23 Falls- What's your count ?

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My mom will have been in memory care for one year soon
She has fallen twenty three times
maybe more.
I wonder when she will be in a geri-chair or something to protect her....
Anyways, have you documented all the times your LO has fallen?
What's your count?

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Balance problems are often a problem with dementia patients. My cousin's balance was and is so terrible. She fell so many times. Probably at least 20. She sustained multiple fractures, including, wrist, spine, left shoulder, right shoulder, foot, and hand. Most of these occurred when she was using her wheelchair! She would apparently get up, forgetting that she can't walk and fall. She is able to use her feet to propel herself all around the Memory Care unit though and so mobility is not an issue. She loves the wheelchair.

We (Memory Care, her doctor and I) decided to put an alarm on her wheelchair and bed. Your state may require doctor approval. The wheelchair has a belt that she must unfasten to get up. It sets off an alarm and staff can go to her. Now what happens is that she unfastens the belt, hears the alarm and fastens it back. So, so far, it's working . Knock on wood!

She also has an alarm on her bed and it will alert the night staff if she gets out of bed during the night. They can get to her and assist her. She's fully incontinent, so she's not really going to the bathroom at night. So far, it's working. Knock on wood and thank God for this blessing.

Repeated falls are very stressful as it often means long visits in the ER, MRI's, x-rays, casts, slings, etc. It's very stressful and painful for the patient.
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Mica, maybe it is time for her to give up walking, I've seen a lot of older folks scooting around in their wheelchairs by propelling with their feet. Would she accept that?
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Annnd she fell again. #24 this time off her rollator seat- plop.
my mom is like your aunt Twinflower, gets up from chair or bed and takes off... except she goes to the bathroom herself (wut?)
She hasnt broken anything yet, but i am sure thats next. They take very good care of her at the memory care place and say she's a hoot.
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I appreciate everyone's ideas and views. I've been beside myself trying to help prevent falls my aunt takes in the memory care facility where she lives. she will just get up and take off, completely confident and then fall. she has a private room and bathroom and can no longer use a call light. The facility accepts falls as part of the disease and don't think much about it. I have seen thick foam pads around beds in other resident rooms, but they're used for people who fall out of bed. My aunt is wide awake when she travels. My aunt is compliant and prefers to have help to go to the bathroom (one reason she gets up, the other is being in bed awake and bored), but if no one is there, she gets out of bed.. The facility has torpedoed every idea I had from bed alarm to motion detector, to preemptive bathroom breaks. The best I've been able to do is to ask them to keep her up in the recliner until she is sleepy and then put her to bed. some staff do that, some don't..
I guess I have many more trips to the hospital to go. And more pain and broken bones for her. Other than the falls, she gets very good care. there are continual struggles to adapt to her changing care needs, but the admin is very responsive and tries.
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Cathberry, do you think your husband would get better treatment and more attentive care at another facility? Are you otherwise pleased with the facility he's in now?
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I have just got ANOTHER phone call to tell me that my husband was found lying on the floor--again. His fifth fall, third one this week. Now the nurse tells me that they want to keep him up at the nurses station.

When I asked her how they would do that she said that they would keep him in his wheelchair. I said NO! I told them from his admission that the only time he can be in his wheelchair is when he is going off the unit. I am afraid that if he gets used to the wheelchair that he will never get out if it.

Anyway, what is the point in keeping him in his wheelchair? They cannot strap him in as it that would be deemed a "Restrictive procedure". Also what is the point in having, decorating (and paying for) his own room just to have him sit at the nurses station which, by the way, frequently has no one there.

I told the nurse that I am aware that he has a "high risk for falls" but I am willing to take the responsibility. If he falls, he falls. If he gets injured, he gets injured. Otherwise he would have no quality of life at all, sitting in a hallway, beside the elevator with all the noise and lack of privacy. Even if someone was standing beside him he could still fall. It is what it is.

Now I have been told that I must have "a discussion" with the Occupational Therapist to try to sort this all out.

I thought that having him in long term care would help to relieve some of my stress. No such chance.
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GA, it is not a side effect, it is a basic component of the disease -- depending on exactly where the "bodies" appear in the brain.
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GardenArtist, yes, orthostatic hypotension is quite common with LBD. And yes, there is a treatment for it. The drug is called MIDODRINE. It is an alpha agonist which constricts the blood vessels to increase blood pressure-- which is the opposite of beta blockers which are given for high blood pressure and which dilates the blood vessels thus decreasing pressure. My husband gets 2.5 mg twice a day.

Of course, he cannot remember to get up slowly from a lying position to give the blood time to get to his brain!
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Jeanne, is it a common side effect? Are any measures taken to counteract it, or just be aware of it? It's interesting (and unsettling) that LBD can have that as a component.
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GA orthostatic hypotension is common in LBD.
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