Preventing Falls: Moving Safely Out of a Chair and Bed

Woman sitting on edge of hospital bed with walker.You can move safely, whether you’re at home, in a hospital, or out and about. Plan your movements. Don’t rush. The phone or doorbell can wait. And learn how to perform daily tasks safely, like getting in and out of a chair or bed. The more careful you are, the less likely you are to fall.

Getting in and out of a chair

When you can, choose chairs with long armrests.

To sit down:

  • Back up until you feel the chair against the backs of your legs.

  • Grasp the armrests with both hands and sit down.

To stand up:

  • Scoot to the edge of the chair. Place both feet firmly on the floor.

  • Grasp the armrests or put both hands on your thighs and slowly push yourself up.

Getting out of bed

If you're using a hospital bed, make sure it's locked. Put the head of the bed up.

To get up:

  • Move to the edge of the bed and roll onto your side. Push yourself up with your hand. At the same time, swing your legs over the side of the bed.

  • Sit on the edge of the bed for at least 60 seconds before standing up.

  • With both feet firmly on the floor, put your hands beside you on the bed and slowly push yourself up.

  • If you feel lightheaded or dizzy, sit back down right away.

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© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.