We all have those moments where we fall, get back up, and ensure it doesn’t happen again. But for seniors who may hurt themselves from a fall, the likelihood of getting up with minor injuries can be low. What should you do if you see a senior fall down? When an older adult falls, there are actions that you’ll need to take to ensure that person’s safety.
Stay Calm and Inspect the Area
If you see a senior fall down, don’t panic. They’ll look to you for support and comfort since they have just received the shock of an injury. If you need to, take deep breaths and approach them with caution, as there may be other items around that may cause you to trip.
Inspect the area around where they fell and find what they tripped over or slipped on. Remove the item or clean up the spill so that you and the person who fell won’t slip again. Once the area is clear of any other potential dangers, check the person’s status.
Check To See if They Can Stand
If the older adult is unconscious, call them or say their name a few times but don’t shake them. Sudden movements will worsen a head injury, which they may have sustained in the fall. If calling them doesn’t rouse them, call emergency services immediately.
In a situation where the person is conscious, see whether they’re coherent enough to answer simple questions, such as their name or how old they are. If they can’t answer these questions, call 911. But if they do answer coherently, ask them where they feel pain and if they can stand.
If They Can
If they can stand, lower yourself to the ground as much as you can while still maintaining your ability to stand up easily. Offer the person your hand and wait for them to take it. With your other hand, lightly support the senior’s back; don’t press on the back in case this area is injured. Allow the person to take their time and lift themselves and only assist when needed.
Once they have lifted themselves high enough to lean on your body, slowly walk to a place for them to sit and inspect them further. Offer them water and prepare a warm or cold compress for any injuries.
If They Can’t
If a senior isn’t able to stand, don’t attempt to move the person. Call the paramedics and stay with the person until they arrive. Ensure the EMTs have enough room for a gurney to maneuver through the room.
Prevent Another Fall
When the situation has died down, take a moment to organize the area. If you see a senior fall down, you should prevent another fall, whether you’re at home or outside.
Seniors are at constant risk of bad falls. And if you see them fall, you should make sure you know how to handle the situation quickly and correctly.