The Sum of Fall Fears: After the Pope Trips on Stage, Examining the Risk for the Elderly
Pope Francis sparked an enormous amount of concern Thursday when he fell during a mass in Poland.
The 79-year-old Pope appeared to take a misstep and tumbled to the ground before getting right back up, and walking to the podium to finish the mass at the Jasna Gora Monastery.
The humble pontiff was in Czestochowa, Poland, to celebrate the 1,050th anniversary of the country becoming a Catholic nation.
Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke told the AP that “the Pope is fine” after the fall.
Czestochowa Archbishop Waclaw Depo told ABC News. "He is in good condition. He did not even complain at all. He never said a word.
He added: "Also the homily showed that the Pope has strength and this strength he gets from the people."
The Vatican’s first non-European elected Pope is in seemingly good health despite only having one lung, which was removed when he suffered a bacterial infection as a teenager in his native Argentina.
While Pope Francis’ injury was not serious, a fall of his kind can create some problems for the elderly.
Falling down is the curse of aging. The average person over 65 falls down at least once a year.
Broken down, 24 percent of the falls occur when walking, 13 percent occur when standing and 12 percent happen when attempting to take a seat.
Tommy McNeil teaches fall prevention at a VA hospital in Tampa, Florida.
He says that when young people fall, they instinctively reach out to stop it with our hands. But as bones weaken with age, it's better to drop and roll.
“As you're falling you want to try to lower your center of gravity. You don't want to reach out to stop yourself with your hands or knees,” he told Inside Edition.
McNeil also says to take your time getting up. You could be more hurt than you realize. Slowly move to your hands and knees and make sure you aren't dizzy. Then, crawl towards support like a chair that won't slip out from under you.