51 Seminary Avenue
Reading, PA 19605

Click for Directions



How to Safely Pick a Loved One (or Yourself) Up After a Fall

help fallenWhen you or a loved one has fallen, the most difficult part is getting back up again. Depending on the situation, the most important aspect to consider when picking up from a fall is any possible injury. If there is any doubt about the safety of your loved one, call 9-1-1 for help. Caregiver training courses can also provide useful information with picking someone up after their fall. Here are some strategies to use when you are sure that there is no injury involved.

Tips for picking up someone that has fallen

  1. Stay calm and help your loved one to remain calm by encouraging them to take slow, deep breaths.
  2. Examine them for injuries—bruises, possible sprain, broken bones.
  3. If they have a serious injury (e.g. a broken bone), then don't move them. Call 9-1-1, and keep your loved one as warm and comfortable as possible until help arrives.
  4. If they aren't badly hurt and they want to get up, proceed slowly and stop at any point if they become stuck or too tired to get all the way up.
  5. Find two sturdy chairs. Place one next to your loved one's head and the other down by their feet.(Keep in mind, your loved one needs to be the one doing the physical work of getting up. You're just there to help guide them and keep them steady, not lift their weight.)
  6. Help your loved one roll over onto their side, assist them into a kneeling position. If they suffer from sore knees, a towel placed underneath the knees can make them more comfortable.
  7. Move the chair closest to their head directly in front of where they are kneeling so that they can place their hands on the seat, evenly.
  8. Ask your loved one to lean on the seat as they bring one leg forward and place that foot on the floor.
  9. Move the second chair directly behind your loved one, then ask them to use their arms and legs to push themselves up, then sit back into the second chair. You can use your hands to keep your loved one steady, but keep your back upright and make sure they are doing the physical work to lift themselves.
  10. Notify their doctor that they've had a fall.

How to get back up after you have fallen 

  1. Stay calm.
  2. Examine yourself for injuries—bruises, possible sprains, broken bones.
  3. If you are confident you haven't broken any bones or experienced a serious injury, search for the nearest piece of sturdy furniture. (A chair would be ideal.)
  4. Roll onto your hands and knees, then crawl or drag yourself over to the piece of furniture.
  5. Get into a kneeling position and place your arms on a stable area of the piece of furniture (e.g. the seat of the chair).
  6. Bring one knee forward and place your foot on the floor.
  7. Using your arms and leg simultaneously, push yourself up and pivot your bottom around until you're sitting on the piece of furniture.
  8. Stay sitting until you're confident you can move around without hurting yourself or falling again.
  9. If you find that you are unable to get up after falling, stay calm and try to alert someone to your predicament. While you're waiting for help, endeavor to keep warm and move around slowly to avoid placing too much sustained pressure on any one area of your body.
  10. Notify your doctor that you've had a fall.

Why falls should never remain secret

Many seniors see falls as embarrassing or as a sign of their dependency and decline. However, approximately one-third of all adults age 65 and older experience falls each year. Fewer than half of these adults notify their doctors about their fall, a crucial part that can help to identify invisible injuries and prevent future falls. Let family members know as well, so that they can be on the alert to help in the future. Consider also investing in an emergency alert device or an automatic fall detection system.


About Sacred Heart Villa

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.  The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day and is open to the public.

Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit or visit us at