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Old 01-17-2009, 04:10 PM   #1
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Post Falls at the nursing home...

Over the past several weeks, my mom has fallen. She has a history of doing this due to dizziness and poor vision. She thinks she's at a chair to sit down but is way off target.

She still is quite mobile, and moves fast. Under doctor's orders, she is to walk with a one assist. A chair alarm was used for several months, but they took it away because they said she really only stands up and walks to the nurses station which is just a few steps away from where she spends most of her day with them anyway.

Last weekend, she apparently went to sit down and missed the chair and ended up on the floor and bumping her head on the wall. Wednesday, she did the same thing. Thursday, I was told she walked all the way down the hall by herself and they had to go find her. Luckily, she was fine. Friday, she was found crawling on her hands and knees in the "Den" (a room adjacent to the nurse's station with an open door) looking for my grandfather.

So far she's been lucking with not getting hurt. She is kept, for the most part, right by the station where the aides and nurses are always coming and going...but they can't keep an eye on her 24/7.

One of the aides suggested to me today that she needs her chair alarm back, because at least if they are down the hall with another resident, they will hear her getting up. I will speak with the head nurse about this on Monday as I am at a loss as to what can be done at this point.

I do not blame the staff for her falls, as before she even went into a NH, she fell right in front of me and I was three feet away, and once while I was with her when she was in AL. It can happen so quickly.

It seems as she's declining though, she now has been referring to me as her mother, and I have to tell her I'm her daughter, to which she replies, "oh, that's right, mom is gone." There are many fantasy excursions she tells me about, she's quite chatty at times which is good, even though it's nonsense, but it keeps her calm in her world.

I still wrestle with the "take me with you, I want to go home" bit, but I'm able to talk my way out of it...I'm getting to be an old pro at that!

Any advice on falls or what to do would be appreciated!

 
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:50 PM   #2
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Re: Falls at the nursing home...

Ah Sunny,

I'm so sorry that you're facing this.Does your Mom has macular degeneration?There isn't much that you can do unfortunately. The chair alarm is going to be your best bet. IF she is on doctor's orders to walk with one assist, then the staff is going to have to be more vigilant in keeping an eye on her to make sure that she doesn't get up unassisted.

Unfortunately it is considered elder abuse to use straps to restrain elders in a chair so you can't do that to an elderly patient. YOu are just going to have to speak to the head nurse and see if they can't come up with some system that keeps your Mom away from walls and has the staff handy at all times. Unless they manage to elevat the chair high enough that her feet don't touch then she wouldn't be able to stand up without assistance..what a thought. I wonder if there is such a thing as an elevating wheel chair?

good luck

 
Old 01-17-2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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Re: Falls at the nursing home...

Bless you Sunny because that is definitely a delima. The chair alarm is definitely your best bet. At least somebody will be alerted to when she tries to get up. As with Dad's wander bracelet, even if they don't need to for a period of time it is better to have it and be safe than to not have it and wish you did.

Dad went through a period of falling. Usually when he got out of the chair rather than when he was sitting. We did put blocks under the legs of his chair to elevate it to the right hight for the ease of him getting up and down. Physical Therapy actually measured his legs and measured the chair and gave us the exact height we needed to add to the chair. It has helped with both getting up and down because he can feel the arms of the chair easier. As far as PT helping with his walking or sitting, he didn't remember what they said 2 mintues after they were gone and went right back to his normal.

Your mom should already be identified as a fall risk. I would definitely insist that the chair alarm be reinstalled. I would also ask that the staff be more vigilant in watching her. We did use what were known as Geri Chairs. They were high, well cushioned chairs that had a table across the front of them. Similar to an over exaggerated high chair. We had several residents that used them, not all the time, but when necessary. Our staff was required to take them out every two hours to walk unless they were not ambulatory. They were much more comfortable and safe than a wheel chair. We could also give the residents items to occupy their time on the tables. We had several residents that used them in lieu of being in bed all day and they actually enjoyed being out in the common areas with others.

I do hope you find a solution to your delima. Glad your Mom has not been injured.

Love, deb

 
Old 01-18-2009, 02:45 PM   #4
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Re: Falls at the nursing home...

the chair alarm is the best. they can also use a chair with a big tray that the patient cant remove. they did this with my mom.

 
Old 01-18-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
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Re: Falls at the nursing home...

I went over there today and asked that the chair alarm be put back on. All the nurses were in agreement with me. Alarm was put on the chair within a half hour.

Last week when I got the call about mom crawling around on her hands and knees, the nurse told me that I will probably be getting a call from the state in regard to mom's falls. Not looking forward to that. As I said before, I don't blame them at all as I've experienced it, myself, several times. It doesn't look good for the facility with her falling so much, and I know they do spend a lot of time looking after my mom. She's one of the more pleasant ones to be around; they all know me and like me (I think) and have her best interest in mind.

Mom does tend to complain that they are always telling her to sit down..she says it rather sarcastically, and I remind her it's only because they don't want her to fall and hurt herself. "I can take care of myself!!" that's what she always replies to which I abruptly change the subject.

She was diagnosed with Glaucoma about 5 years ago, and she has now lost all peripheral vision which attributes to her lack of ability to sit down on a chair like most people. If she looks straight ahead, she can read what is on the TV from 15 feet away. Then again, she'll look at something right in front of her, or I'll be right in front of her and she looks all over until I finally lock eyes with her for some sort of recognition.

All and all, her poor sense of vision; balance, have contributed to all these falls.

Thanks for your advice everyone!

 
Old 01-18-2009, 05:47 PM   #6
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Re: Falls at the nursing home...

Sunny, just be honest with the state investigation. Say what you have said to us about the fall and all will be well. It's standard procedures to investigate and as long as they don't suspect neglegance it's ok. So give your praises and what you know.....

Love, deb

 
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