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What To Do When Your Loved One Has A Fall?

Dec 11, 2021

Statistics show that 1 out of 3 elderly aged 65 will fall at least once a year. This likelihood increases to 50% once they reach 80 years old. It is common for the elderly to not report falls or seek medical assistance unless they are really injured and this can be a problem. Unaddressed risk factors for falls have a 30% chance of leading to recurrent falls, meaning those who have fallen once will likely fall again. To avoid such unwanted incidents, it is important to consult a medical professional to assess and treat the possible injuries incurred from the fall. It is also important to address the causes of the fall.


Risks of Falls

The risk of falling increases with age. Impaired vision and poor coordination and muscle weakness and imbalance are age-related factors that can even be exacerbated by certain medical conditions common to the elderly such as Parkinson’s diseases, osteoporosis, cataracts and glaucoma. Medications can also affect vision, balance and alertness which may lead to loved ones hurting themselves.

The risks are not limited to health issues though. There are environmental factors as well that put your elderly loved ones at risk of getting hurt such as wrong footwear or eyewear, inadequate lighting in their homes, unsecured carpets, uneven and slippery floors and even chairs or beds that are the wrong height can lead to unwanted fails.

Immediately After the Fall

As the likelihood increases and the risks are great, falls may occur and it is important to know how to handle the situation as well as where to seek help should your loved one need it.

Here are five steps and tips to remember if your loved one suffers a fall:

  1. Keep calm. Remember to keep a level head so you can assess the situation properly. Panicking will not help and may even cause more harm. Guiding your loved one into a series of deep breaths can help both you and your loved one keep calm.
  2. Examine for injuries. If there is any bruising, bleeding or broken bones, it will give you an idea of what type of medical care you should seek out for them or if emergency medical services are required.
  3. Determine the extent of pain they feel. If they are able to answer, ask your loved one if they are in pain. If they answer yes, ask them the location as well as the severity of the pain they feel
  4. Call an ambulance. If they are experiencing a lot of pain, do not try to carry or move your loved one. Instead, call for an ambulance.
  5. Administer first aid. If your loved one has open wounds from the fall, use a clean cloth and apply gentle pressure on the wound before dressing it with bandages.

If Your Loved One Did Not Have a Serious Fall

If you’re loved one is able and wishes to get up from the ground, offer your assistance and support them as they get up. Do not carry them. They must be able to get up by themselves. If not, then consider calling 1777 for a non-emergency ambulance so a professional can determine the extent of their injuries.

Do not rush your loved one as they attempt to get up. Do not pull or carry their weight. If they experience pain or feel tired from the effort and strain during their attempt, stop. Wait until they are ready before resuming. If they cannot get up, call an ambulance.   

Here are 7 steps to help your loved one safely get onto a chair:

  1. Grab two chairs. Position one chair by your loved one’s head and the other by their feet.
  2. With your help, have your loved one roll to their side and onto their hands and knees. This is in preparation for them to get up. Use a towel to cushion their knees if they feel sore.
  3. Reposition the chair by their head so that it is directly in front of them. Your loved one should be in a kneeling position and the chair should be positioned such that they can use the chair to get up by placing their hands on the seat.
  4. Ask your loved one to place their hands on the chair and lean forward on the seat. As they do so, have them their strongest leg forward. They should have their foot flat on the ground until they are in a kneeling lunge position.
  5. Have the second chair ready behind them. When they are ready, ask your loved one to use both arms and legs to push themselves up and then sit back onto the second chair. You may help them with their balance as they do so but it is important your loved ones get up using their strength. Do not pull or assist them in lifting their weight.
  6. Allow your loved one to stay seated until you are sure that they can stand and continue moving without falling again.
  7. Check for injuries and dress any wounds. Notify the doctor of the fall and monitor your loved one for emerging pains post-fall.

A check-up with a doctor could ensure that they did not sustain any injuries from the fall so encourage your loved one to go in for an overall assessment.



If Your Loved One Has a Serious Fall

If your loved one suffered a serious injury from the fall such as broken bones or heavy bleeding or is unconscious, do not attempt to move them. Call 995 for Emergency Medical Services immediately and look after your loved one as you wait for help to arrive. An ambulance will take your loved one to the hospital where a doctor can properly assess the physical state of your loved one and determine the extent of the injury. Surgery and an extended stay at a hospital may be necessary.


After the Fall

Emotional Well-Being of Your Senior

Falling takes quite a toll on your loved one’s confidence and they may feel fearful of falling again. This may lead them to stop performing daily activities or their usual routines. A sedentary lifestyle may be detrimental to their health as it may weaken their muscles and increase their likelihood of falling again.

It is therefore important to ease your loved one’s fears and reassure them that staying active and healthy is the best way to avoid another fall. Sit down with them and hear out their worries and fear. Encourage an open conversation so they can regain their confidence to move around again.  


Arranging for Care After the Fall

If your loved one did not have a serious fall and can still get up and move around, encourage them to visit their doctor for a check-up. Although your loved one seems fine, a doctor may be able to determine the real extent of their injuries if any and may be able to provide insight on the cause of their fall. It is important to determine the cause of the fall so that it can be prevented from happening again.  A physiotherapist in Singapore can help your loved one regain their strength and return to their day to day activities.

If your loved one had a serious fall, they might need assistance with moving or walking or perhaps require additional medical care. Care options after they are discharged from the hospitals include Nursing Homes, Domestic Helpers and Home Care.

Nursing homes are ideal for elders who need specialized care and attention such as eating, bathing, moving and others. Food and in-house activities are provided for patients and residents. Nursing care is provided by trained staff and nurses who can look after your loved ones round the clock. Costs may total up to $2,000 a month.

Hiring Domestic Helpers will give your loved one an additional helping hand around the house. This is ideal for elderly loved ones who have low needs and can look after themselves. They may however have trouble with buying and cooking their own food and housekeeping and Domestic Helpers can do these tasks for them. Costs begin at $570 a month.

Home Care can accommodate the elderly who has a variety of care needs. Caregiving and Nurses can be provided in the comfort of their own homes. Retire Genie can provide services such as specialized care, companionship, cooking, light chores and others. Fees are charged at an hourly rate of $20.


Professional Care Services and Rates

The following is an overview of healthcare professional services and their rates that you may avail for your loved one after a fall:



Consultation Rates

Public Orthopaedic Surgeon


Private Orthopaedist




Consultation Rates

For Subsidized Singapore Citizens


For Subsidized Permanent Residents



Private Patient




Consultation Rates (w/out GST)

Physiotherapy – First Visit

(Consultation + Treatment)


Physiotherapy – Subsequent Visit

(Consultation + Treatment)



Elderly Care Provider

Fees before Subsidies

Domestic Helper


Part-Time Caregiver  (hourly)


Private Nurse


Assisted Living (Basic Service Package of 15-year lease)


Nursing Home (monthly)



Preventing Future Falls

Environmental Factors

There are environmental factors that may be the cause of their fall. It is important to do a quick check to see that no hazards are lying around. Here are a few things to watch out for:

  •                 Flooring

Slippery surfaces such as the bathroom floor can be a cause of accidents. Installing grab bars and non-slip mats can prevent such incidents. Secured carpets and remove rugs that may cause your loved one to trip or slip and make sure the floor is clutter-free.

  •                 Loose Cords and Wires

Wires and cords are hard to see because on their floor and if your loved one fails to notice them, it may lead to an unwanted accident. Tie up cords and keep them off the floor.

  •                 Dim Lighting

If your loved one already has bad eyesight, dim lighting might have the fumbling in the dark. Making sure there’s adequate lighting in areas of the house, and installing nightlights can ensure that your loved ones can see where they are going.

  •                 Home Design

Two storey houses may have staircases that are poorly designed. Make sure there is sturdy handrail support for your loved one and that the furniture such as chairs and beds are adjusted for your loved ones to avoid any unnecessary bending over that may cause them to lose balance and fall.


Health Factors

Falls can also indicate medical issues that your loved one may need to have checked. It would be ideal to have their doctor examine their health and vision to see what could be the possible health factors of their fall. Health factors such as diseases can affect balance, coordination and impair cognition. Parkinson’s Disease, Osteoporosis and Glaucoma can affect vision and weaken muscles while some medications such as sedatives may cause unsteadiness as a side effect.


Individual Factors

It is also good to consider the things they use daily such as prescription glasses and footwear. Out of date lenses may lead to falls and so does ill-fitting footwear. Encouraging your loved ones to lead an active lifestyle can also keep them strong, preventing future falls to occur.



Knowing the great risks of falling and the steps to take if your loved one does take a fall will help prepare you in the event it happens. However, it is still best to take all precautionary measures to make sure it doesn’t. An In-Person Care Assessment can help assess the safety of your household. It would ease your worries knowing a professional eye had determined your home as a safe zone for your elderly loved ones. 


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