Care home fall concerns

Hello, my mother has Parkinsons and Parkinson’s dementia and we recently tried live-in care, but after trying two separate carers it didn’t work out. Mainly because they found it hard to deal with my mother’s balance problems, needing to shadow her all the time.

I have thought about maybe now is the time for a care home, however, after thinking about it a lot, I now don’t know how this is going to solve anything. When my mother doesnt have Parkinsons symptoms, she is full of energy at times, and very fit. But is always in danger of falling, lunging backwards etc, which happens almost every day.

I’ve read that falls are more likely in a care home than at home, and more serious, and having viewed lots online, the amount of objects, table edges, etc etc that my mother could go flying into with high energy, alarms me. And what about when she is in her bedroom? Someone may take her to bed for a lie down and she’s immobile, but 15 mins later symptoms have left, and she could jump out of bed unsupervised and end up having a nasty accident. I was for the idea originally, but due to her exceptionally fluctuating mobility problems I don’t think she would last long before having a worse injury than at home. And she’s too mobile to be in a hospital permanently.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad as I’m now thinking, but I don’t know what the answer is anymore, any advice would be much appreciated.

You have explored every other option, including live in carers, so I’m afraid residential care is the only remaining option.
Will she be self funding, or funded by Social Services?

She will be self funding with the sale of the house. The safest option would be two live-in carers but obviously too costly.

I was really getting used to the idea of a care home but can’t believe it now means I will be putting her somewhere more dangerous. I don’t have any other concerns about care homes other than this. She would be fortunate enough to afford a good one, but I can’t see how this severe balance problem will mean she’s safer.

My late husband was in a nursing home sadly. His consultant said it was unsafe for him to be allowed home. It was to be honest. A care or nursing home have staff 24/7. A couple of the residents were prone to falls so had what they call one to one. The residents were never on their own. Would that be a possibility?

Yes definitely, if I knew she was never left alone much (or at all, to be honest) I’d feel much more at ease. I guess I’ll need to enquire more about it all with the homes, but thanks you’ve reassured me somewhat.
Sorry for your loss.


just a suggestion - would she be better with 24/7 care at home, but instead of one person living in, people caring for her in shifts of a fixed time. This way they wouldn’t be shadowing her all day every day - just while on shift until the next carer arrived and they would go home. Just a thought, until she is less mobile and a care home therefore less of a risk.


Hi Melly,

Yeah that would be ideal but it’s the cost that would be the problem. Social services already raised her direct payment amount by a lot recently, but is only enough to pay for one full time live-in carer. If money wasn’t a problem then 2 live in carers taking turns would work well and there’s plenty of space but I don’t think she will get anymore funding for that. Others coming in taking shifts would be quite costly too I’d imagine.

Hi George,
I can’t see social care paying for two live in carers, either.

Is the live in carer paid by the hour?


In your situation, if mum has over £23,000 in savings, then use that up on home carers first, and then remortgage the house, if she wants to stay there.
However, if the danger of falls is great, do investigate NHS Continuing Healthcare, which would give FREE care. It’s very much a postcode lottery, but if she doesn’t get it the first time, then that first assessment would be useful later when there is a second or third one, to show how much deterioration there has been.

Hi Melly, a live in carer through an agency was costing £895 per week so it was based on weekly rates not hourly.

Hi, she doesn’t have savings over £23,000, in fact she is over drawn most of the time. She already owes £59,000 on equity that she took out 5 years ago. I have calculated that after that is paid on the sale of the house at current market prices, she would still have enough left to pay for a decent nursing home for the first 2 years that they require proof for.

As for nhs continuing care, she lives in Scotland so that’s not applicable here unfortunately. As far as I’m aware, we’ve maxed out her available help from social care with her direct payment amount

I am not familiar with Scottish rules, however surely Social Services should be meeting her needs?
Have her falls been investigated, to see if there is any solution available?

Her falls have been investigated many times, we’ve had OT’s, physios come round and she has walking aids, but for example due to her fitness when she is able to walk she just lifts the zimmer off the floor while she’s walking.

Have been in close contact with the social worker and we had thought a live-in carer would meet her needs, but not so. She also gets delirium flare ups from suspected UTI’s which we can’t get to the bottom of, and a lot of the time when she’s like this she isn’t careful and wobbles all over the place. We’re in limbo right now as I’m the only one looking after her while we decide the way forward.

Sadly in my very humble opinion it seems a care or nursing home is the way forward .Staff will spot the signs of UTI and get a test done quickly. I don’t say this lightly as understand the emotions, concerns about the decision .Very hard and scary.

Yes, it is hard. To be honest, I’ve been caring for my mum for about 12 years and I’m 41 now, I’ve never lived my own life and there is a sense of freedom that I may get, also knowing that she would be in good hands, I could finally live my own life… But knowing that I’d lose my mum into a home, lose the family home itself, and likely need to give our adrobale cat away, who we are both so close to…And knowing that ultimately I am the one who is going to need to decide to break this close but small family up, I fear will break me. I fear I will regret it further down the line wishing I had done something more to keep it all together. I also know I can’t let those feelings get in the way of doing the right thing if that’s where she needs to go.

Take legal advice about “losing the family home”. In England, there are exceptions to the rules, especially if a long time resident would be made homeless.