How to Get Up From a Fall: A Step-By-Step Guide for Seniors

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Seniors who live alone are always at risk of falling. Falling once doubles the chances of falling again. Some seniors lose confidence and are so afraid of falling again that they tend to stop doing certain activities altogether. Eventually, they become inactive. This is not only detrimental to their health but is also extremely dangerous.

We all know what inactivity can do to seniors’ bodies and minds. It weakens bones and muscles, hindering their mobility. Reduced mobility leads to falls. The best thing to do is work past the fear of falling, regain confidence after the fall and get at least 30 mins of exercise regularly. One can also install elderly fall prevention devices around the home for additional support. 


If one should fall, it is important to learn how to get up safely. A fall can shake up one’s confidence, and the mere shock of it is enough to disorient you. However, with this simple, step-by-step guide, getting up from a fall can be a safe and easy process.

Step-By-Step Guide for How to Get Up From a Fall Safely

Getting up from a fall is extremely important. So, how can an older person who has fallen get up off the floor?

 

How to Get Up From a Fall When There Are No Injuries

Step 1: Take a few deep breaths and try to gather yourself. It is important not to panic. Lie still for a few moments. Try to gauge any severe pain or injury to your body. 

Step 2: Try to roll on your side. Start with your head, and then let the rest of your body follow. Every movement should be slow. Take a moment to rest if required.

Step 3: Whichever is your stronger leg, turn to the opposite side so that you can have your stronger leg on top.

Step 4: Put your fists together and elbows out. Use your arms to prop yourself up.

Step 5: Pull yourself slowly towards a chair or any furniture that has a strong grip, sturdy,  or can handle your weight. Use the chair to help you get into a kneeling position. Be sure to do this slowly. There is no rush.

Step 6: Put both hands on the chair. Bring your stronger foot forward and pull yourself up using the chair for support. 

Step 7: Slowly turn yourself around and sit in the chair. If you don’t have a chair, you can take support of the furniture and move one step at a time towards a chair or bed where you can sit. 

Once you are seated, you can assess your injuries. If you have any injuries, you need to call for help immediately. 

How to Call For Help When There Are Injuries

Step 1: In case of an injury, it is important not to panic. Take as long as you need to calm yourself. 

Step 2: Do a gentle body scan to assess any injury. Slowly move your arms and legs to locate the injury. 

Step 3: You can call 911 using a cell phone or an emergency medical alert device if you have one. You can also contact the closest family member for help. Inform them about your injuries.

Step 4: If you have a pillow handy, use it to support your head and back. If you have any clothes or blankets that are easily accessible, use them to keep yourself warm until someone comes to help. 

Step 5: If there is no device available to call for help, your only other option is to shout for help. You can also use whatever is closest to you to bang on the furniture. Make as much noise as you can to get someone's attention.

These steps may seem simple and logical. But it very easily shakes anyone's confidence. Practicing these steps now and again can give you confidence and can help you stay prepared and empowered in the event of a fall.

Safety Warning

Before attempting to get up from a fall, it is crucial to assess your injuries. Do not make any sudden movements, or you could end up further injuring yourself. 

Do Not Try to Get Up If:

  • You are severely injured or bleeding profusely.
  • You are dizzy or light-headed.
  • You have searing pain in either of your legs.
  • You have an object impaled in any part of your body. Do not try to remove the object.

Fall Prevention in the Elderly – Checklist

You don’t have to accept that falls are an inevitable part of aging. Too many myths around "senior falls" make it harder for the elderly to live full and empowered lives. You can do plenty to keep seniors safe at home and prevent falls, even if they live alone. A wide range of assistive devices is available that can help keep seniors mobile and independent, well into their golden years. Follow this checklist to prevent falls and stay safe in your home:
  • Get adequate exercise regularly.
  • Install grab bars in your bathrooms and other fall-prone areas of the house.
  • Install railings near stairs.
  • Invest in bed step stools and bath step stools.
  • Always keep a cell phone or an emergency medical alert device near or on you. 

To sum up, seniors all over the United States are choosing to age in place. This means that they choose to grow old in the comfort of their own home. For seniors who live alone, learning a few skills to stay safe at home can increase their confidence and improve their quality of life. If they do fall, seniors can still be empowered to take the right steps to recover safely from the fall. 

Yes, falls can be traumatizing, but getting past them and continuing to live a full life is probably the most empowering feeling any senior can experience.

Vince Baiera

 

Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.

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