You Have Fallen – Now What Do You Do?

Seniors and persons with disabilities are especially susceptible to falls, often with catastrophic consequences. Despite precautions, you should know what steps to follow if you’ve taken a sudden and unexpected fall. The best advice obviously, is to do all that is possible to eliminate the likelihood of losing your balance and taking a fall in the first place. This advice applies especially to seniors or persons with disabilities when they are required to travel in a vehicle. Entering a vehicle and exiting a vehicle are very risky maneuvers, the likelihood of experiencing a fall is further magnified when:

  • The person feels stressed to “rush” and get out of the vehicle quickly, so as not to hold up traffic.
  • They are accompanied by an untrained friend or spouse.
  • The untrained friend or spouse themselves are physically limited to steady or catch a falling passenger due to age or disabilities of their own.
  • The vehicle that they are transported in is poorly designed for accommodating anyone with a mobility issue.
  • The vehicle is parked on uneven pavement, or there are curbs, or other obstacles such as bumper poles, that may prove difficult to navigate around.

When all is said and done, utilizing the services of a qualified and respected Non Emergency Medical Transportation provider is recommended to cut down the risk of falls that can occur when seniors or persons with disabilities attempt a seemingly harmless trip to the doctor.

Despite all prudent precautions, if a fall does occur, it is recommended that you take the following steps:

Step One: Stop… stay exactly where you’ve fallen. Take a few deep breaths, then use your medic-alert call device (if you have one), or your cell phone to summon help. If these are not available, yell and then yell again. Sooner or later someone will hear you.

Step Two: Do not try to rise immediately, until you’ve accomplished step three.

Step Three: Do a self-check to assess where and how you may be injured. You will sense whether you’re badly hurt or even whether you’ve broken a bone. If help hasn’t come repeat step one until it does.

If you’ve ascertained you’re not seriously hurt, and if no one has come to give you a hand, here is what measures experts recommend:

Inside Your Home:

  • Roll onto your side
  • Bend your knees up to your waist
  • Inch your way over to the nearest stable object (for example a chair or bed)
  • Reach up and grab the object firmly while still on your side
  • Scrunch up close to the object
  • Using your free hand as a push-up and the object in the other, roll over onto your knees
  • If you succeed, use both hands on the object to help you rise to a standing position and then turn and sit as soon as possible

Outside Your Home:

  • Stay down
  • Do not let someone try to help you until you have done a self-assessment
  • If you’re offered a coat or jacket, accept it
  • At this point someone will probably have called 911 and if you have any doubts, stay down
  • If you think you can get up, use the nearest sturdiest onlooker as you would a chair in your own home
  • In general, don’t be embarrassed to let others help you. However, if there’s any doubt in your mind about your injury, wait for the Emergency Response people to arrive.

Traveling by vehicle to a friends house, shopping or a trip to the doctor can be a hazardous experience for seniors or persons with disabilities, even when they are accompanied by a well-intentioned friend or spouse. Please consider the services of a professional Non-Emergency Medical Transportation provider to insure your safe arrival free from incident or worry.

Disclaimer: Holt Transport is not a medical facility, nor do we give medical advice. These comments are merely suggestions. For more specific information and advice on this matter, we recommend you ask your physician.