Falling out of bed in a memory care facility

Posted by FWW @fwentz, Sep 17 8:08pm

My wife has been in a memory care facility for 4 1/2 weeks and has fallen out of bed 4 times, twice hurting her head (never seriously as far as we know). At home before she was admitted to the memory care facility she never wandered or wanted to get out of bed by herself. I put a chair back at the side of the bed so that she could sense that the edge of the bed was close.

She is in the very late part of the middle stage or in the early part of last stage of Alzheimer's disease. She was diagnosed in 2012 and I have been able to care for her (with lots of help) until recently. I'm 81 years old, she's 79, and I was beginning to be concerned about one of us being injured if she lost her balance while I was walking with her or transferring her.

I would like the facility to use restraints of some sort but they claim they cannot because the laws in the state of Washington require a licensed nurse in the facility 24 hours a day and they do not have one on the night shift.

Her most serious fall was last night. The facility director today told me they will work with the maintenance director to see if they can relocate the Quiet Care system so that it better alerts staff whenever she moves in bed. My daughter has said we might consider putting a mattress next to the bed or having her sleep on a mattress on the floor.

I believe she is in the best facility in our part of the state but I am going to explore some other nearby facilities further than I have earlier.

I'd like to see some brainstorming of some ideas for how to keep her safe. Thanks for your help.

Liked by kirstenhw

@fwentz

They don't use bed mats "because they are tripping hazards…." They would not allow a rolled up blanket or bath towel because "those aren't firm enough". (It seems like they keep telling me what WON'T work rather than telling me what WILL work!

Someone suggested to me that I should tell the director "Judy enjoys having a pillow next to her side when she sleeps. I'd like to bring a body pillow for her to have next to her. Can we do that?" The idea was, if she enjoys it, it must not be a restraint against her will. And the director agreed! It's been in place for about a week and so far, no more falls!

They would also allow a "pool noodle" under the bottom sheet. It's about a 4" round hard foam about 4' long.

In the meantime, my daughter and I have found a better place for Judy and they will have an opening later this month. And we have other temporary alternatives if we need to move her sooner. Right now we think she is safe and we're keeping our fingers crossed.

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Thank you for the update – glad you found a working solution, and thanks fot the tip about the pool noodle – I'll try to remember it.
I hope the new place will be better at working with your loving, involved family.
Sue

Liked by virginianaeve

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@virginianaeve

Yay! I love your persistence. Very very creative! Good job. Virginia Naeve

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Thank you, Virginia!

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