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Thursday, September 12, 2024

After a Fall

We’ve all seen the infomercials – “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”  While that phrase may have become a cliché, a fall, especially for older adults, can critically impact health and mobility. If you do find yourself on the floor after an unfortunate slip, it’s important to know what to do next. Learning how to care for yourself after a fall can help you avoid making an injury worse.

After you fall, lie still for a moment and try to evaluate how you feel. If you do not feel any extreme pain and you think you can get up on your own, follow these few steps:

  1. Look for stable piece of furniture close by.
  2. Roll onto your side and rest. Take it slow so that your blood pressure can adjust. This will prevent you from feeling faint once you stand up.
  3. Slowly push your upper body up and lift your head.
  4. Get on your hands and knees and crawl to a chair or a stable piece of furniture.
  5. Put your hands on the piece of furniture.
  6. Put one foot on the ground and rise slowly. Once you are on both feet, sit for a moment.
  7. Even if you feel okay, let someone know about your fall. You might not realize that you have an injury.

If you don’t think that you can get up on your own, follow these steps:

  1. Try not to panic; call out for help.
  2. If you have a phone or emergency call device within reach, use it.
  3. If you do not, yell or use an object to make noise so that someone can hear you.
  4. If you can reach for a pillow, blanket or something soft, place it under your head. Try to keep warm by covering yourself with something while you wait for help.
  5. If you can, try to move around a bit to keep from getting stiff.
  6. Wait until someone is there to assist you in getting up.

Melanie Marzillo
Research & Community Education
Chicago Skilled Nursing
Chicago Senior Living

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