My Mom is in assisted living. She falls at least 3 or 4 times a month and usually they call EMS and she goes to the ER. Since it is assisted living, they will not allow bed rails since this is considered a form of restraint. My Mom tries to go to the bathroom on her own without assistance, hence the falls.
She has many orthopedic problems. I’m wondering if she needs a higher level of care with all these falls. So far, she has not broken any bones or had any major injuries, but she is in the Emergency Room (ER) right now and I do not know the results. I am alone with my 2 year old granddaughter tonight, so I cannot go to the ER.
And honestly, it happens so much, I have just stopped going to the ER to sit with her all night. I just cannot physically do this anymore (all nighters in the ER). Especially since it happens so often. Just wondering if it might be time for a nursing home instead of assisted living. Her mental capacity if slipping too. Any thoughts?
Sounds like she needs a higher level of care. There are bed alarms/sensor pads (like this one) that may be beneficial. If you notice a change in her mental capacity this also affects her safety awareness.
Do most falls happen at night when she goes to the bathroom? Then maybe a toileting schedule would be beneficial. Is she on blood pressure meds which could cause hypotensive episodes when she gets up causing her to fall?
Long term placement with more supervision may be the course you should consider. You should also see if you can find out what techniques they employ to lift someone up after a fall. Prayers for her and you.
My dad was in assisted living, fell and broke his hip, after rehab went back to assisted living then fell and broke his arm, we decided to put him in the nursing home and that very week he fell there and busted his head. He had some bleeding of the brain but it stopped. Now he isn’t the same man, his mind used to be sharp but not anymore. The only thing I would tell you is hire a sitter… in a nursing home they keep them doped up.
My mom had the same issue in assisted living. I ended up staying with her which defeated the purpose of moving her there from staying in her home with her. Pushing her button for assistance to go the bathroom at night was hard to do and she was impatient waiting when she had to go.
Nights are understaffed, many falls. Moved her to a nursing center in 8 months as each fall resulted in head trauma. Assisted living is for folks who can basically care for themselves and mom could not.
There are many things that can be done. One is a change in her care plan that could pump your mom to next level of care and may cause an increase in the her monthly rent. Another option is to explore the possibilities of having a One on One caregiver that stays with her 24/7, some facilities offer the services but if not you can always hire someone from an agency or a private caregiver.
The last option are bed and mat alarms that will ring when she is trying to get out of bed but above all, check first and have a meeting with the assisted living coordinator to see what are your options.
I honestly don’t recommend the bed rails even if they are allowed because I’ve witnessed many accidents this rails can cause… any of your mothers extremities can get caught on these rails and she can get pretty hurt. Not to long ago I heard of a lady who’s neck got caught on the rails somehow and she died of asphyxia.
My father was falling a lot at his assisted living and now he has bed and seat alarms. They changed his alarm button to one that is more powerful so they can get the signal everytime. They also gave him a physical bell that he can ring too.
He can not go anywhere without assistance. So far he has not had a fall since this all has happened. He does not like it and is depressed because of it but he has broken ribs with his falls. We also got him some physical therapy where they concentrated on his balance. It helped. Medicare payed for it.
I don’t know about fall mats but bed rails and alarm pads are no longer allowed. I was at a nursing home one evening when most residents were asleep, an older lady got up from her wheelchair and tried to walk even though she has fallen in the past and injured herself. I asked why she didn’t have an alarm and was told it’s considered a restraint.
My mom had a bed rail at the head of her bed and the bottom. We got around the “restraint rule” since she needed the rails to help get out of bed and her doctor supported it. Or What about an assist pole? Strategically placed, it saves my Dad many times.
There are also alarmed bed mats they can purchase. If she starts to get up it will alarm staff. They really should get that for her. She’ll do the same thing at a nursing home. This facility needs to work more interventions for her!!!
I can relate. I moved my mom in with me 7 months ago. She’s 90 and legally blind. She’s never been an affectionate mother and there was never a closeness between her and her children. It’s hard because I feel at her beck and call all the time. No more social life for me cause she can’t be left alone for long periods of time.
I brought her here out of my love for my Dad who died over 30 years ago. Sometimes I wonder how my dad lived with this woman.You need to do what is best for you. I’d be researching care facilities in your area so you have a plan in place before she is discharged from hospital. I’ve been a geriatric nurse for 22years 18 of those specializing in Alzheimer’s Dementia so if you need any guidance regarding selecting placement just let me know
In assisted living you should be able to do what you want. My mother had her bed against the wall in assisted living & the maintenance man had an assist pole that he slid under the mattress on the other side. Buy one yourself & slide it in. It’s your bed, make it safe.
My mother recently moved into Extended Care as she declined after falling in the dining room. The aide mentioned they have short rails on the sides of her bed because longer ones are considered restraints. That’s a nursing home.
In assisted living, yes your mother isn’t calling for help overnight to use the bathroom, mine didn’t either. Can you get a toileting schedule going? Night checks? Does she use a walker inside? Raised toilet? In the Extended Care, they will do more scheduled checks & the bed will have an alarmed pad if she were to try & get up on her own.
Could you have a third party come in, meet your mom, check out the situation and create a care plan ( if possible )… perhaps VNA could recommend a referral… ( you’d have to pay for the visit ). How about a bedside commode for one.
It is unconscionable that this facility continues to “accept ” that these falls continue so often… this facility could be sued in my opinion as your mom is under their care, control and custody ( IMO ) and the facility is neglecting a change in her care needs.
I am sure they are keeping her solely for the purpose of keeping the “unit rented”. Can she have hired help in her unit? Could Alexa, call the desk? I have a hard time understanding even how her Medicare or insurance keeps paying for the ER visits.
My dad is in an assisted living facility and currently his level of care is on the low side. He gets assistance with bathing and not much more than that. But there are higher levels of care and it sounds like that’s what your mom needs. Has she been re-evaluated recently by the facility? Obviously needs change.
Also, my dad uses a urinal at night that he keeps right by his bed so all he has to do is swing his legs over and use the urinal until he gets up in the morning which probably helps prevents falls but I’m not sure if a female urinal is as easy to use as a male one. Can she have a portable toilet right next to her bed?
The assisted living should be helping you with solutions. As an RN senior advocate this amount of falling is totally unacceptable and the facility is responsible for their safety. Insist on a plan to prevent this. 30% of People over the age of 65 who break a hip die within 6 months. Raise hell with management or report them to whatever agency regulates them in your state.
What about a small bedrail? I have one for mom that slides under the mattress she uses to sit up with and as a guide to lean on to stand, it’s not full bedrails. That falling is BS, are they supposed to help or assist getting up? Do you have a contract of sorts you or she signed that said what their duties are? I’m not sure because my mom’s at home, but there are alarms too when someone starts to get up that you can put on the bed. I also have an inflatable lifting cushion on hand just in case she falls and needs to be lifted off of the floor.
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