January 19, 2023 | Terry Smith

How Do You Lift an Elderly Person Who Has Fallen? (With Or Without Equipment)

What to do if an elderly person falls

We know how distressing it is when a loved one or someone you care for has fallen and is waiting on the floor for help. 

The last thing you want to do in this scenario is cause more harm to the fallen person or yourself, by lifting them incorrectly or lifting them when they are actually safer left on the floor, waiting for a medical professional. 

This article will outline the immediate steps you should take when an elderly person falls, and how to assist them from the floor safely and correctly, with or without specialist equipment. 

We will also guide you on deciding whether someone is safe to lift from the floor, and at what stage you should call the ambulance service for help.

An elderly person lying on the floor after a fall

The first steps to take if someone has fallen

Do not try to get the person up immediately.  It’s very important to check for pain, discomfort, or injuries before assisting the fallen person off the floor.  Skipping this step may lead to further injury or complications for the fallen person.

If the person is confused or agitated due to shock, try calming the person by asking them to breathe deeply and slowly.

To thoroughly check for injury, we recommend that you use a clinically approved assessment tool, such as this free version of the HelpFall Post-Falls Decision Support Tool:

Free Post-Fall Assessment Checklist Use this checklist to assess the fallen person for injury and help you decide the best next step.

Once you’ve assessed the fallen person and there are no obvious signs of injury, you can now help them get up from the floor.


How do you lift an elderly person off the floor without equipment?

If you do not have access to any lifting equipment, you can try assisting the fallen person up using the following method. 

Firstly, ask the fallen person to roll onto their hands and knees, and move a stable piece of furniture, such as a chair or bed, so it is next to them. 

Ask the fallen person to hold onto the piece of furniture with both hands and, assisting them from behind but without actually lifting, allow them to slowly get up into a standing position.

This video shows the process visually:

If the fallen person is unable to get up using this method or is presenting pain when moving, call the emergency services for assistance. 


How do you lift an elderly person off the floor with specialist equipment?

If you have access to any of the following lifting equipment, use these video guides to help you assist the person off the floor. 

Mobile Hoist and Sling


Raizer 2 Lifting Chair

Find out more about the Raizer 2 Lifting Chair.


Mangar Inflatable Lifting Cushion


What should you do next after a fall?

Speak to your local GP

Falls in older people are taken very seriously by healthcare professionals because of the huge consequences they have on the elderly.  As a result, there is a lot of support available for older people, and it’s worth speaking to your GP about what you should do next.  

As an initial step, the GP will most likely check the fallen person’s health and balance, and, if the fallen person is taking medicines, the GP will review these in case their side effects are increasing the risk of the person falling.

They may also recommend:

  • An eye test to identify any problems with vision
  • Checking blood pressure while lying and standing
  • A home assessment from a healthcare professional, who visits the fallen person’s home to identify potential tripping hazards and give advice on how to prevent future falls
  • Doing exercises at home to improve strength and balance, or partaking in local balance classes that are provided by the NHS

Be prepared for possible future falls

Whilst prevention is always better than cure, unfortunately there’s always a possibility that falls could continue to happen. 

For peace of mind, we recommend keeping a falls assessment tool to hand, such as the free assessment tool mentioned near the top of the page, or looking at digital assessment tools such as Mangar’s IStumble, or HelpFall.

In addition to this, a lot of elderly are choosing to keep lifting equipment in their homes, to enable them to quickly and safely respond to falls themselves without having to wait hours for an ambulance.  At Felgains, we provide the Raizer Lifting Chairs, however, there are also other options such as the Mangar Inflatable Lifting Cushions, or the Indeelift Human Floor Lift. 


Get in touch

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Terry Smith

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