A Definitive Guide on What to Do After a Fall
The leading cause of injury for Canadians over the age of 65 are falls, accounting for 81% of injury hospitalizations for this age group.
It is important to know what to do after a fall as they can lead to injury as well as be quite shocking.
Are you wondering what to do after a fall?
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
Getting Up After a Fall
The first thing that you should do after a fall is to pause and take a couple of deep breaths. This can help you to recover from the shock before your next action, and avoiding a second fall. Next you need to assess whether or not you’re able to get up. Be careful – moving incorrectly or getting up too quickly can worsen an injury.
If it seems to you that you will be able to get up without assistance, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that you stand up safely. First, you will want to roll over onto your side and then rest for a couple moments. Next, you can raise yourself onto your hands and knees, and from there begin crawling to a chair you know is sturdy.
Once you have arrived at a sturdy chair, place your hands on the seat of the chair and slide one foot forward into a kneeling position. You’ll want your foot to be flat on the floor with your other knee bent. You will then be able to slowly rise into a seated position on the chair.
If it is clear that you need some help in getting up, you have a number of options.
If someone else is in the home with you, ask them to help you get up. If no one else is there, use a medical alert necklace or a phone to call 911. While you are waiting for help, you’ll want to move into a comfortable position and try to stay calm.
If you have to wait for help to come to you, you will want to make sure that you stay warm. Safely move yourself onto a soft surface like a carpet or a rug. If it is necessary for you to empty your bladder while you’re waiting, you’ll want to move yourself away from the wet spot right away.
If there are any blankets or clothing nearby, reach for them so that you can cover yourself and keep warm. As best as you can, keep your body gently moving and focus on staying calm. You’ll also want to move away from any spot in the house where there is a draft.
Keeping a water bottle nearby at all times can help ensure that you will be able to reach drinking water if you fall. Staying hydrated is important and you don’t want to suffer from dehydration while waiting for help.
What to Do After a Fall: Tell Your GP
Even if your fall did not cause any injury or it was the first time, you want to tell your primary care physician. You would also tell a different health professional such as an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist.
How to Relieve Pain and Swelling After a Fall
If you have fallen and are experiencing pain and swelling as a result, there are a number of things you can do at home to help
One thing you can do is use cold packs. Immediately after the injury, you can apply cold packs to help swelling. Three or more times a day, you can apply these cold packs for 10 to 20 minutes.
Once inflammation is gone, you can switch to using heat to release the pain. This can help to reduce blood flow and give some pain relief.
How to Prevent Falls in the Future
Let’s take a look at some fall prevention tips so that you can avoid taking a fall in your home.
First, you’ll want to make sure there aren’t any tripping hazards in your home. If you have any rugs, you should either remove them or firmly tape them down.
Are you wondering how to prevent falls in your bathroom while getting in and out of the shower? Adding a grab bar can help to ensure that you don’t fall when getting in and out of the shower. You can also add a nonslip grip to the bar.
Another way to help avoid falling is to never stretch to grab things that aren’t in your reach. It’s not a good idea to try and get something out of a high cabinet on your tiptoes or bend down very low to get something off the floor. Both of these actions can result in falling.
Even when you are prepared, sometimes something unexpected happened. For this reason, it is a good idea to have a phone nearby at all times or use a medical alert system.
What to Do If Someone Else Falls
If someone else falls and you are there to help, you’ll want to assess the situation before you act. People do not always feel pain from their injuries right away. You want to reassure them and help to keep them calm before making a decision on how to act.
Medical Alert Systems Can Provide the Help You Need Where and When You Need It
If you’re wondering what to do after a fall, there is a good chance it is time for you to look into medical alert systems. With both On-The-Go, At-Home, and fall detection options, Red Dot Alerts has everything you need so that help is always only one button away.
You can take a look at our medical alert system options here.