If you have injuries, health problems, or other reasons that may make it easy for you to fall at home, it is a good idea to learn how to get up safely after a fall. Learning how to get up correctly can help you avoid making an injury worse.
Also, knowing what to do if you cannot get up can help you stay safe until help arrives.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How can you care for yourself after a fall?
If you think you can get up
First lie still for a few minutes and think about how you feel. If your body feels okay and you think you can get up safely, follow the rest of the steps below:
- Look for a chair or other piece of furniture that is close to you.
- Roll onto your side and rest. Roll by turning your head in the direction you want to roll, move your shoulder and arm, then hip and leg in the same direction.
- Lie still for a moment to let your blood pressure adjust.
- Slowly push your upper body up, lift your head, and take a moment to rest.
- Slowly get up on your hands and knees, and crawl to the chair or other stable piece of furniture.
- Put your hands on the chair.
- Move one foot forward, and place it flat on the floor. Your other leg should be bent with the knee on the floor.
- Rise slowly, turn your body, and sit in the chair. Stay seated for a bit and think about how you feel. Call for help. Even if you feel okay, let someone know what happened to you. You might not know that you have a serious injury.
If you cannot get up
- If you think you are injured after a fall or you cannot get up, try not to panic.
- Call out for help.
- If you have a phone within reach or you have an emergency call device, use it to call for help.
- If you do not have a phone within reach, try to slide yourself toward it. If you cannot get to the phone, try to slide toward a door or window or a place where you think you can be heard.
- Yell or use an object to make noise so someone might hear you.
- If you can reach something that you can use for a pillow, place it under your head. Try to stay warm by covering yourself with a blanket or clothing while you wait for help.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
- You cannot get up after a fall.
- You have severe pain.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have new or worse pain.
- You are dizzy or lightheaded.
- You hit your head.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You do not get better as expected.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter G513 in the search box to learn more about "How to Get Up Safely After a Fall: Care Instructions".
Current as of: November 14, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine