What is a humane way to keep an elderly person from getting out of a chair and falling?

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What is a humane way to keep an elderly person from getting out of a chair and falling? My mother is in outpatient Hospice.


Her cognitive skills are rapidly deteriorating. She strives to get out of her chair frequently throughout the day. She's fallen once when I went to the bathroom. What are some ways to keep her from standing up that are humane. I must stay in the room with her to make sure she doesn't stand up and fall.


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I have the same problem at my house. My grandma likes to try to get up to go to the bathroom on her own. She will just forget to ask. We tried chair alarms but those only confuse her making the whole process worse and waking up the entire household. We tried putting reminders everywhere but again no help. We tried a bell on the end of her laces. That worked but too well as anytime she wiggles we heard it. We use a video monitor honestly. I am a light sleeper and have it with me all the time even during the night and day. If she gets up, she grunts so I know when she's grunting she's trying to stand up cuz we have a recliner she will forget how to put her legs down and try to get out of it in weird ways making her grunt and groan alerting me.I also hear the sound of the chair moving if she does manage to move it through the video monitor and can quickly check to see if i'm hearing things or she really is moving. We also have used a table in front of her with putting many things on it such as newspapers, photo albums, books, pencils, paper, and anything else to keep her distracted while i leave the room. It's tough.
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Oh Jude. I like your more thoughtful reply on the many reasons why a person might be a fall risk. I went straight to my own experience. BTW my FIL died as a result of a second fall when he was in a no restraint hospital with no family in attendance although they had been warned he was a fall risk.
My mother fell while using a rolling walker. She was looking in a direction different from where she was walking. She needed instructions on how to use the walker which I learned is often the case. Another relative would fall because of her shoes of all things. So, very good point to try to understand why the person is falling. Loved that you reminded us of the many benefits of therapy. Also while on the subject, don't forget bone density tests for women and men. If your LO is lactose intolerant make sure you keep an eye on this.
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shatter1, the hospital can order a foam wheelchair chest belt, with Velcro. We had to close the Velcro at the back of the chair to keep mom safe. The company who makes these is called "Posey" and they have several different types. BUT you have to stay with her, once you leave the Posey comes off and she must be put back in bed.
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Shatter does your Mum fall because she really needs a walking aid of some sort or do her legs simply not support her? If it is the former then the solution is simple make sure she has a rollator in front of her with the brakes on but don't for heavens sake use this if it is the latter for the fall will be painful as relaters are basically metal frames on wheels.

If it is the latter then you have four physical options as I see it but I know others will have super ideas too

Before you embark on that route however has anyone said that with exercise she would be safer and could stand or that she is on meds that are likely to make falls more of a problem - you may find that she is deficient in exercise or liquids a whole range of things can contribute to falls and that should be your first line of thought in conjunction with the medics

1 the seat alarm which when she lifts her pressure off the seat pad will sound an alarm they are quite inexpensive about 40$

2 if you can get your doctor to consent to it you could get a seat belt BUT ONLY FOR SHORT TIMES WHEN YOU ARE NOT THERE - not for hours but for short periods of times that will allow you to make a cup of tea or go to the bathroom. YOU HAVE TO GET MEDICAL CONSENT or someone will come along and scream abuse - I know it doesn't seem like it to you but it is in law unless you have authorisation and indication of usage of this type of restraint.

Restraints are considered a form of medical treatment. As such, they can only be used under the direction of a physician. In ordering the use of restraints, the physician must specify the medical reason for using the device, the circumstances under which it can be used, and the length of time over which it can be used. Because of the potential dangers involved, restraint use must be monitored, and its effectiveness must be continuously evaluated. An effort must always be made to use the least restrictive available method of restraint, and to restore each individual to his or her maximum possible level of independence. (from SAFETY WITHOUT RESTRAINTS- A New Practice Standard for Safe Care)

3 Mum has a wheeled table tray that tilts to an angle and if she is unwell she can be a bit like your Mum and will at those times be so unsteady that it is risky to leave her (she even managed to climb out of a railed bed in hospital and ended up with two stitches!) I find if I put the angled table in front of her with a photo album on it it does distract her long enough for me to do its and pieces. they aren't too expensive Amazon do them for about 56$ but you may well be able to get a second hand one

4 If the pressure alarms don't work and the doctor won't advocate the use of restraints and many won't then you may need to consider crash mats so that if she does fall she won't hurt herself but really they can be more rather than less dangerous
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Can you find a heavy table to place in front of her, on which she can look at magazines and eat, one she can't move?
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My FIL was a fall risk after a head trauma. He was in ICU for three months. When he was placed in a regular room he was tied in his wheelchair or bed. He fought it all day. It had to be done. He recovered and lived over 10 years in fairly good health. I don't think hospitals will do that now. They have the noise makers that let the nurse know the patient is trying to get out of the bed but they don't really help if the patient is able to actually get up. They will fall before the nurse arrives. Hopefully someone has a better answer.
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dont know what to say cwillie .
looking down ( from h*ll ? ) id be inclined to say , " awww , that was so well meaning , tile over concrete floors would have busted every bone in my body " .
BUT , its all good . we all live on borrowed time .
yes , AC will knock me in the head some day but at least ill leave a beautiful corpse ..
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Oh cap, you're going to get kicked out again for that comment :(
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break her legs in advance . she'll thank you for it in the afterlife .
damnt . i got an attitude adjustment from AC management but im so torn between being myself or being nice .
i guess ill just keep on being myself until the cops knock down my door .
" myself " prefers dark humor over desperation .
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