Mom's legs won't hold her up but she still tries to walk and falls. How can I prevent this?

4 answers | Last updated: Sep 16, 2016
Jennys girl asked...

Mom has dementia and her legs no longer will hold her up for any length of time. The Doc said to put away the walker and use a wheelchair, but Mom cannot remember she can't walk and still tries and then she falls. How can I keep her from trying to get up and walking before she falls again and really hurts herself? This goes on all day everyday...I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do...



Community Answers

Sopher's mom answered...

I have a similar problem with my husband. He has been in physical therapy many times but doesn't want to do his exercises or follow their instructions for using his walker and wheelchair safely. He too has many falls during the day. It is impossible to be "right there" to help him each time he wants to move. I can relate to the feeling of being "at wits end"! And, a nurse was telling me she sees lots of shoulder separations and backaches in caregivers who are continually haveing to help someone up from a fall. Have you tried seating your Mom, in her wheelchair, at a kitchen or dining room table, or getting one of those tray tables to fit across her chair? Maybe her doctor would refer you to an occupational or physical therapist to assess if it would be safe to use something like that. Good luck, I hope we hear from others. . .


M parish nurse answered...

There are such devices such as bed alarms and chair pad alarms that could warn you when your loved one is moving around. Look under home medical supplies for motion alarms. Barb.


Dbordner answered...

My mother has alzheimers and as a family with the help of caretakers periodically we take care of her ourselves at home. It is difficult and heart wrenching often. Mom has good and bad days.....sometimes very steady, strong and pretty clear considering. ther days she is the exact opposite.......distraction works well for us when she is not as strong and steady as she wants to be. We also, in a very gentle and loving tone and manner....remind her that her body just can't always do what she would like. I know they don't "remember" I know they don't understand and are confused, but most of all I think they are afraid and sometimes embarrassed.Al we can do is let them they know they are loved, they are not alone and we are here for them. As for us as caretakers......just keep doing the best that we can , share information and lend one another compassion and support. So happy I found all of you....Thank you.


Ca-claire answered...

I remember way back in the mid '70s when I worked as a volunteer at a nursing home, there were multiple options to keep someone in bed. One was a chair that had a tray, and a band that went from the tray between their legs to the bottom of the seat to make sure they could not slide out. The other option is a bit gentler. It's like a vest, but the opening is in the back, and it has very long, strong ties coming off from it, which you cross at their back, then tie around the back of the wheelchair with a knot that they cannot reach around and untie. I'm unsure if these are used anymore, as there is something about 'rights' in CA, which means you cannot restrain someone, even if it is to prevent them from hurting themselves. Best wishes.....