One-third of adults ages 65 and older experience a fall each year. While there are plenty of precautions you can take to try and prevent your loved one from taking a tumble, chances are, they will fall down sometime.
So when that happens, what should you do? Here are some expert tips to safely assist a fallen loved one.
1. Stay calm and keep your loved one calm by encouraging them to take slow, deep breaths.
2. Examine them for injuries—bruises, possible sprain, broken bones.
3. If they have a severe injury (e.g. a broken bone), don't move them. Call 9-1-1, and keep your loved one as comfortable as possible until help arrives.
4. 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.
5. 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.)
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Ask your loved one to lean on the seat as they bring one leg forward and place that foot on the floor.
9. 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.
10. Notify their doctor that they've had a fall.
If your loved one seems to be falling more frequently, you might also want to consider investing in an emergency alert device. Your local SYNERGY HomeCare office can help you determine the right device. They can also do a free in-home safety assessment to identify any potential falls risks around the house.