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What to Do After a Fall... (Poster)

If You CAN Get Up

The first thing to do is to catch your breath. Check and see if you are injured. Even if you think you’re OK, take your time before getting up again.

Follow these five steps for getting up:

  1. Lie on your side; bend the leg that is on top and lift yourself onto your elbows or hands.
  2. Pull yourself toward an armchair or other sturdy object, then kneel while placing both hands on the chair or object.
  3. Place your stronger leg in front, holding on to the chair or object.
  4. Stand up.
  5. Very carefully, turn and sit down.

Most of all, stay calm.

Practice these steps often and be prepared in case you fall.

If You CANNOT Get Up

If you feel any discomfort or are unable to get up, try to get help.

  1. Call out for help if you think you can be heard.
  2. If you have an emergency call device or telephone at hand, use it.
  3. If you don’t, try to slide yourself towards a telephone or a place where you will be heard.
  4. Make noise with your cane or another object to attract attention.
  5. Wait for help in the most comfortable position for you.
  6. If you can, place a pillow under your head and cover yourself with a piece of clothing or a blanket to stay warm.
  7. Try to move your joints to ease circulation and prevent stiffness.

If You Are the WITNESS

If you see someone fall, resist the urge to get the person up immediately. First check for condition: Is the person conscious or unconscious? Does the person appear to be injured? Reassure the person.

If the individual cannot get up, call for help and administer first aid if you are able to do so. Help the person find a comfortable position and keep him or her warm using an item of clothing or a blanket.

If the individual appears able to get up, proceed with care and follow the steps below:

  1. Bring a chair close by; help the person turn onto one side and bend the upper leg; help the person into a semi-seated position.
  2. Placing yourself behind the person and getting a firm grip on the hips, help the person to a kneeling position with both hands on the chair.
  3. Holding on to the chair, the person should then place the stronger leg in front. You may help by guiding the person's leg.
  4. With a firm grip on the hips, help the person to stand, then turn and sit on the chair.

This publication was developed in collaboration with the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de MontréalExternal Link.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Health, 2012
Illustrations: © Louise Catherine Bergeron