Don't fall for it

Knowing how to safely help someone get up

Page last updated: 06 May 2011

If you are a carer or friend, it is important to know how to help so you can avoid injury to the person who has fallen and to yourself.

Do not hurry, and let them rest as often as they need to. If they get stuck at any time, make them comfortable and call the ambulance.

1. Do NOT try to get the person up straight away!
2. Calm the person and yourself. Get them to take deep slow breaths.
3. Check for injuries. If they are badly injured, such as with a broken bone, they need to stay where they are. Make them as comfortable as possible and call an ambulance. Keep them warm while you wait for the ambulance.
4. If they are not badly injured and feel they could get up, get two sturdy chairs and place one near the person’s head and one near their feet.
5. It is important that the fallen person does the work. The helper should only guide lightly, helping the person to roll onto their side.
6. Help the person to kneel. If they have sore knees, place a towel underneath as cushioning.
7. Place one chair in front of the kneeling person.
8. Ask the person to lean on the seat of the chair and bring one leg forward and put that foot on the floor.
9. Place the second chair behind the person. Ask them to push up with their arms and legs and then sit back in the chair behind them. Guide them up and back into the seat, remembering not to lift them – they should be doing the work. Keep your back upright.

Let the person’s doctor know that they have had a fall.