What To Do If You Fall

by Bruce Montgomery Ph.D. April 05, 2016

What To Do If You Fall

This information is provided from the National Institute of Health 

Whether you're at home or somewhere else, a sudden fall can be startling and upsetting. For some, even just the thought of falling in your home or elsewhere can make us anxious. We talk a lot about fall prevention and senior safety for avoiding accidents, but the truth is, we can't prevent every single fall. If you do fall, stay as calm as possible. Take several deep breaths to try to relax.

 How to Get Up From A Fall

  1. Remain still on the floor or ground for a few moments. This will help you get over the shock of falling.
  2. Decide if you're hurt before getting up. Getting up too quickly or in the wrong way could make an injury worse.
  3. If you think you can get up safely without help, roll over onto your side.
  4. Rest again while your body and blood pressure adjust. Slowly get up on your hands and knees, and crawl to a sturdy chair.
  5. Put your hands on the chair seat and slide one foot forward so that it is flat on the floor. Keep the other leg bent so the knee is on the floor.
  6. From this kneeling position, slowly rise and turn your body to sit in the chair.

If you're hurt or can't get up on your own, ask someone for help or call 911. If you're alone, try to get into a comfortable position and wait for help to arrive.

Consider Emergency Response Devices

If you have problems with balance or dizziness, be sure to discuss these with your doctor. If you are often alone, and at increased risk of falling, consider getting a personal emergency response system. This service, which works through your telephone line, provides a button or bracelet to wear at all times in your home.

Tell Your Doctor

Be sure to discuss any fall with your doctor. Write down when, where, and how you fell so you can discuss the details with your doctor. The doctor can assess whether a medical issue or other cause of the fall needs to be addressed. Knowing the cause can help you plan to prevent future falls.

Addressing the Fear of Falling

Many older people who have fallen are afraid of falling again. Even if a fall doesn't cause injury, the fear of falling again might prevent you from doing activities you enjoy or need to do. Fear of falling also might cause you to stay at home away from your friends, family, and others.

If you're worried about falling, talk with your doctor or another health care provider. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist. Physical therapy can help you improve your balance and walking and help build your walking confidence. Getting rid of your fear of falling can help you to stay active, maintain your physical health, and prevent future falls. 

Sometimes, just the act of installing a grab bar in your bathroom, or purchasing a shower chair for a safer showering experience can give you the confidence and piece of mind you need to help decrease the fear of falling and prevent falls from happening in the future.

*Note: Fall prevention efforts can reduce the risk of falling. Caregivers and older homeowners can become knowledgeable about what needs to be done to make homes as fall-proof as possible. Check here often and search for product ideas that can make you safer in your home!




Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.
Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.

Author

Dr. Bruce Montgomery is a licensed building contractor in Michigan and Florida. He is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist as designated by the National Association of Home Builders. He has also achieved an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California. He has a wide ranging educational background, including a Master of Science degree in Entomology, with a Master of Science degree in Forestry and a Ph.D. in educational administration.