It happens countless times each year in every community: a senior loses his or her balance and falls down.
The risk of a fall causes anxiety and worry, and the results can be debilitating. When a fall occurs, it can be hard to know what to do next.
Feeling safe in your own home is the cornerstone of Aging in Place. Many seniors unfortunately believe they can’t successfully stay in good health in the homes they’ve had for years. While you can take preventative measures around your home to safeguard yourself, there’s still the vexing question as to what to do in the immediate aftermath of a fall. For this post, Staying Put at Home will look at what you should do in the event of a fall in your home and alone.
Stay Calm and Evaluate Your Surrounding
After you’ve fallen, it’s natural to panic. However, keeping a level head during this situation will be of the utmost importance. Take a few deep breaths to regroup. Once you’ve done this, look around the room to see what could help you either get up or call for help. Then, remain on the ground for a few minutes to assess whether you are able to move or if you are feeling any pain.
Now that you’re calm, you can try to get up. If you think you can get up safely, roll over on to your side. Next, get to your hands and knees and try crawling to nearby furniture, like a chair or sofa. Once you’re there, rest a moment. After you’ve gathered enough strength, try to get to a kneeling position. From there, try turning and getting on the seat.
Once you’re in a seated position, rested and calm, consider whether you need to call an ambulance, your family or your caregiver.
I Can’t Get Up
If you are unable to reach a phone, then try to maneuver to an area where you can be heard by neighbors. Also try to find a position that is comfortable, as you don’t want any more stress. From this position, try calling out for help. It is also a good idea to have someone you trust check in on you every day, whether that person is a family member, friend, neighbor or hired caregiver. Even a routine phone call each day could help tip this person off that something is amiss. Preparing a schedule with someone for regular visits or calls before an emergency occurs is your safest bet to staying safe inside your home.
Emergency Response System
Having an Emergency Response System in place can provide peace of mind. In emergencies such as falls, an Emergency Response device can be life-saving, as it will help you to get immediate help should you be injured. When one-third of seniors over the age of 65 fall each year, it’s important to have a plan in place for your safety and peace of mind.
We hope that this article has given you a few ideas for how best to handle a fall. If you have any advice that you’d like to offer to the Staying Put at Home community, please share in our comment section.