Mom with late stage Alzheimer's falls at night. Any advice?

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My mom has late stage AD and has fallen 4 times in the last 3 months. Should start sleeping with her at night or is there something else I can do to prevent or minimize her falling?

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hi @ibjunior,
A hospital bed is sometimes v useful, but as a geriatrician I can tell you that in the hospital we *don't* raise all the rails on elderly patients because of risk that they'll get hurt trying to climb out over them.

One option would be to try a very low bed e.g. a mattress on the floor.

For falls at night I would also recommend reviewing medications. Most drugs for sleep/sedation/anxiety increase fall risk.

The other suggestions here, re looking into why she's getting up at night and why she's falling are also v good.

Good luck!
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To prevent my mother from falling out of bed or easily getting out of bed, I situated her bed in a manner that half her body is covered by furniture. I can't use the bed rails because I'm afraid she'll try to go over them, get tangled in them and really hurt herself. I placed her bed against the wall, put her chest of drawers about three inches from the bed to cover the top of the bed, and bought a somewhat heavy arm chair and put it sideways to cover the bed from the chest of drawers down to about half way down the bed. It covers the bulk of her body. If you are afraid that she will hit her head against the chest of drawers, then put a pillow between the bed and the chest. I would rather she wet the bed or call me out of bed than have her walking around unsupervised and break a hip or a leg - that would be the worst! She doesn't get out of bed as much now because her medication does help her sleep better and longer.
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Like my mom always said "you've got to die of something. She could be having mini strokes or just weak. But I don't care where she is, she can fall. It happens in nursing homes and assisted living. So as much as you try to keep it from happening, you may not be able to completely. My mom would use her walker and did have falls. Broke her pelvis twice. She would get up and walk with the broken pelvis in rehab and no walker because they would take it away. She was supposed to call for help they said. But she couldn't remember that or that her pelvis was broken. The second broken pelvis was her final straw. At 90 1/2 she passed away in Hospice. She was a trooper until the end!
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it is quite difficult to give an answer if with the information provided. everyone has provided viable suggestions for different scenario's, however, it is best to know the mechanism of the fall, does she fall during the day, etc. If you are a family/layman caregiver you should discuss with your MD about getting a home health evaluation or eldercare evaluation, if she does not fulfill the requirements for home health. Get trained eyes in the home for evaluation and suggestions. National Alzheimer's Association may be able to provide direction. Best of luck
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I can only see her falling simply by trying to walk on a mattress by her bedside! They make thick rubber mats that could serve the same purpose.... if they are soft enough should she fall. Nursing homes used to use those with patients who would fall out of bed. Bed rails of course, and a hospital bed for sure. You would be surprised at what is available from Medicare... I sure was!
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Sounds to me like this patient is in need of a hospital bed. Discuss it with her doctor. The doctors office should have a supplier of durable medical equipment that they deal with (if not find a local one oneline),an RN in the office is usually responsible for being the go between. Getting all the paperwork required by Medicare or whatever the insurance is and thedoctor. Then get it to the supplier. It took a matter of a few weeks and a brand new motorized hospital bed, sidrails, mattress with a gel overlay were delivered. They know the procedure. For a year you pay a copay about $20 a month. When the year is over with the proper documentation the bed is yours. As the others have said with the side rails and the beepers they have if she moves off the mattress, I would also purchase a baby monitor so you can be awakened should she find a way out. Locking her in her room is a terrible idea. Scary and mean. Falling is unfortunately the beginning of a series of events that could end badly. Please speak with her doctor. I also think a mild dose of ativan for sleep could help.
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"Late" stages of Alzheimer's will not allow the person to walk, so your mother is not there yet, however, you do not want her falling down. Why is she getting up? Put pads on the bed and water proof undergarments on and side rails on her bed. You can get wrist wraps that loosely prevent her from going over side rails, but try to find out why she is getting up. You can try giving her melatonin at night which will allow her to sleep all night too. I put my mother on a mattress on the floor by our bed and she did not get up. I am such a light sleeper I would have known if she had tried to get up. Good luck!
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Medicare should pay for a hospital bed with rails. Also, you can buy rails online. The mattress by the bed is a good idea, I am doing this also. Perhaps the doctor could prescribe a mild sedative so she sleeps through the night.
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Was your concern about falling out of a bed or falling when walking ?
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What is the cause of falling ? weakness, inner-ear stability problem, stumbling,

MY ADW is now using a Rollator-walker in the house when she gets out of bed. She was diagnosed as being dehydrated at the hospital after a fall,

I have SECO alarms to let me know where she is walking.
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