How to Safely Help Someone Up After a Fall
Older people are prone to falling due to limited mobility. As a caregiver, it’s important to take as many actions as possible to prevent falls in the first place. Of course, there are instances where such precautions are still not enough.
When a senior has fallen, the necessary steps to safely pick them up may be overlooked in the panic. As a result, caregivers can hurt themselves or worsen their loved one’s injuries. Take a look at these suggestions to safely help an elderly person up from a fall.
Keep in mind that these tips should only be used if your loved one has not sustained an injury! It can be even more dangerous to try to pick them up. If you are not sure if the fall caused damaged, it may be best to call 911 for assistance immediately.
Tips for helping a senior up from a fall
- Do NOT pick them up right away. Take a few moments to calm them and yourself down.
- Remain calm and keep your loved one calm by taking and talking them through deep, slow breaths.
- Ask if they are experiencing any pain. If so, assess where and how severe.
- If there is any indication of a serious injury such as broken bones, do NOT move them; call an ambulance and keep them as comfortable as possible while you wait for medical assistance.
- If they are not badly hurt and wish to get up, proceed slowly and with caution. If at any point the process becomes too difficult or tiring, stop and/or take a break.
- An elderly person who has fallen and wants to get up must be physically capable of doing so themselves. As a caregiver in this situation, you are meant to be a guide. It is dangerous to attempt to carry all their weight for them.
- Surround your loved one with at least two sturdy chairs, so they can use them as support.
- Have them roll onto their side before helping them onto their hands and knees. Use a cushion or a towel under their joints if it is painful for them.
- Have them lean their weight onto the seat of one chair and use their stronger leg to put one foot on the floor.
- Bring a second chair behind them, so they can use the strength of their arms and legs to sit into it. Remember to keep your back upright if you are lightly guiding them up.
- Notify their doctor of the fall and take note of any emerging signs of pain or injury.