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How to Get up from a Fall: A Step-By-Step Guide

• According to research, more than 25% of aging adults experience a fall every year, often resulting in serious injuries and hospitalization.  
• It’s important to know how to get up from a fall safely so as to not cause further injuries. However, you should only attempt to get up from a fall if you aren’t injured. 
• There are several things that you can do to avoid falling; creating a safe environment at home is a good first step. 
• Medical alert devices often include a fall-detection feature which can provide aging adults and their families with peace of mind that they will get help in an emergency. 

Our bodies undergo a series of natural changes as we age, which can present new challenges for our overall health and well-being.  

One such challenge that affects a large portion of the aging adult population is falling. 

We understand how scary it can be to experience a fall. But it’s even more worrying when an aging adult falls, as it can cause serious medical issues. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every four people aged 65 or older falls each year.  

Additionally, one in every five falls result in serious injuries, such as broken bones or head trauma. Getting up from a fall incorrectly may also cause further injury. 

Besides being physically injured, falling can significantly impact the psychological well-being of an aging adult. In fact, many of our aging loved ones may live in fear of falling, impacting their self-confidence and limiting the activities they can comfortably participate in. 

For these reasons, it’s vital that older adults know how to get up safely from a fall. In this guide, we explain how you can get up from a fall the right way to prevent further injury. 

Understanding Falls 

Before we unpack the specifics of how to get up from a fall, it’s important to understand why they happen and their impact on aging adults.  

What are the main causes of falls in aging adults? 

Some of the most common reasons for falls in aging adults is that hearing, eyesight, and reflexes may not be as sharp as they used to be. 

Additionally, certain health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, can affect balance and increase the risk of falling. 

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), older adults may experience weakened muscles, balance issues, and blood pressure that drops too quickly when getting up after sitting or lying down. 

How are aging adults affected by falls? 

The CDC has found that each year, over 800,000 older patients are hospitalized due to an injury from a fall, and at least 300,000 of these hospitalizations are for hip fractures, which often result in surgery

Recovering from injuries as a result of a fall can be prolonged and complicated, meaning it may take months for an aging person to regain mobility. 

Falling once doubles a person’s chance of falling again, and often, older adults have problems getting up unassisted. 

Another study has identified that a fall can have a devastating and life-changing effect on aging adults, resulting in loss of independence, chronic pain, and reduced quality of life. 

What to Do When You Fall 

Now that you know what kind of an effect a fall can have on an aging adult, let’s look at the most effective ways to get up from a fall and reduce the chances of further injury. 

Step 1: Stay calm and assess your injuries 

After a fall, keep as still as possible for a few minutes, try to remain calm, and take deep breaths. Moving too quickly right after a fall can cause further injuries.  

Next, scan your body for injuries. You can do this by gently moving your hands, feet, arms, and legs to see if you experience any pain. 

If you suspect that you have sustained a serious injury, call for help right away, and don’t try to get up on your own.  

If you don’t feel that you have an injury, you can move on to the next step. 

Step 2: Get into a crawling position and move toward a sturdy object 

Look around for any pieces of sturdy furniture or nearby objects you can hold onto for support while rising.  

Next, slowly roll onto your side by first turning your head in the direction you are rolling to, followed by your shoulders, arms, hips, and then your legs. Whichever is your stronger leg, roll to the opposite side. 

Slowly push yourself up into a crawling position and move slowly on your hands and knees toward a sturdy chair, for example.  

As much as possible, try not to rush this movement and take breaks to rest if you need to. 

Step 3: Move from a kneeling position to a seated position 

Use the chair to help you get into a kneeling position by placing your hands on the seat one at a time. 

Bring your strongest leg up to a 90-degree angle, and put your foot flat on the ground. Your other leg should remain in a kneeling position. 

Slowly rise and turn your body so that you are in a sitting position in the chair. Be sure to sit for a few moments before moving any further. 

Monitoring Yourself After a Fall 
If you manage to get up from a fall without assistance, it’s important that you monitor yourself closely afterward for injuries. Some signs to look out for include: 

• Pain that gets worse as this could indicate a fracture, sprain, or another serious injury. 
• Even a brief loss of consciousness, as this could suggest a head injury. 
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, which may be due to a rib fracture or lung injury. 
• Abdominal swelling, which could be a sign of internal bleeding or organ damage. 
• Numbness or tingling, which could indicate nerve damage or spinal injury. 
• Confusion or disorientation, which may be a sign of a head injury. 

Effective Fall Prevention Strategies for Aging Adults  

Now that you know how to get up from a fall, let’s look at what you can do to prevent falls in the first place. 

While it’s not always possible to stop a fall from occurring entirely, these fall prevention steps can keep aging adults safe by reducing their risk of falling. 

Get regular physical activity where possible 

Even light exercise can improve muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. It can also relieve stiff joints and tension in the body, making it easier to move. 

Low-impact activities like walking or water aerobics have significant health benefits for aging adults, and they can help prevent falls caused by muscle weakness. 

You might want to consult a physical therapist to find out what activities would work best for you and your current health status. 

Make safety modifications in the home 

Create a safe living environment by removing tripping hazards like loose carpeting or rugs, clutter, and electrical cords. 

Installing grab bars in bathrooms and other high-risk areas in the home and ensuring proper lighting can also go a long way to keeping aging adults safe. 

Keep communication devices like landlines or medical alert devices closer to the floor for easy access if you have fallen. 

Medication management 

Certain medications, or combinations of drugs, can cause drowsiness, dizziness, or imbalance.

It’s important to work closely with your doctor to minimize side effects and interactions that increase the risk of falling. 

Invest in an emergency medical alert device 

Be completely prepared for a fall or other emergencies by investing in a medical alert device. These devices allow you to call for help from 911 operators, your family, or your carer. 

Additionally, many medical alert devices include fall detection features. Should you fall, an alert will be sent to a 24-hour monitoring center, family member, or an emergency responder. This is especially useful if you can’t get up from the floor due to injuries or falling unconscious. 

This technology doesn’t just keep aging adults safe, it also might be the very thing that saves their life. 

Where Can I Learn More About Medical Alert Devices? 

If you fall, it’s important that you follow the right steps to get up off the floor safely without hurting yourself.  

It’s also vital that you call for help if you are injured rather than trying to get up — a medical alert device can help you do just that. 

Our wearable devices include fall detection sensors that will send alerts to emergency services should you experience a fall. 

LogicMark’s medical alert devices provide you with a sense of safety and independence to live your life to the fullest. It also gives your family peace of mind that you will be assisted in the event of an emergency. 

Visit our website to explore our range of medical alert devices, and find the solution that works best for you. 


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