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HOW TO PICK UP AN ELDERLY PERSON WHO HAS HAD A FALL

Updated: Jan 11



old man falls on floor - president Biden on Stage

If an elderly person has had a fall, the golden rule is that if you are in any doubt, call a doctor or other qualified medical professional.

If that means calling the emergency services, tell them what you know about the incident and tell the operator that you think the fallen person may be injured.

Keep Calm Whatever the nature of the incident it is important that you remain as calm as possible. If this means taking a moment to compose yourself by taking a couple of deep breaths then do so. This will then put the fallen person at ease as it is also important for them to remain calm.

You can’t fix everything The injury most likely to require medical assistance is a broken bone such as a wrist or an arm. A badly sprained ankle will also require medical assistance as it likely that the faller will not be able to stand on the ankle, and it will require bandaging. The situation will be further complicated if the faller has come into contact with broken glass and it has caused a laceration that requires dressing.

Whatever the circumstances, if you are in any doubt, follow the golden rule and call the emergency services. Keep the fallen person warm and as comfortable as possible before assistance arrives.

If you have established that the fallen person does not require medical assistance and that they are in a calm state of mind, then, as soon as they are ready, it is best get them upright as soon as possible.

How to stand If you are confident of following these, the following steps can be taken if the fallen person is in the home. If at any point they become tired or uneasy then stop until they are ready to continue.

  1. Bring two chairs to where the person has fallen and place one near their head and the other near their feet. Ask the person to roll on to their side. From that position, assist them into a kneeling position. It may be necessary to place a towel or blanket under the knees if this is not comfortable.

  2. Then place one chair in front of them so that they can place their hands securely on the seat.

  3. Ask them to lean forward on to the seat and then lift one foot forward so that it is firmly in the floor.

  4. Bring the other chair and place it directly behind the faller.

  5. Ask the faller to use their arms and legs to push themselves up and then sit down on the chair behind them. Assist the faller to keep them steady but it is important they do the actual work of lifting themselves and that you keep your back straight throughout.

  6. Notify the fallen person’s GP that they have had a fall.

It is very important that falls are not hidden or ignored.

A fall may be seen as an embarrassing indicator of decline or dependency on others so it is natural to want to keep them a secret.

Regardless of whether the faller is a family member or yourself, the family doctor or GP must be notified. An invisible injury may have been sustained that could be concealed by a bad bruise and the doctor can also suggest ways to prevent a future recurrence.

Summary If you have fallen then follow the following steps.

  1. Get in to a calm state by taking a few deep breaths and then check yourself for any injuries such as bruises, possible sprains or broken bones.

  2. If you are sure that you have no injury that requires attention, roll over on to your hands and knees move yourself towards the nearest chair or other piece of sturdy furniture.

  3. Get into a kneeling position and place your hands securely on to the piece of the furniture, such as the seat of the chair.

  4. Bring one knee forward and place your foot on the floor.

  5. Using your arms and legs together, push yourself up and then turn around so that you can sit on the piece of furniture. Stay seated until you feel confident that you can move around without falling again.

  6. If you are unable to get up after a fall, get help as soon as possible. While you are waiting for help to arrive, keep yourself warm and as comfortable as possible.

  7. Notify your doctor that you have had a fall.

And at all times remember the golden rule: if you are in any doubt, call a doctor or other qualified medical professional.

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