Falls affect all of us. Either due to slippery floors, messy walkways, uneven surfaces, or simply unsteady legs, falls can cause serious injury. However, due to lesser bone density and other more delicate body structures such as ligaments and muscles, older people are more prone to serious injury in the event of a bad fall. To ensure that you help without causing further injury, there are strict guidelines everyone should be familiar with when helping an older person up from a fall. By hoisting them up by the arm, they are susceptible to torn ligaments or dislocations. If they are helped up too quickly, they may be at risk of falling again due to imbalances, an injury they just sustained, or the dizziness associated with a concussion. When helping an older fall victim up, take your time to ensure no mistakes are made and that they are fully capable of getting up without becoming more injured.
Steps to Take to Help and Older Fall Victim
You should never attempt to move an older person if they are in great pain, as that can cause serious injury. Instead, immediately call for an ambulance and keep them calm and comforted. Use a blanket or jacket to keep them warm, and, if you see them moving their head around and are sure the injury was not to the spine, you can prop their head up with a pillow or jacket. If the victim is able to move without pain, follow the steps listed below to slowly and gently help them up.
- Bring a chair close by;
- Help the fallen person turn onto their side;
- Have them bend the leg that is on the top;
- Get behind them;
- Grasp their hips or midsection;
- Help them turn towards their stomach and get into a kneeling position;
- Have them put both hands on the sturdy chair;
- Tell them to put their strongest leg forward so that they are only kneeling on one leg;
- Help them, by grasping them at the hips, to stand up and turn to sit in the chair; and
- Let them rest and regather themselves before standing again. Assure that they are steady and uninjured before having them stand or walk unassisted.
Serious Injuries Caused by Falling
Millions of older people fall each year. In fact, one out of three people 65 and older fall each year. One out of five of those falls causes a serious injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most serious of those injuries are traumatic brain injuries and fractured hips, 95 percent of which happen during falls. In almost every scenario, there is no reason to rush a fall victim to their feet. By following the steps listed above, you can offer the assistance an older fall victim needs without causing further injury. If you or a loved one have fallen and been seriously injured, you may be able to receive compensation of it was the fault of a negligent party, such as a store owner who failed to keep a safe premises. Call one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today at 858-350-8855 to discuss your legal options. The law offices of Berman & Riedel are here to help you in this time of need.