How To Lift An Elderly Person Off The Floor

Falling is a primary concern for older adults, especially if they have physical limitations. Possessing skills on how to lift an elderly person off the floor is essential if you are caring for a senior or a fall happens when you visit them. 

Knowing what to do when a fall happens can help keep you both calm and aid their recovery afterward. Seniors who live alone will also get some useful info from this post as we covered how to get up by yourself. 

How To Help Seniors Get Off The Floor 

help seniors stand up

When a senior has a fall, helping them get up and in a comfortable position as soon as possible is

Step 1: Stay Calm And Check For Injuries 

The first step is to remain calm. Falling can create anxiety. You and the victim should take a few deep breaths together to try and stay calm.

You can then begin to check for any injuries they suffered from the fall. Ask them to move their hands and feet or ask them if anything hurts. While you may not know if they broke any bones, you can visually examine for any bleeding, scrapes, cuts, or other indications of injuries. 

If they feel sharp pain, or any other discomfort when you touch them that will prevent them from moving, stop and call for help immediately. You can call 911 or your local ambulance service for vital medical assistance. Keep the victim warm and as comfortable as possible with a pillow under their head and wait for help. 

If there are no significant injuries, you can proceed to the next steps and begin helping them up. 

Step 3: Rotate The Body To One Side

Get the elderly person to rotate to one side. This position will make it easier to help them up. 

Turn their head in one direction and choose the opposite leg to swing over to the side they are facing. Cross their far arm over in the same way as their head and leg are. Use their momentum as you help the senior position their shoulders and hips so they lie on their side. 

Step 3: Help Them Raise To A Crawling Position

You can provide aid from the side position, as they raise their upper body by pushing with their arms. You may have to hold or brace them to help support their upper body weight as they are repositioning. 

From here, get them to rise to their knees and position themselves in the crawling position. They should be secure. 

Step 4: Use Sturdy Chairs Or Objects To Provide Support

Find one or two chairs without wheels or other stable objects to place in front of and behind the elderly person. These items will be a way to pull themselves up to a sitting position easier than you lifting them. 

Some seniors cannot pull themselves up independently, but grasping a sturdy chair will help, while you use your strength to pull them up to a sitting position. Ideally, having two objects will give more stability than just one chair while helping them. 

Get them to face one chair, using their arms to stabilize as they position one leg forward in a lunge position. Using their other leg, they can lift their lower body and shift their weight backward to sit down on the chair behind them. 

Step 5: Encourage Rest Before Trying To Move Again

Once the victim is seated, get them to take a couple of breaths and rest before moving again. From here, you can once again assess any injuries they did not notice while they were on the floor. 

What To Do If an Elderly Person Lives Alone

how to get up when live alone

If seniors live alone, knowing what to do in a fall emergency is vital. As a senior, if you fall and are alone, you still have to be safe while you get yourself up. You may need to be checked out later for any injuries.  

Steps To Take To Get Up If You Are Not Injured

By following the steps below, you can get yourself off the floor and more comfortable after falling. You may not need medical help if you do not have any injuries, but it is still critical that you get up correctly, so you do not fall again. 

Step 1 

Position yourself on one side by turning your head and crossing your furthest arm and leg to the same side. This position makes it easier for you to distribute your weight and move your hips and shoulders so they will rotate your body to the side. 

Step 2

Use your arms to stabilize yourself to a sitting position. From here, you can survey the area and see if you have access to a chair, sofa, or other sturdy objects. If you can grasp an object close by, ensure that it will support your weight for getting up off the floor. 

Step 3 

Support your weight as you get up to your hands and knees. If you do not have a stable object close by to sit on and are not injured, you can crawl to a chair or sofa so you can sit there. 

Step 4

Grasp the object securely that you are going to sit on. Position one of your legs in a lunge position so you can begin to lift yourself by pushing from that leg and pulling yourself with your arms. 

Step 5

Sit comfortably on the chair and take a few moments to rest. You want to make sure that you will not fall again if you try to get up and walk too soon. 

Step To Take To Get Up If You Are Injured 

If you have fallen and have injuries, you will need immediate medical attention. Remember to stay calm, and take your time when moving after a fall. If you are not careful, you risk causing further injuries, making it worse, or falling again. 

Step 1 

If you know that you have injuries after falling, you need to get help as soon as possible. If you can draw attention to yourself, call loudly for help so a neighbor or someone close by may hear you. For those with a wearable medical device, activate the alert system to get in touch with support. If neither of these options works, you will have to get to a phone to call for help.

Step 2

Stay calm and try to assess what injuries you need to consider before trying to get up. You may have to work around a sore arm or foot when repositioning yourself on the floor. 

Step 3

Rotate your body to the side that doesn’t have injuries, if possible. Take your time, so you do not strain yourself from moving too quickly. Push yourself with your arms to raise a sitting position. Here you can assess where the closest telephone is to call for help. 

Step 4

If your telephone isn’t close enough to reach from where you are, look for objects to move the phone closer to you. A broom handle or other long item can work to knock a telephone off a counter so you can call for help. 

If you must move to reach it, try positioning yourself on your hands and knees to crawl across the floor. Crawling is an effective way to move without having to get up. If you cannot use this method, you could also try shuffling while sitting. 

Step 5

Once you reach your telephone, call for help and try to comfortably sit until they arrive to assess your injuries and provide care. 

Useful Devices To Help An Elderly Person Off The Floor 

There are multiple options to support seniors or physically disabled individuals, whether they have fallen or need to move between a wheelchair and bed. 

  1. Gait Belt

This item is a heavy-duty belt to position around the individual’s waist that helps a caregiver pull and move the person easier. 

  1. Inflatable Emergency Lifts 

Using an inflatable emergency lift is an easy and convenient way if you are looking at how to lift a disabled person from the floor. You will position the flattened lift underneath the victim and then slowly inflate it beneath them. It will gently raise them up to make it simpler to get them in a standing position. 

  1. Step Ladder Devices

Several step ladder options are specific for the elderly or disabled individuals with good upper body strength to help them off the floor. These step ladders have handles on both sides to provide stability and aid them in slowly raising themselves. 

In Conclusion 

Knowing how to lift an elderly person off the floor correctly can keep them safe. We hope you are more aware of how you can help the seniors in your life during these times. Being prepared for this situation and knowing what tools you can use are beneficial for you and if the elderly are home alone and need to call for help. 

Cherry Yang

Cherry is the editor-in-chief of Mobility With Love. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a master's degree in Adapted Physical Activity. Her expertise includes biomechanics, biochemistry, nutrition, disability studies, and so on.

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