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Fall Prevention: How to Handle a Fall

Leigh Nova, Linda B. Bobroff, and Wendy W. Lynch

Follow these steps to decrease the chance of further injury after a fall.

Do not panic.

After a fall, panic is often the first reaction. It is essential to stay calm and remain still so you can think clearly and take the appropriate steps to get help if needed.

Check for injuries.

Do not get up if you think you may have a broken bone or another injury. Yell for help or crawl to the telephone and call for help.

Get up if you can.

If you can get up, do so slowly. Here is how to get up safely:

Step 1. Roll over onto your side. Rest to allow blood pressure to adjust.

Figure 1.
Credit: Kaylan B. Hebert, UF/IFAS

Step 2. Crawl to a stable chair.

Figure 2.
Credit: Kaylan B. Hebert, UF/IFAS

Step 3. Put hands on the seat of the chair. Pull yourself up.

Figure 3.
Credit: Kaylan B. Hebert, UF/IFAS

Step 4. Bring one leg forward, bending the knee with your foot flat on the floor. The other leg will be bent, knee on the floor.

Figure 4.
Credit: Kaylan B. Hebert, UF/IFAS

Step 5. Slowly turn and sit in the chair.

Figure 5.
Credit: Kaylan B. Hebert, UF/IFAS

Make a list of phone numbers of people you can call in an emergency. Keep the list by the phone. If you need help immediately, call 911.

These videos demonstrate how to get up from a fall: https://youtu.be/ytXndx5Gako, https://youtu.be/Qpl8E-7drdc

Recommended resources: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/prevent-falls-and-fractures

Peer Reviewed

Publication #FCS2233

Date: 9/21/2022

RELATED TOPICS

Fact Sheet
General Public

About this Publication

This document is FCS2233 (la versión español de este documento es Prevención de Caídas: Como manejar una caída (FCS2233-Span)), one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date April 2005. Revised October 2011 and September 2022. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Leigh Nova, MESS, former ENAFS nutrition educator/trainer; and Linda B. Bobroff, PhD, RDN, professor emeritus, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; and Wendy W. Lynch, regional specialized agent, UF/IFAS Extension Central District, and Extension agent, family and consumer sciences/food systems, UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contacts

  • LaToya O'Neal
  • Wendy Dahl