Try not to panic if you have a fall. It is likely that you will feel shocked and a bit shaken, but staying calm will help you to gather your thoughts and remember what to do.
When you are calm, ask yourself whether you feel able to get up. If you are not hurt and you feel strong enough to get up, follow the steps listed below:
- Do not get up quickly. Roll onto your hands and knees and look for a stable piece of furniture, such as a chair or bed.
- Crawl over to the piece of furniture and, if possible, put something soft under your knees.
- Hold on to the furniture with both hands to support yourself.
- Place one foot flat on the floor, with your knee bent in front of your body.
- When you feel ready, slowly get up.
- Sit down and rest for a while before carrying on with your daily activities.
If you are hurt or unable to get up, follow the steps listed below.
- Try to get someone's attention by calling out for help, banging on the wall or floor (if you live upstairs) or press your medical alarm call unit (if you have one). If possible, crawl to a telephone and dial triple zero (000) to request an ambulance.
- While you are waiting for help to arrive, try to get as comfortable and as warm as you can by moving to a carpeted area. Try to reach something warm to put over you (particularly your legs and feet), such as a blanket or a dressing gown.
- Try to move regularly to avoid getting pressure sores and to help you keep comfortable. Change your position regularly (at least once every half an hour).
If you live on your own, or you are often alone for a long time, it is important to make a plan in case you fall. You can arrange for monitors, alarms or autodiallers in your house. Maybe have an arrangement with friends or neighbours to check on you regularly. And make sure they have a key or you store a key outside so help can get in.
Independent Living Centres Australia have a wide range of technology that can help you live independently and safely at home. You can call them on 1300 885 886.
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Last reviewed: December 2017