How to get up from a fall in 3 easy steps

by MichelleR on May 14, 2012

It is estimated that one-third of elders over the age of 65 fall each year. More than 50% of elders over the age of 80 fall annually. Those who have fallen are three times more likely to fall again. More than half of elders have reported they fear another fall will result in loss of consciousness. This fear causes elders to restrict themselves from activities such as exercise, but by stopping activities this increases the risk of falling.

Below are ways to decrease the fear of falling and what to do if you do fall.

Many falls do not result in injury. Knowing your risk factors, such as history of heart condition, stroke, Parkinson’s, low blood pressure, diabetes, vision problems and medical history can prepare you with signs that can happen before a fall. Some of these signs include shortness in breath, muscle weakness, loss of feeling in the feet or dizziness. These are just a few ways your body tells you, it is time to sit down for a while. Grab bars placed through-out the house can also be used as a balancer when a chair is not close enough. Having a plan in place such as wearing a lifeline around the neck during the day or having a CAREGiver, is great for safety. Making sure you exercise for at least 30 minutes will create muscle memory and balance which decreases the risk of falls.

How to get up from a fall in 3 easy steps: 

   1.  Prepare

A.      Take Your Time! Getting up too quickly or the wrong way could worsen the injury. If you are hurt please call for help (ways to call for help are listed below).

 

B.       Be aware of your surroundings: Look for a sturdy piece of furniture, footstool or bottom of the staircase. DO NOT TRY TO STAND ON YOUR OWN.

 C.      If you are flat on the ground: Roll over onto your side by turning your head in the direction you are trying to roll – then move your   shoulders,  arms, hips and finally swing your leg, over facing the direction of the chair. Remember: S.A.H.L or the song
“Head and Shoulders, Knees (moving your hips) and Toes (your leg pointing towards the chair)”

 

 

      2.   Rise  

A. Push your upper body up. Lift your head and pause for a few moments to steady yourself.

B. Slowly get up on your hands and knees to crawl to a sturdy chair.

C. Place your hands on the seat of the chair and slide your dominant foot forward so it is FLAT on the floor.

    

3. Sit

A. Keep the other leg bent with the knee on the floor.

B. From this kneeling position, slowly rise and turn your body/ hips to sit in the chair.

C. Sit for a few moments before you try to do anything.

How to Call for Help:

  1.       Summon Help: Simply push your lifeline for help. If you have the new Lifeline – Auto Alert, it will automatically call for help if it detects a call. Lifeline will send a neighbor or family member over.

Try to reach for the following:

  1.      Telephone
  2.      Door to the outside 
  3.      Personal alarm device
  4.      Something to make a loud noise

If falling becomes a frequent problem, having a CAREGiver at home can be there for safety, encouraging exercise to help stabilize balance and be there for companionship.

Other ways to prevent falls:

  1.       Lighting. Bright light helps you to avoid tripping over objects that are hard to see. Be sure the stairs are well lit. Put night lights in the bedroom, hallways, and bathroom.
  2.      Rugs and cords. Fasten rugs firmly to the floor, or use rugs with non-skid backing. Tack down all loose ends on rugs. Move electrical cords from areas of the floor where you walk.
  3.       Grab bars. Install grab bars in the bathroom. Put them in the bath and shower and next to the toilet. Do not hold onto towel bars or soap dishes when you move in the bathroom. These items may not be strong enough to support you.
  4.       Hand rails. Avoid using stairs without hand rails. Install sturdy hand rails on all stairs.
  5.       Kitchen items. Place kitchen items within easy reach. Do not store items too high or too low. When things are easy to reach, you will not need to use a step ladder or a stool. You also can avoid reaching and bending over.
  6.       Footwear. Wear shoes and slippers that fit well and have firm, non-skid soles. Do not wear loose-fitting shoes or slippers.
  7.       Spills. Do not clean up spills, have someone else clean them up. You may miss a spot or get dizzy bending down.

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