Safest Ways to Get Up from a Fall Without Kneeling – Tips for Seniors

Getting up from the floor after a fall is a big problem for seniors. Physical therapists regularly meet patients who have fallen and have laid on the ground for hours or sometimes even days. 

Seniors who have sore knees or have had a knee replacement should know how to get up from the floor without kneeling. Unfortunately, it’s complicated to do this without the support of nearby objects, such as couches or chairs. 

There are different techniques for getting up from a fall without kneeling. Practice a couple with a caregiver or on your own, and see which one is the easiest way. Strengthening your core and arm muscles also helps prepare for a fall.

elderly falling in bathroom because slippery surfaces


When a bad fall happens, there are a couple of things you should do before getting up. You might have damaged some bones or muscles, and it’s essential to take the necessary precautions before you start moving. 

Don’t panic

Try not to panic because it will make the process a bit more complicated. Take a deep breath and relax for a moment without moving on the floor. If you feel a sharp pain somewhere, you have probably hurt yourself, and you should ask for help if you can. 

Assess the Situation

Make sure your neck is okay before moving it. If you have a neck injury, you don’t want to move it because it could create spinal cord or nerve problems. If you feel that your neck is okay, slightly lift the head and do a visual check of your body. Check if you have cut yourself or any dislocated parts such as the shoulders, hips, or ankles.  

Check the Range of Motion

Now you want to test your body’s range of motion gently. Start with the neck, moving it from side to side. Then the arms, fingers, and shoulders. If everything is okay, move down to your hips and see if you can slide the knees up and down. If you broke your hip, you’re not going to be able to move them. With every movement, see if there’s pain with it. 

Ask for Help if Necessary

At this point, if you have any hurt muscles or bones, you might want to call for help. Often seniors fall when they are alone at home, and if they can’t get up, they can be stuck on the floor for hours or even days.

When learning how to get up from a fall without kneeling, it’s crucial to prevent serious problems. A neck or wrist medical alert system can provide the necessary peace of mind to loved ones and caregivers. In case of a terrible fall, the user can call for the required help. It’s essential to wear it at all times because you never know when a fall might happen.

elderly falling in bathroom because slippery surfaces

How to Get Up Without Kneeling

If you feel confident, you can get up with the following techniques. Most of them use a sofa or stairs since they are necessary to get up without kneeling. If you can use one knee, it’s a bit easier to get up, and you can do it without any objects.  

If you are learning how to get up from a fall without kneeling, it’s essential to practice with a friend or caregiver if you can. 

Getting Up With Stairs

Many people fall when walking down a flight of stairs, so it’s important to know how to get up in this situation. If you fall near the bottom of the stairs, try moving your body towards them to perform the following technique.

Use your arms to scoot over to the stairs. You want to back up to the stairs and place your back against the first step. Take a rest, and with your hands, prop yourself up on the first step. Your legs or knees don’t have to move, and you are only using the strength in your arms. You can then prop yourself up onto the second step, and from there, try to stand up. 

Tipping Point With Sofa

This might seem like a complex technique, but it’s easier than it sounds. You might want to practice with someone there to help you and see if you can use it.

After a fall, scoot over to a nearby couch or sofa. Back up to the couch and rest for as long as you need. Place your hands on the floor right by your bottom. Extend your elbow and lift your bottom a few inches off the floor. Then, try to find the tipping point, where you can lean your head and shoulders backward onto the couch.

Once your weight is supported on the couch, walk your legs to the side and lift your feet onto the sofa cushions. You can sit on the couch and rest for a bit before you stand up. 

Hip Hike With Sofa

When you’re on the floor and have your back against a couch, it’s hard to get enough height to get on the couch with your hands. The trick is to use one hand on the opposite side of the body.

Reach your right hand across your body and place it on the floor while leaving the left elbow on the couch. Lean your head forward towards the hand on the floor, and push down with both arms (right hand on the floor and left elbow on the couch) while lifting your hips onto the couch. 

Pull Out Mattress and Hip Hike

If the last techniques were too tricky, you can use a mattress underneath the couch to provide extra support. Pull out the mattress slightly, use the hip hike technique to get on the mattress, and then on the sofa. If you are having trouble picturing the technique, use this video explanation:


There are all kinds of objects in a home that can help you stand up without kneeling. For example, if you have books nearby, you could use them to build up support around you. You need to lean your hips slightly from side to side and tuck a book under the opposite side. You can continue to do this until you reach a height where you can stand up. 

Chairs and small tables can also be helpful. When placed upside down, some chairs can provide good support to stand up. And with an object in the middle to make a step, the four legs of a coffee table can provide some support. The key is to remain calm and take stock of what objects you have in reach to make use of when you’re stuck on the ground.