Having a fall can have a number of unforeseen consequences outside of the possibilities of broken bones, bruises and abrasions. Falling is not something that we all think about, but it is something that can occur so it’s best to know what it is that you will need to do to get back up. What you should do if you have a fall is to break your actions down into the following steps:
- Stay still and slow you breathing
- Check if you have any injuries and are able to move
- Look for hazards such as broken glass or electrical cords before you move
- Decide if you will try to get up
- Think about how you will get up off the floor
- If you do not manage the first time, rest before trying again, if you cannot get up call for help
- Seek medical attention if you are hurt
It is good to have a plan in place in the event that you have a fall. This could be as simple as having a daily contact with a relative, friend, neighbour or carer. This way they could check if you need assistance if they do not hear from you. Ensure that your telephone can be reached from the floor or carry a cordless or mobile phone with you. Consider getting a personal alert system so that you can attract attention quickly in an emergency. Leave a spare key with someone you trust, this means that someone will be able to reach you. Discuss this plan with someone you trust.
The most readily suggested way to get up off the floor it to:
- Roll onto you side
- Get onto hands and knees and crawl or slide to a sturdy piece of furniture eg. chair, stairs or rail
- From a kneeling position, put arms up onto the furniture
- Bring one knee forward, putting that foot on the floor into a half kneeling position
- Push with your arms and legs, into a semi standing position
- Pivot your bottom around to sit down. Rest before trying to move.
- Contact someone to notify them that you have had a fall
There is another way that you can get yourself back up off the floor using more upper body strength for those who have had a knee replacement:
- Roll onto you side from whatever position you are in
- Push up onto your hands
- Prop yourself up with both arms behind you
- Use a cushion (or other low sturdy object) as a low seat
- Lift bottom back onto cushion
- Push as far back as possible near a chair
- Lift bottom back onto chair
- Sit down. Rest. Notify someone that you have had a fall.
If you are unable to get yourself back up off the floor, call for help by using your personal alert, phone or by calling out.