My mom uses a walker without asking the assisted living staff for any help. She has fallen on the floor multiple times. Should we take about her walker so she can’t hurt herself anymore?

Asked by

Mom is in Asssisted Living, has Alzheimer's, 92 yr old, uses a walker for the last year. She never asks for staff help for ANYTHING. Staff have found her on the floor in her room by her couch multiple times in the last week. We had an ER visit from a fall 7 mo ago to find a bruised tailbone. Should we take her assisted mobility devices away so that she can not get up on her own? She is already incontinent and in Depends.

Mom uses a walker and never asks the assisted living staff for any help. Last week they found her on the floor multiple times. Should we take her assisted mobility devices away so that she can't get up on her own and hurt herself?

Answers 1 to 10 of 18
If your Mom is 92, having severe mobility/balance issues, and is incontinent, it may be time to consider a nursing home facility. The other alternative is to move her into your home and hire skilled in-home care. It would be cruel to take away her walker and will just cause more falls as she tries to do without it.
Personally, I am not a fan of facilities - not much personalized assistance. No facility can provide the care that you can give a loved one in your home.
Good luck...I hope you find the best placement for your dear Mother.
Lilli
Top Answer
By taking away her assistance she may be more determined to get up more often just to prove you wrong. This would depend in what stage she is in her ALZ. She may think she is of certain age, and feel she can walk and move again, not realizing she can't. Why punish her? I think you must first really understand what her mental illness is before you make any decisions.
Blessings, Bridget
Your mom does need more supervised time and maybe she can't come up with the right words to ask for help. I would have a physical therapist to evaluate her ability to walk unaided, as well as maintaining whatever strength she does have through physical therapyl Follow up on finding out if this facility can provide one on one time to walk your mom, and if not, a more skilled nursing facility might be the next step. I have been doing rehab with my mom with last stage Alzheimers. I was able to obtain Medicaid home care and she has one on one care in her home. Your mom can still get one on one care if she lived in your home is she is eligible. If that is not an option, start looking at options that would still give your mother the exercize through walking with another caregiver. That is so important. If you don't use the leg muscles, they atrophy, and weaken, and then your mom is stuck in bed or in a wheelchair. Physical therapy, exercize, really helps so your mom so that she can be more easily transfered from chair to bed, etc. Find a place where she could still be allowed but helped to walk and exercize. Check out mom's hearing. She may not be asking, because she may not be able to hear the response.-Just a thought

Good luck.
H.
Seems she is ready for the next level, which would be skilled nursing care or "SNF" aka "sniff". Her doctor will need to evaluate her and provide a letter for this - with her history this won't be a problem. You just may be able to speak or email the doc to get this done. But it can take time especially with the Holidays upon us - get multiple copies as you will need for medicaid if you're going that route for SNF payment.

Is her AL a tiered system that has a SNF component? If so,
you need to start the paperwork for moving her there.
If not, speak with the placement counselor or social worker on staff at her current AL as to where they have had other residents move into. At 92 this isn't going to get better.

You need to be proactive about this and contact her AL to tell them you recognize her needs have changed. You don't want to find yourself getting a "we just love her but can't have her
her anymore and this is your 30 day notice" letter. If they know
you recognize the situation and are awaiting an opening, they
will work with you on having mom stay a few more weeks if need be. You have to realize that if she is falling often or daily,
and this involves a runaway walker/wheelchair, she is becoming a liability for the AL and for the other residents - this is a huge issue for the AL and they can make things speed up as far as placement into a SNF. Her AL may take her device away from her because of this and restrict her to a traditional
walker (the metal kind "U" frame kind) as she does not have
the cognitive skills needed to "drive". So this all may just
be out of your hands........

IMHO not all of us are caregivers nor do we need to be for our parents or elderly relatives. There are good facilities out there.
Good luck!
I would not recommend taking the walker away I think that will cause more problems. I think she needs more care. If she is falling frequently she obviously needs more supervision. She is probably at a place (in her mind) where she does not understand to ask for help or she may just forget how. I would be very concerned that she is going to fracture her hip or hit her head at sometime when she falls. I would make differant arrangements for her and soon... take care, J
Wheel chair and total supervision I think maybe...
If she started falling there is a reason, she needs to be evaluated by physical thereapy. if your A.L. facility does not have onsite PT contact your physician to get home health in to do an eval. pulling her walker without an eval will not stop her she will just fall more often. most falls are preventable, you just need to find out why she is falling. it may be that she has progressed past the assisted living phase and needs supportive living or intermediate care.
I would have to agree with most everyone on the board. Looks like your mom just doesn't realize what she's doing. Assisted living is not enough care for her (I don't believe she's being stubborn in not asking for help, I think she may not realize she has the option to ask for help).

Run this past her regular physician and he/she will guide you, but I think she's ready for next level of care. :)

Deep breaths!
My Mom has ALZ and she just forgets that she needs the walker at times. I agree with the others that she is ready for the next level of care. I personally chose to bring my Mom to live with me, but not everyone is a caregiver. I have a monitor with a video that I move from room to room with me so that I can see and hear what Mom is up to. I try to give her as much independance as possible, but I am able to "show up" when I see she is about to do something she is not able to and can give her a gentle reminder. Good luck. I know these decisions are very difficult to make.
it is hard to fase for the caregiver and the love one to see it just may be time to go to the next step of care. ask yourself , if i don;t take it away can i live with knowing this fall could have not happen if i have taken away the item , also may be time to move to a nursing home where she will get more one to one care. Faceing this myself with my mom.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support