The Hidden Dangers of Assisting a Fallen Individual

Did you ever think that one of the biggest risks when someone falls at home is helping them recover from the fall? Today, over 14 million or 1 in 4 older adults in the United States succumb to a fall at home

When caring for a loved one who has taken a fall at home, our instinct is often to rush to their aid, trying to help lift them back onto their feet. Yes, we urgently want to assist and while our response comes from a place of concern and kindness, many of us do not realize the potential dangers that can happen during this fall recovery interaction.  

As specialists in Fall Recovery, we're exposing the risks associated with helping to assist an individual who has fallen. When caring for a fallen adult who is not severely hurt, understanding the proper techniques and alternatives is crucial for everyone's safety.

Injuring Yourself While Trying to Help

One of the biggest hidden dangers is injuring yourself in the process. Attempting to lift someone who stumbled and has fallen is extremely hazardous. Understanding the proper technique or assistive devices is crucial to reducing the risk of injuring yourself. 

If you are not trained in Fall Recovery and proper lifting techniques, plenty of common injuries may be sustained, including:

Back Condition or Strains: Lifting a person can result in significant back pain, strain, or more severe back injuries. 

Joint and Muscle Injuries: The risk of dislocating your shoulders, and straining your arms and legs are risks when attempting to lift an individual that is heavier or in an awkward position.

Weight: Lifting a person whose weight is heavy or more than you can support can result in other challenges and aid in back, arm, muscle, and joint issues. 

Balance: Trying to restore a fallen person can result in balance issues. Trying to remain balanced provides additional risks which can lead to some of the issues above and possibly result in a fall of your own or additional injury to the fallen person. 

Repetitive: If you are caring for a fallen person who has consistent stability issues the constant severe strain can lead to chronic issues, affecting your ability to move and function normally.

The Injured Person Who Has Fallen

The dangers in restoring an injured person to their feet do not just impact the person trying to assist. While the intention is to help without proper lifting techniques or devices you can worsen their condition or cause them harm in the following ways:

Exacerbating Injuries: When trying to lift a person, you can accidentally tweak their back or cause dislocations to their arms, shoulders, or other joints if the person is cared for improperly.

Creating New Problems: You risk causing them muscle strains or muscle tears, especially if the person is handled too roughly or without consideration for their condition.

The High Cost of Emergency Assistance

If a person has fallen and they are not seriously injured, what happens if you’re unable to safely lift the person back to their feet? Often, the only option is to contact emergency services. 

While these professionals are trained to provide a safe recovery solution, the cost of having an emergency professional come out just can be astonishingly high, ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 depending on where you live. 

This financial burden adds another layer of stress to an already tense situation.

So, What's the Solution?

Understanding the risks of lifting a fallen person will help you avoid unnecessary injuries and help you learn about effective ways to address the situation:

Learning Proper Techniques:  If you care for a person who is at risk of falling understanding and knowledge of how to safely assist someone can reduce the risk of injury for both parties.

Using Assistive Devices: We developed the HelpUp Fall Recovery Lift to provide a safe, easy-to-use lift that helps fallen individuals to their feet without the need for manual handling, protecting everyone involved.

Calling for Help When Necessary: Sometimes, the safest option is to call for professional assistance, especially if the person cannot be safely moved or is severely hurt.

In Conclusion

Caring for and assisting a fallen individual at home comes with risks that many of us underestimate. Our goal is to provide awareness and help you understand these dangers so you can implement safer alternatives and ensure everyone’s safety.

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