Talking Point members and readers on supporting a person with dementia after they’ve had a fall.
‘These things happen – my wife has had a few falls while I’ve been right beside her. They can happen so unexpectedly that it’s impossible to prevent them.
‘My wife fell heavily onto her knee a few days ago and that night woke up screaming, as she felt pain and had no idea what was happening because she hadn’t any memory of any fall. Luckily, things have settled with my wife.
‘These things are tough to handle, and my heart is broken with it, but we can only do our best.’
A reader in London says,
‘After a fall, arrange an examination by a GP who can review any medication to ensure he/she is not suffering any side effects from drugs and examine to exclude infection.
‘Referral to a falls clinic may result in physiotherapy and assessment for any walking aids. A home visit from one of the falls team can check the residence to make sure there are no tripping hazards. Grab rails, raised toilet seat etc can be fitted where needed to reduce the chance of further falls.’
‘One or two falls last summer affected [my mum’s] mobility, but… she would still try, and even in bed at night it looked like she was peddling on a bike or doing the can-can. This started in her last year, but at least she stayed in bed.
‘It was hard, but I had to accept that because of the restlessness there was a high risk of a fall, even though I had eyes on her 24/7. I did restrict her access to certain rooms and moved a lot of furniture into the garage, my aim being to make it as trip-free as possible.’
‘At a minimum, speak to the GP as soon as possible to rule out any change in health that might be underlying the falls. I’d also speak to social worker and a community team [in case the person] may need extra support. Keep a diary of falls and when they happen.’
‘My mother's care home is just dementia care, not nursing, but they deal with lack of mobility, continence requirements etc. There are residents there who are moved with a hoist, others who need a carer to help them mobilise, and there seems to be no problem with that. My mother fell and broke her hip during the summer and they had her back within 10 days to help her regain her mobility.’
Amy in the US says,
‘The truth is that falls happen and, even with the best precautions and someone right there, they can't all be prevented. You could ask for a pressure mat or bed alarm.’