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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Fall prevention?

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Old 03-06-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
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Fall prevention?

Mother-in-law has fallen several times this week. She had fallen only 2 or 3 times previously in all the months we've had her. I'm very concerned, needless to say. It's mostly at night that she falls, except for yesterday, when she fell in the bathroom and got wedged in between the tub and toilet. I have a 10 pound lifting restriction, so I was pretty useless. My boys had to go in and get Grandma back on her feet. It was not a pretty picture, and they were not happy having to pick up naked Grandma! The bigger concern for me is if she should fall during the night. So far, my mommy's ear has gone back to those days of newborns and toddlers, and I've been able to discern that she's fallen every time. But one of these days, I'll be in a deep sleep and not hear, and she's likely to be on the floor all night. She hasn't gotten any serious injuries, only some small scratches and some bruises, but I sure don't want to risk her breaking a hip or hitting her head.

I've read here that it's unwise to restrain an Alzheimer's patient in her bed. So what do you do? She can't/won't use a walker. Even a cane confuses her. She's much better off without it. I'm worried! I have no solution to this one. I hope you veterans can help me again!

Love, Emily

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Old 03-06-2009, 10:49 AM   #2
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Re: Fall prevention?

Also one bad side affect to falling. Should she fall and need to be transported to the hospital, they may accuse you of elder abuse with any bruising they see.

They almost reported my sister to the police because of the bruises my mother had on her body because they called me and told me my sister was abusing my mother. I said that is not the case, my mother just started falling more. Of course, sister excused it that the sedative was too strong and it made her loopy, but I said, "no its not strong enough" to allow her to sleep through the night. She was able to break through, wake up and got out of bed.

Sister asked for me to purchase side-rails but never put them on the bed because she started to fear that mother would hurt herself more by trying to climb out of it.

you may think of using diapers at night and get a strong sedative to induce and keep her asleep.


Old 03-06-2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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Re: Fall prevention?

Emily, nice to see you again.

Here's your options outside of sedation. If her bed lowers, lower it down as far as it will go so that when she gets out if she stumbles, she won't have far to fall. When Mom was in the NH, that is what they did. You might consider buying a bed that is adjustable so that you CAN lower it down. Get those fat plastic covered mats that kindergartners lay on and put them on the floor by her bed so that if she falls she won't get bruises. And the other thing that they staff did was to get long rectangular foam pads that were covered just like the kindergarten pads. They used them down the length of the mattress so that it formed a well, put the sheet over the top of it. Mom slept in the nest in the middle. It was more difficult for her to get out and she tended to stay put for the night.

You don't want to restrain them in any way as they could get tangled up and really get hurt, plus that is elder abuse-and that's not something you want to deal with. You only other option is to schedule a time that you get her up during the night. Thata might help her sleep the rest of the night. But perhaps it's time for a sedative so that she can rest the entire night?

Old 03-06-2009, 04:58 PM   #4
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Re: Fall prevention?

Do sedatives work on Alz folks? I tried giving her an over-the-counter sleeping pill, but it didn't do a thing. I've read that with Alz, medications may not work like they should, sleeping pills being one that was specifically mentioned.

I could do the night time diapers. Do you think that would make her start thinking during the day, when she's only wearing a pad, that she doesn't have to get herself to the bathroom anymore?

As far as lowering the bed, she'd never be able to get up from it if it was any lower. I can't pull her up, either. Maybe one that goes up and down as needed. That might work!


(Jill, I'm still on here almost everyday. I just don't feel that I have enough experience to answer most of the posts. I spend more time posting over on the back board. Good to see you here, dear sister!)

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