How do you pick up an elder when they have fallen?

Asked by
Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Expert Answer
3932 helpful answers
It would be best to get training. You may want to check with a local ambulance company to see where you can get training in your area. The Alzheimer's Association provides training for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's, but I don't know if they would provide this type of training. You could call them. You also may want to learn CPR.
Carol
I too have very bad knees and when I fall I don't even have to power to life myself. I am 53 yoa young! and it is awful! I need to have my right knee replaced. I was very heavy at one time had a gastric bypass in 2002 and lost over 250 lbs. Unfortunately, the damage was already done to my joints. My left knee was replaced in 2008. My right knee is shot. I have fallen 4 times in the past 6 mos. I had to call 911 twice, my daughter lift me up once and my husband tried and he fell in the process and dropped me again! It was awful! Any suggestions for me?
Wow. Your question brings back memories for me. I hope you are asking as a precautionary measure and not because you have had to face the situation. I wouldn't wish the situation on anyone as it can be so unnerving, not to mention sad. Sometimes the best thing one can do for someone who has fallen is to call for EMS support while you just make sure that the person is as comfortable as can be. Some falls will result in added injury to the individual who has fallen if an untrained person attempts the lift. One of the things I have done is to first sit on the floor alongside the person to try to keep us both as calm as possible and to determine whether and how much the person is able to move with, or without pain. That tells me whether to attempt to lift, or call EMS. That may sound like a long time, but it only takes a few seconds to do that first visual assessment. How to lift depends on what parts of the body have been most severely affected by the fall. It also depends on whether the person has any upper body strength, or not. Sometimes I have used a pillow between myself and the person or on the person's back, or under his knees or bottom, to help lessen the impact of lifting and causing more soreness. Beyond those general comments which I use independently, Carol's reply is the best advice, in my opinion. An untrained lift can injure both the caregiver and the person being lifted. It is best to not take chances, even if appears to be a minor tumble. EMS is well trained. It is usually a good sign if the person who has fallen is able to get back up with just a little support from the caregiver, but only doctors are trained to properly evaluate whether there is any non-visible injury or trauma from a fall. If the person has hit his head in the fall, medical follow-up should be prompt as there may be a possibility of a concussion. Also be alert to the person's mental confusion after any fall. May require follow-up medical treatment. Falls can be so complicated, which is why I find them so unnerving.
when this happens to my mom, after I make sure she isn't injured, I have her roll over onto her knees and then put a stool or chair in front of her and she climbs up onto that. I grasp her under her arm and have her hold onto my upper arm and pull herself up that way
Unless you have EMT training and can check for breaks /dislocations, call 911. They can assess and decide whether or not to transport. There is no rush in getting someone up. If they can't move fingers and toes, if there is pain or tingling or confusion or bruising, call 911.
I recently read a tip elsewhere about preventing someone from rolling out of bed. Buy one of those long skinny round pool floaties, costs a dollar. Put that at the edge of the bed under the bottom sheet. That little bump is supposed to help prevent those rollouts.
I couldn't (hip replacement and bad back) and unless she could help herself I called EMS. They'll only do it so many times until they bill you big bucks. I couldn't do it, she was mostly in bed (parkinsons, strokes and dementia), I couldn't stay awake 24/7 and she'd allow no-one in then house so after a major fall, blood and poop everywhere, she went to a nursing home where there are skilled staff to care for her and many mechanical options to get her up.
Here's a technique I learned from a health tech. If they fell but appear to be able to sit etc., find a sturdy chair, like a dining room chair and place it facing the person. have the person "climb up" into the chair. The chair will support their weight as they slowly get into the chair. Hope I explained that okay.
So, they are on their backs, roll them over, get them to their hands and knees, place hands on chair and slowly help them to sit on the chair.
Where we live you can call 911 and ask for the 'Lift Unit" and they will come and lift the person…However, I agree with pamstegman and would advise to call 911 and not try to do any lifting unless you have medical training…My mom has diabetes and doesn't feel pain.. she fell and broke her neck and didn't experience pain!!!
It's never a good idea to use a piece of non-stationary furniture as leverage in getting someone up off the floor. Climbing up a chair or an ottoman is dangerous as these things can scoot a few inches as the person tries to climb up it or they can fly out from underneath someone altogether.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support