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SA Falls and Fall Injury Prevention
FACT SHEET 7

STANDING UP 
TO FALLS

Be prepared
 &gt; Make daily contact with a relative, 

friend, neighbour, carer or Telecross 
service. They will check if you need 
assistance if they don t hear from you.

 &gt; Ensure your telephone can be reached 
from the floor, or carry a cordless or 
mobile telephone with you.

 &gt; Consider getting a personal alert 
system so that you can attract attention 
quickly in an emergency, such as a fall.

 &gt; Leave a spare key with someone you 
trust, or install a key safe outside your 
house. This means someone will be 
able to reach you.

 &gt; Discuss your plan with someone  
you trust.

How would you get up from the 
floor if you are not badly hurt?
On page three there is a suggested way to 
get up from the floor. It may be a long time 
since you tried to get on and off the floor, 
so it is a good idea to practise this when 
someone is with you, so that you know 
what to do.

Plan what you would do if you fall over
No one expects to have a fall, but having a plan will help you to be confident and get  
on with life.
If you spend a lot of time alone, it is worth thinking about how to get help in an 
emergency, how to get up from the floor and what to do after a fall.
Here are some ideas.

Page 1

Check with a physiotherapist or 
occupational therapist to find the method 
that best suits you and to help you to 
practise it safely.



What to do if you fall
1. Stay still and slow your breathing.
2. Check if you have injuries.
3. Look for hazards such as broken glass 

or electrical cords before you move,  
or before you allow anyone to help 
you up.

4. Decide if you will try to get up.
 If you can get up:

a. think about how you will get up off  
the floor

b. if you do not manage the first time,  
rest before trying again.

5. Seek medical attention if you are hurt.

If you can t get up
Call for help by using your personal alert, 
a phone or by calling out.
While waiting for help:

 &gt; stay as warm and comfortable as 
possible by using nearby pillows, 
blankets or towels

 &gt; if you are outside, drag yourself under 
shelter and try to move out of direct 
sunlight and off hot paving

 &gt; if you need to urinate, find something 
absorbent to use, so you protect  
your skin

 &gt; if you can, change position from time 
to time to take pressure off a part of 
your body

 &gt; if you can, drink to prevent 
dehydration.

What you should do after a fall
 &gt; Seek urgent medical help if you start 

to feel confused, develop a bad 
headache, nausea and vomiting, blurry 
vision, limb weakness, neck stiffness, 
feeling tired or having no energy after 
the fall.

 &gt; Write down the details of the fall 
(when, what, how).

 &gt; Tell your doctor or health professional 
about the fall as soon as possible 
after it happened, even if you are not 
hurt. He or she can look into possible 
causes and treatment options. This 
is particularly important if you are on 
blood thinners.

 &gt; Talk to your health professional so  
you can work together to prevent 
future falls, keep your independence 
and confidence.

 &gt; Tell your daily contact person about 
your fall. Stay in contact frequently as 
injuries may not show up straight away.

Page 2



A suggested way of getting up if you are not badly injured

1. Roll onto your side. 2. Get onto hands and knees and crawl 
or slide to a sturdy piece of furniture 
e.g. chair, stairs or rail.

3. From a kneeling position, put arms  
up onto the furniture.

4. Bring one knee forward, putting that 
foot on the floor.

5. Push up with your arms and legs, 
pivot your bottom around.

6. Sit down. Rest before trying to move.

Page 3



For more information 
Adelaide area: Call 1300 0 FALLS (1300 0 32557) for 
information about falls prevention services that are close to you.

Country SA: Please contact your local health service for 
information about services close to you. You can also email the 
Country Health Falls Prevention coordinator at  
Health.CHSAFallsPreventionProject@sa.gov.au

sahealth.sa.gov.au/falls 
Public I1-A1 

  Department for Health and Wellbeing, Government of South Australia.  
All rights reserved. FIS: 20026.4-7 February 2020.

Who can help?
 &gt; Your doctor for concerns you have 

about what to do if you had an 
emergency at home such as a fall. 
Your doctor can refer you to other 
health professionals or any services  
you may be eligible for.

 &gt; Physiotherapists or occupational 
therapists can help you to develop a  
falls plan and talk about other ways  
to prevent falls.

 &gt; To find an occupational therapist 
or physiotherapist near you, phone 
Commonwealth Respite and Carelink 
Centre 1800 052 222,  
or look in the Yellow Pages.

 &gt; Catalyst Foundation (formerly Seniors 
Information Services): (08) 8168 8776 
Country callers 1800 636 368

 &gt; Red Cross Telecross service  
provide a phone call a day to check 
you re OK 1800 885 698

 &gt; Personal Alarm Systems Rebate 
Scheme 1300 700 169 or 
www.sa.gov.au/topics/seniors

 &gt; Independent Living Centre for advice 
about personal alarms systems  
1300 885 886 or (08) 8266 5260 or  
dhs.sa.gov.au/services/disability/
independent-living-centre

 &gt; Department of Veteran Affairs  
(if you are eligible) phone  
1800 555 254

 &gt; My Aged Care for information and 
access to Australian Government 
funded aged care services  
1800 200 422 (free call) or 
www.myagedcare.gov.au

This document has been reviewed and  
endorsed by SA Health PwC&amp;CAG* for  
consumers and the community, March 2015.
*SA Health Partnering with Consumers and Community Advisory Group

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