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How to alert others if you are unable to stand

Having a fall can be quite alarming for all of us, but it may be more worrying if we are unable to get up afterwards.

Although we have seen Lisa demonstrate how to stand up safely, we just may not be able to. In which case we would suggest the following:

  • Try to get someone’s attention by shouting or banging something such as a walking stick

  • If you have a pendant alarm, use it to alert your community service (we will hear more about these in the next Meet the Experts video)

  • Try to reach the telephone if you can and call for help

Sometimes it might be that we are unable to summon help. We may need to wait on the floor for someone to arrive, or wait for someone to be within ear shot. In this case it is important that you make sure you are comfortable:

  • Try to reach something soft which you can use to support your head and neck

  • Try to shuffle or roll to a nearby rug or carpeted area which will provide softer support

If you are going to be on the floor for longer than several minutes it is essential that:

  • You find a way of keeping warm. Try to reach extra clothing, throws, table cloths or rugs

  • Try to vary which part of your body is resting on the floor, this will help prevent pressure sores. Also try to move away from any wet areas caused by any leaking from your bladder as this will also protect your skin

Watch the video on the next page to learn more about community services that can help people who are unable to stand up after a fall. If you would prefer not to wear a pendant alarm, then consider keeping a mobile telephone in your pocket at all times.

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This article is from the free online course:

Ageing Well: Why Older People Fall

Newcastle University

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