The unfortunate reality is that many seniors fall every year — one third of those over 65.
The scary number is that every 13 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall and every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall.
Most family caregivers of seniors make adjustments to their seniors’ homes to reduce the possibility of a fall but it still may happen.
When a fall does occur, it can be frightening for your senior (and you).
Recovery will be best if everyone remains calm and reacts quickly.
Getting up after a fall safely and doing no further damage to your senior is the goal. Being prepared is the key.
How to Get Up from a Fall
If your senior should fall and need help to get back up (if not injured – otherwise contact emergency help), here are some tips to help get them back on their feet:
- After your senior falls, they should remain still on the floor or ground for at least few moments.
- Decide if they are hurt. Getting up too quickly or the wrong way could make an injury worse.
- If you think your senior can get up safely, ask them to roll over onto their side. If not call for emergency help.
- Suggest they rest in this position a bit to let their body and blood pressure adjust.
- Next, they should slowly get up on hands and knees and crawl to a sturdy chair (one that can support them in getting up).
- Have them place their hands on the seat of the chair and slide one foot forward so that it is flat on the floor. They should keep the other leg bent with the knee on the floor.
- From this kneeling position, they can slowly rise and turn body to sit in the chair.
If your senior is at a greater risk for falling, you might want to look into a device that can be worn that will contact emergency help after a fall so help — a family caregiver, neighbor, or even first responder — can be on the way that no matter when a fall occurs.
You may not be able to prevent every fall, but knowing what to do if one should occur will make a difference in their recovery and everyone’s peace of mind.
Here is some more information about recovery after a fall and fall prevention:
In addition, we made this video demonstration to help family caregivers prepare senior loved ones for getting up from a fall.