Follow
Share

As part of a rather long dying process, my mother has recently slipped into a dementia- like state. She is extremely weak and can't stand or walk without risking a fall. We don't want her to spend what's left of her life in pain from a broken hip or something similar, but she doesn't understand that she can't just get up and walk. My dad is her caregiver, and all it takes is a moment of inattention and she's up trying to do something. She fell yesterday and bruised her hip badly but did not break it. She is beyond being capable of understanding the consequences of her actions and my dad does not yet want to put her into an assisted care facility. Anyone know of a way to handle this so that she can stay in the house with my dad while not risking a dangerous fall?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Hospice could be required.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Just received word from my dad that the hospice folks got him something that will let him know if she gets up out of bed. I don't know anything more than that yet, but it sounds like it might be a solution. Again, thanks to all of you for your help!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm going to check these out. It would be a good way to monitor activity in my father's house. Thanks for the info, CM.

Thinking about it, there probably are systems like this in high security areas.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The manager suggested them when I was tearing my hair out to her about mother's refusal to call for help with standing and walking around. They detect anyone moving around in the room and trigger the key worker's pager or the nursing station - same as chair and bed pads, I suppose. During the day there were plenty of people keeping an eye on her; but it was a good way to keep tabs without going into her room and disturbing her at night.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

CM, so the sensors would pick up any movement in the room, whether it was your mother or a visitor? Were they like security systems that rich folks have which monitor gates and outside areas, etc.? Or were they alarms that flashed silently or sounded an alert?

I actually like that idea because it would be a clue as to when someone was there. I've been thinking more and more about this for Dad in his home.

Thanks for the helpful information.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

GA, the facility my mother stayed at for respite care had in-room motion sensors; I don't know about cameras because I didn't ask but they might have been integrated in the same system. And, true to form for this place, they asked mother's permission (to be polite - they asked mine too!) to switch them on and connect them to the nursing station. So that's how it's done; but whether or not it's standard practice..?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The comments here have made me wonder how advanced technology is or could be used to create monitoring systems for elders in their own homes. I believe that security companies do have options for internal monitoring, linked to remote apps that could be run on SmartPhones, but I haven't paid much attention to them primarily b/c of the price of SmartPhones and up until recently I haven't really had the need to pay extra just for what they offer.

I'm wondering though if anyone has anything like this? Any security systems that you're using that provide not only remote monitoring but visuals and alarms in the event someone gets up and/or falls?

Has anyone discussed this with security companies? Reminds me, I have a relative who's in that business and should be asking him what's available.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mother was bed-ridden for a few months a couple of years ago...it was wearing me out having to run down the hall & check on her constantly...my husband suggested a security camera which works great...we were able to keep a monitor in the livingroom so we could glance at it periodically to keep an eye on her...we still have the camera, even though she is mobile again...this allows us to see if she is resting or up & about ( she has a tendency to wander)...by the way, I forgot to mention that these security cameras have two-way microphones, so in the event that my mom starts doing something where she may get injured, we can stop her...it's quicker than sprinting down the hallway hoping to get there in time.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Years ago when my father-in-law was in rehab he used to fall when he got out of bed so the rehab center put a padded mat on the side of his bed to cushion any potential fall. As many people have pointed out restraint or bed rails were not allowed. They used to be allowed when my mom, a dementia patient was in the hospital after a TIA. Although she couldn't remember many things--even using a call button--she always figured out how to climb out of bed by going to the foot of the bed where there were no rails. Eventually, when she was in assisted living in a dementia unit, a geri chair worked to keep her safely in place.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks so much for all of the ideas, everyone. They're much appreciated. I'll pass them along to my dad. A couple of quick things: She's under hospice care but still at home. She's been in physical decline for some time now, but the mental issues are new. And yeah, it's really hard on my dad. I live (almost exactly) 1000 miles away but my sister is close and helps him out some. Still, it's mostly on his shoulders.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I got a transport chair for mom and belted her in...put a portable table in front of her and locked the transport wheels. Both together resulted in her not trying to rise. That was only, though, after she'd broken her hip when I was ten feet away with my back turned.

Mom's gone now. I so regret that I learned the lesson too late.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Mike, my Mom is in the same condition as your Mom, she still thinks she can stand up and walk. What seems to work for my Mom is a Geri Recliner, because the way they are designed it makes it difficult for her to swing her legs over the side to get up. This might not work for everyone.

My Dad thinks Mom will eventually start walking again and would be able to come home. Sadly that won't ever happen. I am on the same page as Babalou, who posted above, about having your Dad as your Mom caregiver. My parents are in their mid-90's and I would fully believe that if we placed Mom back home, she could outlive Dad.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

CM, for them or us? LOL.

I seem to have woken on the cynical side of bed this morning. Maybe a bit more shut eye will help.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

[grumble mutter mutter] strait jacket and padded cell...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

CM, in this country too, anything used to keep them from getting up is considered a form of restraint and against the law. In fact, in the hospital unless there is a doctor's order, the bed rails must not be used in the hospital. And those are responsible for causing many injuries to patients that will try to climb over them. I do not know what the solution is. Maybe someting like marionette strings? Can you just see them with a contraption mounted to the ceiling with some sort of a track system to keep them on the right path? Or super magnets that attract to a metal ceiling designed to keep them upright? Seems absurd doesn't it? But there must be a solution.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If she is in a wheel chair you can use a hip pack that secures her in the chair. Put a pad and pencil or other interesting things in it for her use. I also have a seatbelt hooked on the toilet and my husband doesn't object to that either.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Seeing your headline in the threads margin made me flash back and go rigid with tension. Your poor dad. Your poor mother. Poor you!

I am *so* relieved to read further that you have already grasped that your mother cannot understand and remember why she must not get up and walk around unaided. It took me a long time to get to that point (my mother was a convincing excuse-maker) and it nearly drove me insane.

Our community team provided alarm pads to go on armchairs and her bed so that I would know if she got up; but I never found that satisfactory - what the alarms couldn't do, of course, was tell me *before* she got up so that I could get there in time, which is what we really needed. And if your mother can't remember not to get up, she won't, either, comply with using a call button, or not reliably anyway. So that only half helps.

There are good, solid, over-chair tables you can get which your mother shouldn't be able to push out of the way on her own. But I have to add that no matter how nicely and reasonably I suggested this solution, I got stern lectures about "Deprivation of Liberty" - in the UK the law says that if you want to do anything like this you have to make a court application and have it approved. No, really, it does. I hope the US has a bit more sense - check with your local older age social services.

While you're at it, you want an occupational therapist to go round the house with your father and recommend solutions. "There is more in heaven and on earth, Horatio, than is dreamed of in our philosophies…" and similarly OTs have professional tips and wrinkles you'd never have thought of.

Respite breaks for your father are also important - can they afford to hire a companion for, say, two or three hours at a time so that he can have a nap or get out for some fresh air?

Best of luck, please let us know how you get on.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Mike, you mention "dying". Is she eligible for Hospice?

Also, you might ask her doctor to order a PT evaluation. They could give you suggestions on how to keep her safe.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Can you put something heavy, like a a table in front of her?

In a situation like this, you need to worry about dad. The stress and physical job of caregiving puts him at enormous risk of a heart attack or stroke. If they can afford Assisted Living, wouldn't it be a great thing for BOTH of them?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter