassing to many than ‘losing face’ by being seen using some sort of aid to help you walk.  This ‘stigma’ of using a cane can lead to one falling unnecessarily resulting in losing one’s complete mobility or even their life!

PIFS not only affects the aging, but, young balance compromised people, too.  FlexSTICK spokesperson and 2014 US Junior Equestrian of the Year, Sydney Collier, once suffered from PIFS.  Syd was born with a condition that caused her to have a stroke at age nine, losing much of the use of one side of her body.  Her physician and parents urged her to use a cane when she walked as it was easy for her to lose her balance on her affected side. 

But, Syd would have none of that 'walking cane stuff' until she fell at the movie theater and broke a collar bone.  Then her Sydney Collier with FlexSTICK on Beachmom found us and we got her a FlexSTICK to try out.  When she opened the box and pulled out the FlexSTICK, Syd screamed, “This is great!  The kids at school are going to love this!”  And, they did and her PIFS was gone.
Unfortunately, I have heard many people tell me their loved one ‘refused to use a cane when balance compromised and subsequently fell resulting in a serious injury causing them to be constrained to a walker or a wheelchair'.  These people went straight from using no walking aid to barely walking at all.   PIFS – Pride Induced Fall Syndrome, resulted in these folks losing much of their freedom and mobility.

We have found that our most enthusiastic FlexSTICK users are people of all ages, but like Syd, love life to the fullest and want to keep moving.                SHOP FLEXSTICKS HERE

So, don’t let PIFS takeYOU down!  

Posted in aging, fall prevention, mobillity, walking


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