If You Fall
Whether you are at home or
somewhere else, a sudden fall can be
startling and upsetting. If you do fall,
stay as calm as possible. Take several
deep breaths to try to relax.
How to Get Up from a Fall
1. Remain still on the floor or ground
for a few moments. This will help
you get over the shock of falling.
2. Decide if you are hurt. Getting up
too quickly or the wrong way could
make an injury worse.
3. If you think you can get up safely
without help, roll over onto your side.
Push yourself up into a seated
4. Rest a bit to let your body and
blood pressure adjust.
5. Slowly get up on your hands and
knees and crawl to a sturdy chair.
6. Place your hands on the seat of the
chair and slide one foot forward so
that it is flat on the floor. Keep the
other leg bent with the knee on the
7. From this kneeling position, slowly
rise and turn your body to sit in the
If you are hurt or cannot get up on
your own, ask someone for help or
call 911. If you are alone, try to get
into a comfortable position and wait
for help to arrive.
Consider Emergency Response
If you have problems with balance or
dizziness, be sure to discuss these
with your doctor. If you are often
alone, and at increased risk of falling,
consider getting a personal emergency
response system. This service, which
works through your telephone line,
provides a button or bracelet to wear
at all times in your home.
If you fall or need emergency
assistance for any reason, a push of
the button will alert the service.
Emergency medical services can be
called if needed or the service can
contact someone you have selected to
As an alternative, carrying a portable
phone with you as you move about
your house could make it easier to call
someone if you need assistance. You
might also put a telephone in a place
that you can reach from the floor in
case you fall and need help.
Tell Your Doctor
Be sure to discuss any fall with your
doctor. Write down when, where and
how you fell so that you can discuss
the details with your doctor. The
doctor can assess whether a medical
issue or other cause of the fall needs
to be addressed. Knowing the cause
can help you plan to prevent future
After a fall, your doctor might refer
you to other health care providers
who can help prevent future falls. A
physical therapist can help you with
walking, balance and strength, or
teach you to use a walking device if
needed. An occupational therapist
can suggest changes in your home
that may lower your risk for falls.
Source: NIH Senior Health: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging and
National Library of Medicine 2013. Reprinted with permission.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 8/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6627