The following recommendations for safely assisting someone after a fall1 are sourced from professional agencies on care giving and senior health issues.2 Follow this link for more on fall prevention strategies.
Safely Helping Someone to Get Up From a Fall
After someone falls down, he/she may try to get up quickly. For several reasons, this is not a good idea. As a caregiver, it's important to convince the person who has fallen that he/she should not rush but, instead, should proceed with caution when getting up from the floor.
Caregivers may assist (see helpful guidelines below), but the fallen person needs to do most of the work. If he/she cannot manage the effort, the caregiver should stop making attempts to move them and summon medical assistance right away.
- Proceed slowly and remain calm. Be prepared to stop at any point.
- Place a sturdy chair directly in front of the individual. If he/she uses a wheelchair or a power wheelchair for mobility assistance, then use that instead. Remember to lock the brakes first.
- Instruct the person to roll over onto one side and to slowly rise into a comfortable, semi-seated position.
- When ready, the person will need to get up on all fours and make his/her way over to the chair/wheelchair.
- Offer to help getting their forearms onto the seat of the chair as they pull themselves up into a slight standing position.
- Lastly, help them to gently turn about so that he/she is able to sit down on the chair.
View this instructional video: Techniques for safely getting up after a fall
Medical & Mobility Solutions
Knowing what to do when a fall happens is essential to keeping a care recipient safe and well, but so is understanding why they occur and finding the best ways to prevent them. If someone under your care is routinely stumbling and falling, or has extreme difficulty managing daily, mobility-related activities, then perhaps it's time for a face-to-face mobility examination with a qualified medical professional. The doctor will conduct medical tests and decide upon the most reasonable mobility solution available.
Contact a Mobility Specialist at 800-542-7236 for a complimentary mobility consultation that will help determine if there may be the need for a power wheelchair. Specialists are also happy to assist with scheduling a mobility exam with the doctor.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
1Only individuals who are physically capable should attempt these actions. Extreme care should be taken in all instances.
2Sources: HealthinAging.org; American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging; NIHSeniorHealth.gov; National Institute on Aging; American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons