First aid focus: falls

First aid focus: falls

Anyone can have a fall, but older people may be more at risk. If you do have a fall, it’s important to know what to do.

If you have a fall and you are unhurt:

  • Try to stay calm and take some time to breathe and consider how you’re feeling.
  • Check that you’re not hurt.
  • If you feel strong enough, look for something to hold onto with both hands and try to get up slowly. It may be helpful to try and roll onto your hands and knees first.
  • Sit and rest for as long as you need to.

If you are hurt or can’t get up:

  • Call out for help, bang on the wall or use your aid call button if you have one.
  • If you can reach, or crawl to a telephone, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.
  • Try to make yourself comfortable by gently shifting your position and keeping warm – reach for a blanket or something similar if you can.
  • If possible, try to keep moving or change your position every half an hour or so.

According to the NHS, around one in three adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year, and about half of these will have more frequent falls.

There will be times when falls are unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. For example:

  • Make sure floors are dry and not slippery.
  • Keep your home free of clutter that you might trip over.
  • Use a non-slip mat in the bathroom.
  • Make sure rooms, passages and staircases are well lit.
  • Take your time when moving around.

For more information on managing and preventing falls, visit: