elderly woman fell
Senior Health

What Should I Do If I Fall?

Whether you are at home or somewhere else, a sudden fall can be startling and upsetting. If you do fall, stay as calm as possible and follow these steps:

  • Take several deep breaths to try to relax. Remain still on the floor or ground for a few moments. This will help you get over the shock of falling.
  • Decide if you are hurt before getting up. Getting up too quickly or in the wrong way could make an injury worse.
  • If you think you can get up safely without help, roll over onto your side. Rest again while your body and blood pressure adjust. Slowly get up on your hands and knees, and crawl to a sturdy chair.
  • Put your hands on the chair seat and slide one foot forward so that it is flat on the floor. Keep the other leg bent so the knee is on the floor. From this kneeling position, slowly rise and turn your body to sit in the chair.
  • If you are hurt or cannot get up on your own, ask someone for help or call 911.

If you are alone, try to get into a comfortable position and wait for help to arrive.

  • Carrying a mobile or portable phone with you as you move about your house could make it easier to call someone if you need assistance. An emergency response system, which lets you push a button on a special necklace or bracelet to call for help, is another option.

senior man with cell phone

Learn more about preventing falls and fractures on the National Institute for Aging website..

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