Darn! – One minute you were on your feet, and the next you are staring up at the ceiling. You have done a quick check and all body parts seem to be moving and working fine. Since there’s no injury, you are hoping to avoid calling 911, but you can’t figure out how to get up – and of course you can’t spend the rest of your life on the floor, so what are the options?
If this is a familiar scenario, and one that you have encountered on more than one occasion due to leg weakness or a neurological disorder, then investing money in equipment that will assist you to more easily get up from the floor may be worthwhile. There aren’t an extensive number of equipment solutions available for fall recovery, but there are at least a handful of good possibilities you can consider. Some of the pros and cons of these different options are discussed below.
“Step Ladder” Products for Fall Recovery
The first category of fall recovery equipment are step-based products. Both the Paraladder and the ResQup fall under this category and are designed to help you incrementally lift your bottom upwards from one step to the next in a seated position. Once you have ascended from the floor level to the top step of the equipment you can then slide backwards onto a bed, chair, or wheelchair. Step-based products are portable so they can be used anywhere inside the home, or even outside in the yard.
|Paraladder (Price range: $950-$1,000)
|ResQup (Price range: $350-$400)
The Paraladder and ResQup differ from each other in the following respects:
- The Paraladder has raised handles on either side of the steps, which can give you extra leverage in lifting your bottom up the stairs.
- The ResQup is designed with a shorter distance between each of the steps, making it easier for you to ascend the stairs if you have reduced arm strength. It has padding on the steps and rounded step edges, which will help prevent the skin from being sheared, as well as make it more comfortable if you want to use your elbows to assist in pulling yourself up the stairs. And, if you are a user who has the ability to walk, the ResQup has an additional feature, which the Paraladder does not. The two lower steps of the ResQup can be pushed backwards underneath the uppermost seat once you have moved your bottom up to the topmost step. This allows you the ability to position your feet firmly underneath yourself and to stand up directly from the equipment itself, which is helpful when you are not near a chair or bed to transition backwards onto.
Inflatible Emergency Lifts for Fall Recovery
Both the Elk and Camel Lifts are air-inflatable devices. You simply roll, or move over onto the device when it is deflated, and at the push of a button it inflates and raises you up to a seated level.
|Mangar Elk Emergency Lift
(Price range: $1,600-$2,500)
|Mangar Camel Emergency Lift
(Price range: $2,400 – $10,900)
The key difference between the Camel and the Elk is that the Camel has an air-inflated piece to support your back, which the Elk does not. The back support feature offered by the Camel provides increased support, making it possible for you to use this product independently. In contrast, if using the Elk you would need to have a second person present to assist you with sitting balance as it inflates.
Mechanical “Hoists” for Fall Recovery
Mobile Patient Lifts and Ceiling Lifts are mechanical hoists that can be used to assist you up from the floor. To use this type, you merely need to roll over onto a cloth sling or fasten a harness around you and then with the push of a button the machine does all the work to lift you up. The Mobile-style Patient Lifts have wheels, which allow the equipment to be rolled in to different rooms. In contrast, Ceiling Lifts can typically only be used for assistance getting down to and up from the floor in the room where they are installed.
|Patient Lift (see note [a])
|Ceiling Lift (see note [b])
|Ceiling Lift (see note [c])
|Notes:[a] Many companies offer this style of lift. Product shown is by MoLift. Also note that not all mobile lifts can be used for floor transfers so check with the manufacture prior to purchase.
[b] Many companies offer this style of lift. Product shown is by Guardian.
[c] Many companies offer this style of lift. Product shown is by SureHands.
Transfer Vest for Fall Recovery
The Smart Lift is a special vest designed for allowing a caregiver to more safely assist you in getting up from the floor. According to the product’s designer, a single caregiver may in some cases be able to assist you to stand up using the Smart Lift vest; however, having two people would be more ideal for the safety of all involved.
|Smart Lift ($250-$300);
|Smart Lift in action
Learn more about falls and fall prevention:
- Video: “How to get up from the floor after a fall – MacGyver Style!”
- “I’ve Fallen!” Tips for Rescuing Yourself After a Fall
- 12 Barriers to Independent Living – and 36 Ways to Break Them Down!
- Home Safety Tips
- Afraid to Fall?