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Physical deficits

21) Falls – What to do

Getting up from the floor

Try to stay calm and if the person is able to tell you, ask them how the fall happened.

If there is an immediate danger such as hot spilt liquid or if the person has fallen against a radiator which is still on try to get them to shuffle or roll away if they are uninjured. Make the person comfortable for a moment before attempting to get them up. If they attempt to get up too soon they may fall again or cause further injury.

If they have an obvious injury dial for an ambulance. Check if they are injured by starting at the head and working down the body. Check for pain, any bleeding, any obvious signs of a broken bone, tenderness or bruising. Is the person confused? Think back to the FAST information;

  • Face – is it down on one side.
  • Arms – is one arm weaker than it usually is?
  • Speech– If they had normal speech before If they have any speech slurring or are they not making sense?
  • Time If you have any doubt time to call an ambulance.

View the FAST video page

If they are unhurt try to get them to sit up for a moment before getting up. Plan what you are going to do next. Get help if you can.

If they are unhurt and it is feasible to get them up then it is important to plan it properly so take your time. There is often a temptation to rush and get them up but this may fail and waste valuable energy. It could cause further injury to them or you. So make the person as comfortable as possible while you plan how to get them up. There are many ways to get up from the floor. Hopefully you will have been given advice and shown whether the person can get up from the floor by a health professional. If you haven’t the following film clip may help. Generally using solid furniture to help the person get up is the best method. This may be the bed if near the bedroom or in the living room it could be a chair or the sofa. If they are able, they could try shuffling towards the furniture. If not then you will need to bring a chair or solid stool next to them.

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