Helping an Older Person Get Up From a Fall
March 3, 2016 | Personal Injury
When an older person falls, the injury may not have yet happened. It may happen when they get quickly yanked back up to their feet by an eager, friendly hand. The injuries that can occur from this are spinal cord injuries, dislocations, torn ligaments, or torn muscles. Additionally, the serious injury could occur with another fall if the initial fall disoriented the older person, causing dizziness, faintness, or any other form of unsteadiness. The last thing that any of us want to do is cause further harm to our loved ones. There are important guidelines to take when helping an older person after they have fallen. Assuming the fall did not happen in a dangerous area, such as in a busy intersection, there is absolutely no need to hurry when helping them up. It is best to remain calm, call for help if needed, and follow the steps listed below.
Follow These Steps if an Older Person Takes a Fall
If you see an older person fall and they are in great amounts of pain and cannot get up, call for an ambulance immediately. Do not move them. Try to offer as much comfort as possible, such as providing a pillow, blanket, and optimistic company. Try to keep them calm and as pain free as possible without causing any further injury by trying to pull them onto their feet or into a chair. However, if the fall victim is able to move and does not seem to be seriously injured, follow the steps listed below in order to help them up.
- Bring a chair close to the person
- Have them turn onto their side with their top leg bended
- Position yourself behind them and firmly grip their hips or midsection
- As you stand behind them, help them into a kneeling position. They should place both of their hands on the chair to brace themselves up
- While still behind them, direct them to place their strongest leg forward with their foot on the ground so that they are only kneeling on one knee
- Keep a firm grip on them, and help them stand and turn to sit in the chair and
- After a moment of rest, make sure they have not hit their head and ensure they have the ability to stand safely before you let go of them.
Serious Injuries Caused by Falling
Millions of people fall every year and suffer injuries. One out of three people 65 and older fall every year, though less than half report it to their doctor. And, one out of five of those falls ends in serious injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number one cause of traumatic brain injuries is falling. 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls, which can be fatal for older people. Fracturing a hip, according to a study done by Kaiser Permanente, is especially dangerous for those aged 65 to 69 years old. It was found that women 65 to 69 years old who fractured a hip had an increased chance of dying within the year by five times. Men aged 656 to 69 are less likely to break a hip than women, but if they do, their chances of dying within the year are 30.9%, compared to women’s chances of dying within the year, which are 20.8%, according to an Italian study. You can help decrease the chances of serious injury by always following the proper guidelines when an older person falls, and be ensuring that they receive the proper and immediate medical care to treat any injuries that they sustained. If you or an older loved one have suffered any signs of elder abuse or have fallen in an unsafe premises, contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys or nursing home abuse attorneys today at the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC at 212-397-1000.