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Hi all - it's been a while since I last posted - my dad's been in a nursing home for nearly 2 years, with the odd fall here and there, but mostly he's been doing pretty well. He fell on August 20th and broke his hip. He had surgery on the 21st and was back at the nursing home on the 23rd. I just got a call from them that they found him on the floor and didn't want to move him, so they called an ambulance and now he's on the way to the hospital. I'm the only family he has and so I guess I'll be heading to the hospital to meet him, but I'm just so exhausted with it. I ended up having to take time off work to deal with his hip and surgery, and I don't know how to keep him safe in the home. He has a low bed with a bar on it, so I don't know how he fell. He also has an alarm on his bed, but it goes off every time he blinks so I don't know that they pay attention. I've been reading a lot of research and studies on falls, hip surgery, and the success of physical therapy in patients with dementia, but I just don't know what to do about keeping him safe. The NH is 25 miles away because it was the only one that would take a smoker. I'd appreciate any advice on how to keep him in bed and safe or just in general how to deal with this. Thanks :I

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You are right, you can only do so much, and he is in the proper place, receiving proper care. "Seniors fall, that's their job", SO TRUE FF! LOL! We are dealing with a lot of that with my FIL in our home too! Thankfully, he has been properly trained to use the rollator walker, and this has helped! Hopefully, with PT, they can show him the proper techniques, if he isn't beyond learning!
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Yep, I know. I'd like to think there's something I could do to keep him safe, but you're right - heck, I'm only in my 40s and I fall over a lot! Hiring a 24/7 caregiver is not an option. My niece is an OT in the UK and she says they provide very low beds with pads on the floor, and in some cases they use trundle beds, so if they roll off one, they land on the trundle. I'm supposed to be going on vacation in 2 weeks and I'm worried he'll fall when I'm gone and I won't be there to go to the hospital, but at the same time, I recognize I can't put my life on hold just in case he falls. I did that for the three years I had him at home with me. But still . . . that guilt thing is tough. I appreciate all your responses!
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My mother fell and fractured her hip while her 24/7 hired aide was in the room. Mom was too quick.

As FF says, elders fall.
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pyrrhe, elders fall, that is their job. You could have a room full of nurses and aides, and sure enough that elder will find a way to fall. The only option is to hire a caregiver from an Agency to stay in his room and every time he wants to get up he/she is there to help... but that is very expensive.

My Dad is in Memory Care and he is always tumbling here and there. He has a bad knee that give out, even while using his rolling walker. He will also fall from his bed. He's suppose to use the call string at his bed or his pendent but he "doesn't want to bother anyone".... [sigh].
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He's back in his old room and doing PT.

He does have a mat on the floor and the bed is very low. I'll be talking to them today about what steps they plan on taking to reduce the risks, but I know they will always be pretty high. The good news is, he was fine after his fall, and was only at the ER for a couple of hours.

They are supposed to check on him regularly, especially when his bed alarm goes off, but, like I said, it's so sensitive and is always going off so I think they need to change how it works - it used to only go off when he sensed he had stood up so maybe we can find a mid-point.

Thanks!
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Is your Dad in the rehab section of the NH or back in his old room? I did have my Mom (with dementia) go through physical therapy. And they had her back up and walking with a walker (age 96) Many facilities place a floor mat next to the bed to cushion falls from those with fall risks. I ultimately begged the AL my Mom went to post rehab to do somehting and they 'tucked' her in at night with a sheet and pillow to keep her in the bed. It 'kind of' retrained her to stay put.
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Some elderly people will try to climb over a bed rail especially when they have dementia. In addition to the rail the bed is low to the ground and has an alarm on it. It sounds like precautions were in place but as long as your dad has dementia and has had previous falls he will always be a fall risk. If he's bound and determined to get up by himself and is physically able to do so I don't know what else can be done short of hiring someone from the outside to sit with him 24/7 and not many people can afford something like that.

I know how stressful it must be for you. My dad fell a lot too when I was caring for him at home. Sometimes I could get him up by myself, sometimes I had to call the paramedics to come and get him up. He never broke a hip or anything else but it was very stressful nonetheless. We got to the point where we just kind of bounced from one crisis to the next.

Can you request that the staff look in on your dad on a regular basis?
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