March 19, 2018

You've Fallen: Here's How to Get Up

by Peter Jaret  

How you react immediately after a tumble is critical to minimizing any damage. Here’s what experts from the National Institute on Aging recommend you do if you fall:

  • Stay calm. Take a few deep breaths to give yourself time to get over the shock of falling.
  • Stay still and assess your condition. It’s tempting to try to get right back up again. Don’t—stay still and take a moment to notice how you feel. What hurts? Does anything seem to be broken? Do you feel as if you can get up on your own safely?

Call for help or dial 911 if you’re injured or can’t get up on your own. If you’re alone, make yourself as comfortable as you can without moving unnecessarily while you wait for help.

If you think you can get up safely without help, move slowly and follow these steps:

  1. Roll on your side, then rest for a minute or two to let your body and blood pressure adjust.
  2. Slowly roll over onto your hands and knees. If you’re in significant pain, lie back downand call for help.
  3. If you feel OK, try to crawl to a sturdy chair that will stabilize you while you stand up.
  4. Put your hands on the seat and slide one leg forward so your foot is flat on the floor.Keep your other leg bent with your knee on the floor.
  5. Slowly rise from your kneeling position.
  6. Turn your body and sit down in the chair.
  7. Take a moment to assess how you’re feeling and notice any injuries.
Even if you don’t seem to have hurt yourself, it’s wise to call your doctor’s office to see whether he or she recommends that you come in for a checkup.