How can my husband and I protect ourselves caregiving at home for someone who is an extreme fall risk?

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CG for 91 year old friend. She has been falling. In 4 months 3 times. H and then to R, she has A&D perfect health otherwise. This fall broke upper leg bone. Dr. Asked if we wanted it fixed. Strange question. He said do we want her to walk or not walk. Of course we wanted it fixed. She is in rehab now as of last night. We are wondering when she comes home legally how to protect ourselves. We cannot keep here down. She wants to be up all the time. She is lost in time in days gone bye. She is taking seroquel. We have asked for an evaluation of what is making her fall as of late. She dose great moving around. She says she just gets dizzy. We have a large room we converted for her to live in. A&D safe. Monitors 24/7 when she falls it is as she says a wrong turn and down she goes. She will not use her walker. I am home all the time but I watch my grand daughter who is two. Friends come in to help. She is in a beautiful room surround by photos and her keepsakes, there would be no nicer place for her to live out her life. Her funds are limited to go into something like this. Medicare only and her Social security. My husband is her POA. She does have her ducks all in order, mental POA and physically DPOA. So that makes us responsible. Please give advise.

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From what I have observed, it's rather common for people with certain kinds of dementia to fall a lot. Your profile says your mom has dementia. I'd check with her doctors to see if that is the cause.

When my LO got dementia, her BALANCE was so poor that she would fall backwards just standing in one place...and right next to her walker. It may be bad news, but, a walker won't always prevent them from falling. I've witnessed my LO let go of her walker and go straight back. She would have hit the floor, if I had not caught her. She has Vascular Dementia and we believe that causes her very poor balance. After multiple falls and fractures, she went to a wheelchair. That was a blessing in a way, because her falls drastically decreased. That's why the doctor asked if you want her to walk, I suppose. As long as they keep going, there's a good chance, they'll keep getting hurt.

You can get her an alarm safety belt that will alert when she tries to stand. And an alarm for her bed that will alert if she gets up. You'll have to be fast to get to her and assist her when she's moving around.

I'd be careful of friends trying to help with her, as they could hurt their back trying to pull on her. That goes for you and your husband as well.

I'd read a lot about what happens when there are multiple falls It may be something that it will be difficult to control, regardless of where she is living.
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Protect yourselves from what, exactly?

Put her walker directly in front of her when she's seated. Or place a heavy table in front of her chair so that she's boxed in until you can provide her with the walker, perhaps.
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CG4lostintime, as we age we tend to lose our balance a bit.

My Mom also had issues with being off balance. Eventually the doctor had her try the generic for Dramamine which is use for motion sickness but Mom found antihistamines worked better for her.

My Mom refused to use a walker, too, and even her cane at time... around her house she used the walls and furniture to help. One doctor suggested that my parents were falling because they were looking down through their bi-focal glasses, and the bottom part of the glasses was for reading, not walking which explained why my parents had problems with curbs and steps.

My Dad had one of those rolling walkers which had hand brakes, a seat, and a basket. My gosh, it was the best thing since sliced bread. It had 4 wheels which made it much easier to use then the 2 wheel type.

As for you being responsible if anything should happen, elders are going to fall, that is their job now. My Dad was always tumbling over. And my parents, who were in their 90's, still lived alone without any caregivers [my Mom refused], and since both were pretty clear minded for their age, I couldn't force them to do anything else.

One day my Mom had a serious fall and was taken to the ER, then into Rehab and then into long-term-care. No one quizzed me if my parents had caregivers, or if I lived with them or not.
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Many things could be causing the fall. No one here could diagnose that for you. She needs to see a neurologist. It could be TIA strokes which is what was happening to my mom when she had the exact same symptoms.

For any types of falls...even with caregivers standing right next to her she could still fall. I think your question is...how do you protect yourselves for being at fault if she falls? You won't be at fault as long as she has the proper medical care and 24/7 caregivers. Monitors are not enough. If she is prone to wandering, and you cannot afford 24/7 care at home, then its time for a facility.

Angel
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