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Old 02-13-2015, 09:32 AM
Location: SoCal
6,075 posts, read 9,540,537 times
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It sounds like she's heard horror stories of people who fell off ladders, combined with little or no experience herself in using them.

I was up a stepladder the other day, and realized that I'm much more uncertain than I was when I was younger. For me, it *is* about balance - I'm aware that mine is not as good as it used to be.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:40 AM
Location: Prescott AZ
6,130 posts, read 9,093,524 times
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Maybe ER has the body of a 39 year old, how would we know? As for me, I am shaky just going up a 6 footer to change the air filter in the ceiling. And I have a screwdriver in my hand as well.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:44 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,638 posts, read 40,010,157 times
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Where does the fear of ladders come from?

'Falls' rate very high frequency on senior accidents (Ladders and steps lead the race to ground level... gravity too)
Statistics report a VERY high incidence of ladder accidents
stability / balance / strength / ability to heal bone injury / bone density / all reduce with age

Experience... We all likely know some senior friends who suffered a serious fall and subsequent lack of quality of life. Some have totally lost their mobility.

No need to fear, just be smart (and careful). Need a monkey?, hire a monkey.
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:37 AM
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,439 posts, read 1,675,248 times
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DH still uses ladders to clean the gutters and general repairs. i have asked that he not use one unless I'm home and for good reason. I saw what happens when someone falls and it's best to have someone there.

I worked in X-ay at a hospital and then later in MR/CT. I saw more than enough to give me a healthy respect for ladders and heights. Being on a roof and taking a step back without thinking led to anything from broken necks/skull fractures to simple broken bones. Missing a step on a ladder led to the same injuries depending on how high up at the time. This included anyone from homeowners to skilled trades people on ladders. One moment of inattention and there is no going back. A shattered heel which is quite common from a short drop to a hard surface can result in surgery or being in a boot for up to a year. Add that to to landing on construction materials, decorative fence posts, bushes and it gets even uglier.

So with X-ray, I saw them right after the fall and the consequences. With MR and CT, it was seeing them to confirm a diagnosis or to see them later when they had fractures not healing and chronic problems associated with the original fall, including paralysis and traumatic brain injuries.

There is a formula for how far the base of the extension ladder should be away from a wall in ratio to the height that I see people ignore or simply don't know about. Or else they are using the wrong type of ladder for a task. A fall from a big ladder may have more dramatic results, but a kitchen step stool/ladder can be as dangerous if not used with awareness.

I've seen lives changed in an instant with ladders, from minor inconveniences to catastrophes. Phobias over ladders aren't necessary but being mindful when being on one sure is warranted.

And agreeing with StealthRabbit: sixty year olds and over don't bounce as well as thirty year olds.

Last edited by jean_ji; 02-13-2015 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:02 AM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,754,097 times
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Originally Posted by boogie'smom View Post
it's not actually a fear of ladders, unless you dream about ladders chasing you or hiding in your closet. It's fearing the consequences of falling off the ladder.
You wouldn't be kidding us now, would you?
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:15 AM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,754,097 times
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I agree with several of you that there is certainly a potential to fall and be injured, and that it is very important to take care with correct ladder placement. Also, if one works in the emergency room of a hospital, or as an x-ray tech, one will see tragic injuries which give one pause, as someone talked about. Or if one knows someone personally whose life has been altered by a fall from a ladder, it's something one will not forget.

But the same can be said about injuries in car accidents or falls in the bathtub. Of course a normal life is less affected by staying off ladders than by refusing to ride in or drive cars.

But when all that is said and considered, there is an underlying apprehension, perhaps a phobia as one poster discussed. Underlying attitudes are often deep-seated, and often formed in childhood. Fear of heights is a commonly known fear.

I suppose I just never picked up a nervousness about being on ladders, unless I'm WAY, WAY up there as I mentioned in the OP.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:29 AM
671 posts, read 656,631 times
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Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Funny you wrote this because as I get older I have developed a fear of heights. We bought this old house 12 years ago when I was in my early 40's and I got up to the peak a few times with a ladder. Now I have this line that appears out of nowhere right at the second story window. When I get to that height I totally freeze up and can not go further without panic. I look at that peak now and you couldn't pay me enough to get up there today.
I used to work on bridges over the summer... 20-30 feet above rivers, highways, etc. No fear of heights.

A couple years past since I did that job and now I get shaky around heights. We were on the 8th or 9th floor of a hotel in the city with a balcony. I couldn't step out. I kept on thinking... what if I fell? That would be it. The balcony walls were only 4 feet high... easy enough for me to just topple over and be gone forever.

I'll still climb on roofs and stuff. I'm extra cautious though... unlike when I was younger. I'm only 26 for the rcord.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:48 AM
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 992,839 times
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Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
You wouldn't be kidding us now, would you?

I don't think the fear of falling is a phobia, which is by definition an extreme fear with no rational explanation. I believe it is innate. google startle reflex. Moro reflex (just thought of it )

Climbing a ladder (or living in a tree ) increases the chance of falling. We are primates.

Life experience enhances what is already there to begin with which makes some more fearful than others.
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:09 PM
10,819 posts, read 8,073,350 times
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When DH turned 60, he sold his 35-foot ladder - not because he's afraid but because he decided he has no business doing tasks that require him to climb that high.
He still uses his 17-footer all the time though.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:46 AM
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,814 posts, read 7,719,752 times
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I guess the fear of ladders comes from the fear of landing, after a fall from that high. Actually, my son found a solution to going up on ladders. They now sell a rig that goes on the top half of an extension ladder. It has feet that go way out from the side. Makes the ladder much more stable. Try it.
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