How to Lift an Elderly Person Off the Floor

elderly person stuck on the ground

Aging is an inevitable part of life. It is a phase that all of us will undergo at some point in life. While aging is a natural part of life, several medical conditions are associated with it.

Hearing loss, poor eyesight, muscle weakness, diabetes, osteoarthritis, etc., are common among the elderly.

Often, these health issues make it difficult for elderly individuals to move around freely, making them susceptible to slips and falls. 

Studies show that falls are the leading cause of injuries among older people.

Did you know that 3 million seniors are hospitalized every year due to fall-related injuries, which can sometimes prove to be fatal? 

As a caregiver, you must be prepared for all sorts of emergencies, including slip and fall accidents.

Knowing how to lift an older adult off the floor after a fall can help reduce the chances of fatal injuries resulting in long-lasting consequences. 

This article talks about all the different steps you should take to lift an elderly person off the floor. 

We have also mentioned a few convenient tools that can assist you in the process!

What You'll Learn...

Five Steps to Lift An Elderly Person Off the Floor

injured elderly person in park

Step 1 – Look for Signs of Injuries

When an elderly person falls, the first and most crucial step is to remain calm and be on the lookout for signs of injuries.

Do not panic in these circumstances. This is primarily because you do not want to overwhelm the elderly person who has fallen.

However, if you notice any of the following issues, make sure to take the elderly person to the hospital to avoid further complications.

  1. Bleeding: Even the smallest of bleeds should be taken seriously as they can indicate intense internal injuries.
  2. Bruising: Bruising is never a good sign. Sometimes, bruises may appear a couple of hours after the accident, so be sure to keep a lookout for them. 
  3. Pain: Extreme or intolerable pain shouldn’t be ignored. If the elderly person is complaining of pain, do not touch or press the area that is causing even the slightest ache.

When it comes to falls and related injuries, it’s better to take and treat them cautiously, even if it turns out that the damage wasn’t as bad as you thought.

If the senior appears to be okay and you feel there is no need for hospitalization, set an appointment with their primary care doctor for a thorough examination.

You can set up an appointment for the same day or the day after. 

Step 2 – Clear the Surroundings

Before you attempt to lift the fallen senior off the floor, scrutinize the surrounding area. Look out for broken or damaged items, spilled water, shattered glass, things knocked off a table, etc.

If there’s anything in the way, remove it right away for everyone’s safety.

Step 3 – Position Your Furniture Properly

An elderly person and his caregiver

Once you’re confident the senior doesn’t have any injuries and is not in pain, you can help them get up from the floor.

First, you’ll need to place two sturdy chairs around them. Place one chair by their feet and another by their head. Make sure the chair you’re using has non-slip feet and doesn’t move when pressure is applied to it.

Heavy kitchen chairs and dining chairs will work well for this step. 

Step 4 – Help Them Kneel

Gently turn them over to their side while ensuring you don’t hurt them. At this point, if they complain of back or neck pain, do not continue. Call an ambulance as soon as possible for help.

Place one hand underneath their head and one on the lower body to shift the fallen senior on one side. 

Once they’re lying on their side, the next step is to bring them in a kneeling position. To do so:

  1. Place the upper leg just slightly in front of the lower leg.
  2. Gently bend their upper arm at the elbow and place their palm flat on the floor.
  3. Ask them to use their other hand to lean on the chair you previously placed near their head. 

If the floor they’ve fallen on is very hard, you’ll need to place a towel or a cushion underneath their knees to make the surface comfortable for them.

Kneel next to them and place one hand underneath their hips or use a gait belt. With the support of the chair, ask them to push themselves up.

As they exert some effort, help them lift their hips, assisting them in shifting to all fours and eventually to their knees. 

Step 5 – Help Them Stand 

Once they are kneeling, give them a minute to breathe. You need to check that they don’t feel dizzy. In order to make them feel comfortable, be sure to proceed slowly. 

As they take a minute to catch their breath, you can reposition the second chair you placed at their feet behind them, keeping it as close as possible to their buttocks.

Slowly ask the senior to lift their stronger leg, extending it forwards and placing the foot flat on the floor. While holding on to their waist and guiding them, ask the senior to push themself up using their arms and legs.

This step requires a bit of strength. Once they are on their feet, allow them to collapse and settle down immediately on the chair behind them.

Now you can take a closer look at them to ensure they have not sustained any injuries. 

Wrapping it Up

Elderly person being helped by caregiver

If you’re wondering how to lift an elderly person off the floor, the steps above should help you lift a fallen older person.

However, do not take the risk if you feel like you lack the strength or flexibility to help them off the floor. Don’t proceed as you may injure them and yourself, too.

In this case, it’s best to consult a medical professional immediately, so you don’t hurt anyone.

Remember, even the most minor injuries can lead to permanent consequences. It’s better to be safe than sorry!