If You Fall
Whether you are at home or somewhere else, a sudden fall can be startling and upsetting. 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 are hurt. Getting up too quickly or the wrong way could make an injury worse.
3. If you think you can get up safely without help, roll over onto your side. Push yourself up into a seated position.
4. Rest a bit to let your body and blood pressure adjust.
5. Slowly get up on your hands and knees and crawl to a sturdy chair.
6. Place your hands on the seat of the chair and slide one foot forward so that it is flat on the floor. Keep the other leg bent with the knee on the floor.
7. From this kneeling position, slowly rise and turn your body to sit in the chair.
If you are hurt or cannot get up on your own, ask someone for help or call 911. If you are 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.
If you fall or need emergency assistance for any reason, a push of the button will alert the service. Emergency medical services can be called if needed or the service can contact someone you have selected to help you.
As an alternative, carrying a portable phone with you as you move about your house could make it easier to call someone if you need assistance. You might also put a telephone in a place that you can reach from the floor in case you fall and need help.
Tell Your Doctor
Be sure to discuss any fall with your doctor. Write down when, where and how you fell so that 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.
After a fall, your doctor might refer you to other health care providers who can help prevent future falls. A physical therapist can help you with walking, balance and strength, or teach you to use a walking device if needed. An occupational therapist can suggest changes in your home that may lower your risk for falls.
Source: NIH Senior Health: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging and National Library of Medicine 2013. Reprinted with permission.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 09/06/2013
Copyright © 09/06/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6627
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