Falling can pose a significant risk to individuals who have limited mobility and who live on their own. If you have found yourself in the unfortunate situation of a fall, use these tips to help get you into a stable position.
Step 1: Stay calm and orient yourself. If you have fallen make sure to first check for injuries. Make sure you know where you are. What position are you in? On your back? If you are not seriously injured you will need to roll onto your stomach (photos 1A, 1B & 1C).
Step 2: Get Help. Once on your stomach get to your hands and knees (photo 2). This will allow you to crawl to a phone or to something that can assist you in getting off of the floor. If you live on your own make sure you keep your phone in an accessible area near the floor. If you have fallen and are unable to get to your feet it will be very important to have your phone within reach to call for help. If you have taken a fall or falls, you may want to consider medical alert device like Life Alert or Lifeline.
Step 3: Use anything you can to assist you in standing. It can be very difficult to stand from the floor without assistance. If no one is around and you can crawl or scoot, try making your way to a chair. While grasping tight onto the chair bring one foot up. Make sure to breath and take your time (photo 3A). Use your arms and legs simultaneously to push into a standing position (photo 3B).
Step 4: Once standing slowly turn away from the chair and sit down (photo 4). Make sure you always have one hand on the chair at all times to prevent another fall.
If getting from the floor to a chair is difficult for you it may be beneficial to take a strength class. We offer a Gentle Strength class at Valley Fitness Center. Exercise specialist Katie Shimer can teach you exercises that will strengthen muscles to make these steps easier.