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Picking Up a Loved One After a Fall
Sep 15, 2016 by Comfort Keepers South Denver
Techniques for Assisting a Senior Back Up After a Fall
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1 – 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency rooms for falls. If you are with an elderly and he or she falls – do NOT attempt move them if they are injured – seek appropriate medical help. If, however, they are not injured there are a few techniques to get them upright and minimize the risk of injury them or yourself.
Keep in mind, these strategies should only be used when you know your loved one hasn't been injured.
These are general guidelines2 for caregivers and home health aides that can help you get a loved one upright—without hurting them or yourself in the process.
- Stay Calm
- Still calm? Good - help your loved one to remain calm by encouraging them to take slow, deep breaths.
- Examine them for injuries—bruises, possible sprain, broken bones.
- If they have a serious injury (e.g. a broken bone), then don't move them. Call 9-1-1, and keep your loved one as warm and comfortable as possible until help arrives.
- If they aren't badly hurt and they want to get up, proceed slowly and stop at any point if they become stuck or too tired to get all the way up.
- Find two sturdy chairs. Place one next to your loved one's head and the other down by their feet.(Keep in mind, your loved one needs to be the one doing the physical work of getting up. You're just there to help guide them and keep them steady, not lift their weight.)
- Help your loved one roll over onto their side, assist them into a kneeling position. If they suffer from sore knees, a towel placed underneath the knees can make them more comfortable.
- Move the chair closest to their head directly in front of where they are kneeling so that they can place their hands on the seat, evenly.
- Ask your loved one to lean on the seat as they bring one leg forward and place that foot on the floor.
- Move the second chair directly behind your loved one, then ask them to use their arms and legs to push themselves up, then sit back into the second chair. You can use your hands to keep your loved one steady, but keep your back upright and make sure they are doing the physical work to lift themselves.
- Notify their doctor that they've had a fall.
Falls Should Never Remain a Secret
It's essential to notify a doctor about the event. He or she can make sure your loved one didn't sustain any invisible injuries as a result of the fall, and suggest ways to prevent unnecessary tumbles. You should also tell at least one friend or family member about the fall, so that they can be on the lookout in case your elder loved one need help in the future.