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10 Steps to Help a Senior Who Has Fallen

Posted by Alyssa Ball on Nov 20, 2018 2:05:00 PM

Helpless senior woman who has fallen on the steps

Falls become much more common, and oftentimes, much more serious as seniors age. Anything from bumps, bruises, and scrapes to broken bones are common symptoms of seniors falling. In more cases, falls can even have life-altering or life-threatening injuries for seniors. If you find out that a loved one or senior you are close to has fallen, there are proper steps that you can take to handle the fall appropriately and help limit the adverse effects that the fall has on them in the future.

The following are 10 steps that you should take when you realize discover a loved one or a senior has fallen to ensure that they are as safe as possible:

  1. Do not look to get the person up immediately!

  2. Help the person regain a calm demeanor. Reassure them by letting them know that you are there to help them in any way you can. 

  3. Inquire about what injuries the person has suffered (i.e. what hurts, where the pain is, how severe the pain is, does more than one particular area hurt, etc.).

  4. Take note of what the person injured. If they have injured their neck or back, keep them still as possible and get medical assistance right away. Same goes if they have hit their head.

  5. Determine the severity of the person's injuries.

  6. Determine whether you need to call an ambulance or 9-1-1. Situations in which you should call 9-1-1 should include injuries such as severe neck/back injuries head trauma, loss of consciousness, or excessive blood loss. 

  7. If the person seems otherwise okay, help them get up slowly. Find them something stable to hold onto and assist them but make them do most of the work. If you cannot help them up alone, seek appropriate help so they do not get dropped or fall again, which will only further injuries. 

  8. Administer appropriate first aid (i.e. clean and bandage open wounds, provide ice packs for any swollen joints/areas, etc.).

  9. Notify their doctor immediately that they had a fall so the doctor can do anything possible to help prevent a future (potentially worse) fall in the future.

  10. Attempt to determine what caused the fall so it can be corrected and will not happen again in the future.

While many falls simply cause cuts, scrapes, bruises, and some possible swelling, a small percentage can cause serious injury to a loved one or senior. Preventing future falls can help the person avoid the chances of having a very serious fall that causes permanent, lasting, or long-term injury to themselves. 

For more information on how to help a loved one who is prone to falls, refer to our Fall Prevention Fact Sheet and our infographic on exercises to help seniors maintain balance

Alyssa Ball Blog Author

Topics: Fall Prevention, Senior Safety

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