Mariah The age thing is interesting and perhaps finding ways of breaking down age barriers is part of the solution to fall prevention. Right now, falling down is associated with aging. Likely younger people fall just as much, the difference being the consequences, e.g. long recovery and medical complications. Perhaps a conversation among people of all ages can identify solutions to prevent falling in all ages. This way we de-stigmatize the issue, i.e. older people are prone to fall.
I do have another idea. The automatic braking technology in new automobiles is getting better and will eventually be part of all new cars. What if we build in this technology into shoes, clothes and so on that will alert people that they are about to fall, and combine that with my original idea of building physical strength and quick response routines to intercept the fall.
I see your point about seniors being more comfortable with those of similar age. I like your point about environmental awareness and it started a new train of thought about how public (and I suppose private) spaces can be design in a way that reduces the chances of falling. I always put my hands close to the rails when they are available. I know that people my age (early 70) like to be cavalier about this, walking around like they are teenagers. I only have to envision a fall and that puts my hands in the protective position automatically. Perhaps reminders could coach others to do the same.
Mental awareness, which I think also includes meta-cognition (thinking about thinking) is very important as you argue. Virtual reality games rooms are now becoming very popular and perhaps some of that technology could be part of mental awareness training.
The big challenge is that many elders are are medication that alters their perception and this might require more external guidance innovation. I think we could start with some research to see if there are perceptual patterns that interfere with safe travel (walking, climbing) that could be mitigate with external cues and structures.
In any event, I think that it is better to invest more in self managed prevention of falls than repairing he damage after a fall.
Friday March 24
I've been thinking more about what I wrote yesterday and realized that I was getting ahead of myself. Instead of people falling, what is it that we want instead. What is the most desired state that is different/better than what we have now, i.e. people, specifically elders, are falling with negative consequences. So here is my proposed reframe: "In what ways can people remain standing when challenged by things going on outside of their control." Of course there are many other ways of stating this, for example "In what ways can people remain standing when they loose their balance...or are distracted, and so on.
Perhaps we can produce a number of most desired states or goals or whatever you want to call a desired outcome that is different from the current state of too many people falling and getting injured.