Helping Someone Who Fell
5 Important Steps for Safety
Did you know? Falls are the most common fatal injury among older Americans. Every year, 2.5 million older adults are treated in emergency rooms for injuries from a fall, more than 734,000 are hospitalized, and more than 21,700 die after a fall.
Falls can be prevented. There are many ways to help seniors reduce the risk of falling. But even with safety measures in place, a fall can happen. Since falls are so common, it’s crucial for caregivers to be prepared and know what to do.
When a person falls, they may be embarrassed and want to get up as quickly as possible. And it's natural to help them up. But in some cases, this can make things worse. A fallen person should get up slowly, and caregivers should encourage them to be careful. Here are five steps safety experts recommend that anyone follow when they see someone fall:
- See if the person is in pain. Look for visible injuries or facial grimaces.
- If you do not notice or find injuries and the person feels they can get up, place a sturdy chair in front of them, or instruct them to crawl to the nearest stable piece of furniture.
- Let the fallen person use the chair to kneel first, then partially stand. Gently guide them if they need help.
- If necessary, help them turn slowly and carefully so they can sit in the chair.
- Once they are seated, look again for injuries and, if necessary, call emergency services or the person’s doctor.
If the fallen person is injured or unable to get up, call for medical help immediately.