What should I do when my grandmother falls?

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Find out the cause. Whether it's general weakness or mental. It is important to reduce her chances to fall because it may cause serious injuries rendering her bedridden. Increase ambulatory supervision as well.
We need more information. Obvious answer is "Help her get up"

But you may be asking "Why is she falling?" or "How do I help her get up?"

Seniors fall because they are unsteady, have mini-strokes, trip because they don't pick their feet up - lots of reasons. It is good to find out why it is happening.
Pick her up. If you can't lift her back into the cahir, call the firemen at your local fire dept. They'll come in and pick her up.
p.s. Old people fall all the time.
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Your question is not specific enough. Is this during the actual fall? Like, should you even move her? Does she know enough to answer if she hurts anywhere or respond if you ask her to "move this, okay now move your other foot," and "do you think you can stand if we get chairs to help you halfway up and I help lift you?" There's always a chance of concussion (nausea could be associated with this).

If it's more general question. You can find information about fall prevention. Removing all scatter rugs, securing electric cords, making sure there is adequate lighting. See if her shoes contrast enough with the floor. Put sturdy chairs along well travelled routes so she can grab onto them when she feels uneasy, and perhaps fall against them when she does start to go over. And use them to get herself up.

Look around the place and see if there are enough items to create a gradual seat-staircase to get her in sitting position, then small oomphs up each level until she is on a chair. A telephone book, then a step stool, then coffee table, then on to a chair. Have these items in mind before emergency happens. There is a dog step ladder that might be useful to buy. I have a strong neighbor who I can call any time to help Mom off the floor (if it's more of a sliding thing rather than loud crash).

The fire dept will also come help get someone off the floor, but they may also strap her to a stiff backboard, call the ambulance, and take her to the ER. Even though Mom has Kaiser, I can kiss $350 goodbye for this sort of thing ($300 more if ambulance brings her home).

Also, I didn't know until Mom's fall last July how bruises can show up days later. she didn't have a concussion, but blood puddled in the crannies of her face so she had black eyes and black spots where she wrinkled. It almost looked like makeup. Oh, use Vitamin K cream to help bruising vanish. It's gratifying to see it work from day to day. Gives the patient hope of recovery.

Kaiser offered fall prevention classes, and those exercises they gave us got Mom over the "weakling" hump. The only times she fell after that was when she really tripped over something, like the cat.

N1K2R3, I'm not sure that you understand the issues involved. While it's true that older people fall more often than younger people, a fall is a serious event and should not be minimized.

In practical terms, the first thing to do is to is to quickly assess your grandmother's physical condition. (If you have not yet taken a basic CPR and first-aid class, and you are a care-giver or visit frequently, I would recommend this.) If she is talking, then she is obviously breathing. If she is not talking, check for breathing. If she is not breathing, start rescue breathing, or CPR if necessary, and have someone call 911. If you are by yourself, do rescue breathing or CPR for a minute, then call 911.

If she is breathing, don't rush into any attempts to get her up. Before you try to help her up, ask her if she has hurt herself. Have her take a minute to catch her breath and check herself over for what hurts. If you didn't see her fall, ask if she hit her head. If she has any unusual pain, or if she can't move a limb, or if an arm or leg is in an unnatural position, or if she is having trouble breathing, or if she says she hit her head, feels dizzy or nauseated, or passed out, or you see any signs of injuries, DON'T help her up - help her get into a more comfortable position on the floor, cover her up for warmth, and call 911. Stay calm, describe what happened as best you can, and answer the dispatcher's questions. Don't hang up the phone - many areas have 911 locator functions that can give the ambulance crew a location for you by the phone line.

If you decide that she is not hurt, carefully assist her into a chair or bed. You should get some training or advice as to how to assist someone with a gait belt or by hand, so you won't hurt yourself or her.

Once she is feeling more steady, you can CALMLY ask how the fall happened. If possible, you should try to eliminate whatever hazard led to the fall - tripping hazards, having to reach too far over to get something she needed, etc. What you DON'T want to do is to rush in, and before she can gather her wits, start peppering her with questions or with "You have to be more careful!" messages. Be calm and approach the issue with the attitude that you want to help her avoid falls. Dealing with elders can be frustrating, and it's human nature to respond to an alarming event with excitement. But saying things like, "I've told you a hundred times not to try and get things off the top shelf!" or "The doctor said you have to use your walker! Why don't you ever listen?" won't help (yes, some people do say those things - in their alarm over the possibility of their elder hurting themselves, they will chastise the elder like a child.) Be solution-oriented and look for a way to eliminate hazards.

I'm not sure if this helps, but that's the practical side of a response to a fall.
What an amazingly good response from sierraseven. That was an excellent walk through of what to do in the event of a fall.

I would like to add that when my mother had an urinary tract infection, she was more confused, and prone to falling. You may want to consider asking her doctor to have her urine tested.

Good luck to you. I know from experience how scary a fall can be. Just remember to keep calm and think before you say or do anything that could create more harm.

ok, first of all I had the same exact problem with my mother!!! she now has PSP which is a very rare illness that only affects one in a hundred million in the world!!!! ITs a type of palsy that leaves white masses on the brain, it took 8 years or so to finally diagnose this illness, she was breaking ribs, fingers, getting her head slashed, falling into things just dropping to the ground for no apparent reason, THIS BY NO MEANS THIS IS WHAT SHE HAS!!!!! but the first step is to take her first to her primary doctor, explain what has been happening, then make them give a refferal for a brain MRI with contrast, so they can see what's amiss and what could be causing these episodes! This is by no means something u can put on the back burner, it has to be addressed immediately, as it could start to get worse and she could poke out an eye, break a hip or worse,,,,,,
She needs a doctors advice NOW, while u see it happening, so that they can refer her to a neurologist, where they will figure out what's going on... please take the time to read my profile, it will help u in your quest, u dont need to go through what I did to find out, and dont wait, this is nothing to play around with, its her safety here at risk, she will thank u in the end! GOd bless u and let us know what the outcome is, as I can only speak for me I do care!
My aunt falls due to general weakness and, now, she's fallen three times since returning from the nursing home after hip fracture rehab. She falls when she lifts both hands off walker or tries to use one hand on walker and do something else while she walks. She wears an alarm on her wrist which she presses when she falls. The alarm company first calls me to inform that she has fallen and to come pick her up. I've only been home once. For her, when she presses her alarm, they call out to her to ask what happened and they've tried to call her also. If she has fallen/does not answer the phone, they call the EMS. Her house key is in a lock box on her door, only the EMS has the combination, and they can enter the home to assess her, pick her up and transport her to the ER, if necessary. The one time I was home, I went over, decided that I can't pick her up, and pressed her button for the EMS to come pick her up. Every time, they have conversations with her about the proper way to use a walker.

She has caregivers a few hours a day, and they are required to complete an Incident Report each time she falls. She tells the EMS to not tell anybody, especially me, that she has fallen. She did not tell her caregiver the first time, so, now, I tell them, and I tell the doctor each time she falls.
A large white mass on the brain, indicated by an MRI, usually finds that an ischemic stroke has taken place.....Neurology 101.
It appears mostly on one side. The other side of the patient is affected by this...hands, feet, hearing, eye, even nostril. For example if the white mass appears on the left side of the brain, then the patient's right side of the body will be affected.
I am not aware of Palsy showing up as a white mass, but then I am not a neurologist.

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