Dementia can affect a person’s mobility and this of course can increase the risk of falls. The person’s home can be adapted to be made safer. It’s worth contacting social services or the local Alzheimer’s Society office if you have one. They may be able to arrange for an occupational therapist to come in and recommend changes or adaptations that may be provided by social services. This could include items like a handrail for the stairs, a bath seat, a raised toilet seat, a shower stool and mobility aids like a walking frame. Resources vary depending on where you live, and you may have to wait for this service, so if you feel it’s time sensitive, then you can buy a variety of walking aids online. A commode might be a good idea if the person with dementia is prone to waking at night, as it will mean they don’t have to move very far to reach the toilet. Getting a small nightlight for the person with dementia may also be a good idea, so that they are less likely to fall over or get confused in the dark. That said, there is a risk that they may get up in the night and turn it off!

Alzheimer’s Society has a good factsheet on its website about how to keep the person safe at home, and it recommends the following to help prevent the risk of falls:

  • Check the house for potential hazards such as rugs, loose carpets, furniture in awkward places and objects on the floor
  • Encourage the person to exercise – this can improve strength and balance
  • Keep the person’s feet healthy – foot pain and long toenails can increase risk of falls. A regular visit to a podiatrist or chiropodist is a good idea. The person’s GP surgery may be able to recommend a local chiropodist
  • Check their eyesight – make sure the person has regular eye tests
  • Keep objects within easy reach – anything used regularly should be easy for the person to get to

Frequency of visits

Regular visits from you or other relatives or careworkers or healthcare professionals are important, as they will not only help keep the person safe but also keep them mentally stimulated, which can improve their mood and help slow down the symptoms of dementia. But it may be hard to visit frequently if you work full time and don’t live locally. My mother lived more than an hour away. I used to visit every weekend and occasionally one day in the week. This was the best I could manage given the demands of my busy job. But here’s the important point:



%d bloggers like this: