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How do I pick up someone who has fallen?

How can I help my dad up after he has fallen? He is much heavier and taller than I am.
Status: Open    Feb 16, 2015 - 03:22 AM


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6 answers

Expert Answers

Feb 25, 2015 - 10:59 AM

The person may not realize they have been injured right away. Do not try to lift them by yourself. It is best to err on the side of good judgement. Call 911 if there is even the slightest chance that the person could be hurt. Unless you have been trained in how to properly assist someone after a fall, you could cause an injury... especially if you pull them by their arms.

Mar 02, 2015 - 08:39 AM

First, you need to make sure that your dad is not injured. Does he have pain? Can he move all extremities?

You don’t want to cause more injury than what has already occurred. If in doubt get some help or call 911.

Once you know that he has no injuries, you can help him get up. If he is not able to assist you, it is best, if possible, to get some help, so you do not injure him or yourself.

Use good body mechanics when lifting someone, even if you have help or if the individual can help you. You are not going to be any good to anyone, including yourself, if you injure your back. Keep your back straight, bend your knees. This will help you use your leg muscles, not back muscles. Keep the person as close to you as possible. Drag him close to the bed or chair that you want to put him in, before trying to lift him.

The best measure is to prevent falls. Aim to maintain a safe environment.

Use good lighting, clear pathways, install handrails and grab bars.

Comments (1) | New Comment

By progers2007 on Oct 01, 2016 - 05:43 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

When I was caring for my mom, she would occasionally fall. It was very difficult to get her back up. Most of the time there were people nearby that I could call on to help. One time, no one was around. I got the idea to slide her onto a folded ironing board so I would only have to lift one end. It worked very well. Of course, you have to make sure there isn't any danger of them falling off while you are lifting them. I used that technique 3 times before she went to assisted living.

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Feb 22, 2015 - 03:36 PM

Call the non emergency number for the firedepartment and ask for "A Lift Assist" they will come and help lift the person up.
There generally is no charge for this service if the person is not hurt and does not need to be transported.
I am, unfortunately, getting to know our local paramedics and they are always kind, gentle and courteous when responding.


Feb 22, 2015 - 05:06 PM

Dear Caregiver: As one who cared for my parents 24/7/365 for 4-5 years recently,I was called upon to lift my mother after she would fall. I am 6' 1" 250lbs and very strong-yet lifting a human being is a VERY difficult thing, especially one who is not able to help themselves or help you lift them. While I mostly was able to loift her, at 165lbs., without major problems, on one occasion her weight shifted as I was lifting her and it sent me careening to the side where I fell into a large red-clay potbelly stove and broke it, suffering an 18" deep gash at my waist!! Worse still was that I ruptured a lumbar disk lifting her as she slept so deep ly that the lifting did not even wake her, and with elderly perople, their skin is very loose and as you try to get a grip on them, the skin shifts and sloughs-off and it is extremely difficult. I have suffered a literal domino-effect series of permmanent damages by lifting her due to the magnitude of the original injury, so I AM WARNING YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE THAT, AS UNCOMFORTABLE AS IT IS, YOU MUST, MUST, MUST CALL 911 WHEN YOUR PARENT OR PATIENT FALLS UNLESS YOU ARE A VERY WELL-TRAINED PROFESSIONAL CAREGIVER SPECIFICALLY TRAINED IN LIFTING FALLEN PATIENTS!!!!! In your case, with your father being decidedly larger than you, you simply cannot risk injury to you OR TO HIM, BECAUSE EVEN IF YOU ARE LIFTING HIM AND THINGS SEEM TO BE GOING WELL, THE SLIGHTEST SLIP OF YOUR HAND OR FOOT OR HIS SHIFTING WEIGHT COULD CAUSE YOU TO DROP HIM RESULTING IN VERY SERIOUS INJURY ESPECIALLY IF HE STRIKES HIS HEAD, AS HE COULD SUFFER A SUBDURAL HEMATOMA!!

Emergency personel are skilled and trained to work as a team in lifting a fallen idividual, and they also have the proper tools [straps, stretchers, etc.] to ensure the safety of the patient and themselves. PLEASE DO NOT FALL VICTIM TO BELIEVING THAT THE INCONVENIENCE [OR FEELINGS OF GUILT, NAMELY THINKNG THAT YOU ARE UTILIZING PARAMEDICS IN A NON-LIFE THREEATENING SITUATION] OF CALLING 911 SHOULD WARRANT TRYING TO LIFT SOMEONE WHO HAS FALLEN. Remember, also, if an elderly person has fallen, they may already be in a very serious condition depending upon what part(s) of their body came into contact with the floor [and the compositio of the floor certainly weighs into this] and/or if they struck their head on a table corner or something else as they fell.


I wish you the very best.

Source: All information I provided is based upon my personal experiences over the course of several years.

Feb 22, 2015 - 05:07 PM

I am in the same situation and have asked two different physical therapists who were treating my Dad. They both gave me similar answers. Here is what I was told to do:

First, assess that it is safe to get him up (no uncontrolled bleeding or serious trauma).

Second, make certain that he is responding normally to questions, etc. A fall from a fainting spell or seizure might leave him confused and unsteady. As long as he is safe, there is no rush to attempt to get him up -- take your time until he seems fully aware of his circumstances.

Third, let him help you. Locate the best piece of furniture that is both sturdy yet accessible. A bed, a heavy chair, or a sofa will do. Then have him roll, scoot or crawl to get next to that piece of furniture.

Finally, with him helping you as much as he can, grab his belt or the waist of his pants, (or use a gate belt if you have one), to help lift him up at the same time that he helps raise himself.

We have done this after my Dad had a seizure and fell in the middle of the night. It worked very well and we were able to get him from a hallway all the way back to his bedroom and back into his bed safely.

Hope this helps!

Feb 23, 2015 - 08:26 PM

Your dad has to get his feet tucked under him and be ready to put weight on those feet. If you hava a stool to slip under him, and a chair to get him into, then lift him up by the underarms by clasping your hands from behind and under his chest, slide the stool under his rear with your foot. Now, place your foot on the stool beside him, and slide him all the way up your leg as he pushes with his fet and you pull up with the clasped hands around his chest. Slide him onto your braced knee. From there, you can get him back into his wheelchair or another chair. Good luck.
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