Learning everything you can about Alzheimers fall prevention, it is the first step to keep your family member with Alzheimer's Disease safe.
People with this disease are at a high risk for falling. As the disease progresses the higher their risk becomes. They will have difficulty walking. Their sense of balance will deteriorate. They will have difficulty maneuvering around furniture or other obstacles. Transferring from bed to chair or just standing up from a chair will become more difficult as time goes on.
There are many things that can be done in the home to help prevent falls. I have worked in Long Term Care for many years. One of my job requirements is to come up with different ways to keep people from falling. I will share all of these ideas with you.
Look at your house through the eyes of an outsider. Are there sharp edges on tables? Is there furniture that moves when leaned on? Are all walkways clear? Is there adequate lighting? Are all rugs removed? Is there anything on the floor they could trip over? Do you have pets running around? All of these things contribute to an increased risk for falls.
Once you have eliminated all the household fall risk contributors, then you need to look at your family member. Do they have non-skid shoes? Tennis shoes are a good choice or rubber soled house slippers. Never let them wander around with just socks on. Socks will slide on wood or linoleum floors. Make sure that pant legs or nightgowns are not too long.
If your family member has reached the stage where they are no longer able to walk on their own, yet they still try to get up and walk there are measures you can take to help keep them safe. Make sure items they may need are within arm's reach. Sometimes sitting them at a table with things to keep them occupied will help instead of a chair in front of a television. For some people a recliner in the laid back position will keep them from trying to get up.
There are several different alarms to help prevent Alzheimers falls, on the market. There are alarms which clip to their clothes and when they stand up the alarm separates and will sound. I prefer the sensor mat alarm. It is a pad which goes on the chair and when they start to stand it alarms. As soon as their bottom lifts up it will alarm, some people will immediately sit back down. There is an alarm just like this one for the bed also. They are very sensitive. As soon as someone tries to get up out of bed it will alarm. Many falls happen during the night when they get up on their own.
Some people with Alzheimer's Disease will have altered visual perception. I have seen people who would not walk on black floors, thinking it was a hole. Stairs can very tricky for them also. Make sure all stairways have rails on both sides if possible and white or bright yellow tape on the stairs will help them know where the edge of the stair is.
Alzheimers fall prevention techniques are not difficult or expensive to implement. The most important thing is to understand they are at a high risk for falls and your best intervention is prevention!
Do you need help keeping track of appointments, medicines, vital signs, weights, meals, bowels, and behaviors?
Do you know what stage of Alzheimer's Disease your loved one is in?
Do you know what to watch for next?
Do you have sitters coming in and need to have a better system to help them provide the best care?
Does your loved one have behaviors that you should be tracking?
Do you have all of the information written down you need when you go to your doctor visits to help them understand what needs you may have?
The Caregivers Notebook will help you organize and document the care needed in your home and provide clear direction to those who help you care for your loved one.