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I'm the granddaughter currently helping my mother (who is a registered nurse), to care for my grandma. Mom is an experienced and competent nurse and she wants to keep her mother out of hospitals and the like for as long as possible. She takes care of medication, hygiene, and making sure gran is as comfortable as possible. We moved her to the family home about a week ago when the homecare she had just wasn't enough. And mom may be Supernurse, Superdaughter and Supermother but she works nights exclusively, and her specialty isn't geriatrics. The problem we currently have is that gran is using her last stubbornness, last fraction of energy, delusions of retaining any dignity, and possibly just spite, to get out of bed. She can make it out of bed but she needs help. She usually wants to go to the bathroom, even though we finally got her into a diaper, but she can't walk the whole way to the toilet without a walker and at least two people holding her up. Someone is always home in the house. Dad's retired and I'm on sick leave and staying with my parents for the time being. But whether mom is working night or not, we are worried about gran getting up at night when the rest of us are sleeping and accidentally have a fall or something. We've told her she needs to stay in bed unless there's someone there to help her. But, well, she's 94 years old and she forgets, disagrees, denies, and never stops trying to at least make it to the bathroom. Understandable of course, but it's getting harder during the day and it's just too risky at night. The medication should make sure she sleeps through the night, but there's no guarantee, and we're all worried. She's suffering enough without a traumatic fall on top of that. Is there a way to legally, humanely and safely keep her in bed? Preferably without also just pissing her off. She's remarkably healthy, aside from the dying of old age part.

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First I want to say how nice it is that you are concerned and looking for solutions. Supporting your wonderful mom as she care for grandma is amazing.

My husband and I took shifts. I went to bed early and slept, then he woke me up and he went to bed and slept late. It worked fine for us but I don't think it would work for everyone. My husband is retired and I work mostly from home.

My mom has Alzheimer's so it is different too. After about a year of us doing this she forgot how to walk. We continued to watch her at night for a couple of months...then I got a baby monitor with a camera and we could sleep together again ;-) Where there's a will there's a way.
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I had the same problem with my Mom. I finally put a bed rail in and only put it up after she fell asleep. She still managed to get up one night. We moved a commode next to the bed. I put a bell next to her for her to ring. A baby monitor may help, but my mother was such a noisy sleeper -constantly talking in her sleep - that I couldn't sleep. I was able to do this for a month and then had to go home. I hired round the clock caregivers before I left. It was the most exhausting month I had had since my kids were born.
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A lot of good answers---but you aren't going to be able to keep gran from falling at some point. Her getting up to prove she's still independent is not working is it? And you probably can barely sleep w/o wondering if she's gotten up and is "trapped" in the bathroom.

The motion sensors under the sheets worked best when mother wanted to wander. HOWEVER, it drove us crazy. She'd try to get up and someone was there to help her and then she was annoyed b/c she was trying to be independent and she just simply wasn't.

Your choice to remove her from home to your home made your job much, much harder. Nights are endless when you're up with a Sr who refuses to comply with something as simple as "please stay in bed or call me when you need to get up".....

Maybe she needs round the clock care, altho you do state you want to keep her home. You might find pretty quickly that you are resenting her being there...and the stain of worry over falls is real and wearing. Mother would be sitting in a chair, all was well, you'd leave the room and somehow she'd have fallen out of the chair. And you were 10 feet away. It's nearly impossible to keep them from falling.

If you insist on keeping her home, the pad next to the bed idea is OK but can cause the caregiver to trip--and we have to mind the caregiver too. With mother, we lowered her bed as much as possible. When she rolls out of bed, the fall is so minimal she hasn't hurt herself. The falling b/c she won't use her walker....sigh....she's always black and blue somewhere.
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Hospice provided a bed alarm for my mother. You can also buy them online. It wakes the caregiver up so she/he can help the loved one to the bathroom. We also have a commode right next to the bed for times my mother seems too weak to make it to the bathroom. The alarm is annoying but I actually slept better because I knew I would know when she was getting up.
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As Pam says, nursing homes have that mat on the floor next to the bed. I had mom placed mainly because the falling thing was occurring more often, despite anything I was doing. She has not attempted to get out of her wheelchair or bed since being placed, near as I know.
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You can use a bed pressure pad, floor pressure pad, rip chord, call light, and/or motion detector. None of these prevent your grandmother from getting out of bed but they alert you that she is getting out of bed. Also you can rearrange her bed room and install grab bars to improve safety. Also consider moving a second bed for a care giver into grandmother's room.

Bed pressure pad - is placed on bed under grandmother and sounds an alarm if the pressure changes indicating movement. This is similar to bed alarms on hospital beds.

Floor pressure pad - is placed on the floor and sounds an alarm when grandmother's feet touch the pad. Arrange the bed so that she can only exit the bed in one area.

Rip chord - is a string that is clipped to grandmother's night clothing. When she moves too far, the string is pulled off the alarm and it sounds.

Call light - allows grandmother to communicate the need for assistance if she has enough memory left.

Motion detector - used to detect motion of grandmother and sound an alarm when motion occurs.
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TeresaMaria, there isn't any way of keeping an elder from falling unless someone is glued to that elder's hip 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, that is just the way it is.

Hire a night caregiver from an Agency. My Dad had a night caregiver who had to remain awake all night [the Agency had such caregivers who would only work that shift as they slept during the day]. The caregiver would listen and if she heard Dad's feet hit the floor, she would rush to his room to help.

If you or your Dad try to do the night shift yourself, you would crash and burn from exhaustion, especially your Dad.
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Nursing homes lower the bed all the way to the floor and put a foam mat alongside the bed. That way the worst they can do is roll onto the mat. Your other option is to put a commode right next to the bed IF she can get to that without hurting herself.
Bedrails don't work with the stubborn feisty types. They try to go over and fall or get tangled in the rails.
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