Getting Dad up after falls

My Dad has advanced dementia and is generally unsteady on his feet. He can only use a zimmer when supervised as there are steps to the toilet and he has tried to use it down the steps before. Also, he often goes in the night, or wanders elsewhere and won’t use a zimmer unless it is put in front of him.
He’s had a few falls and tried to get up himself sometimes putting himself in more danger or pushing in the wrong direction for people to help him and won’t listen to anything we tell him. We don’t seem to be able to get any advice on how we’re supposed to deal with this. Can anyone suggest anything, or point me in the direction of where we can get help?


If he falls, don’t help him up. Call for an ambulance, they are skilled and used to helping people up and can check him over at the same time. This will prevent him and those helping him from being injured.

Does he have a commode in his bedroom to use at night?


Do not attempt to lift him yourself - call an ambulance - they are well used to dealing with events such as this and will usually notify the appropriate GP which should get things moving in the right direction for further help/diagnosis.

If a number of falls are reported / registered. Usually there is a call from the falls clinic.

The problem is that he will try to get up himself and can put himself at more risk. The last fall he had he decided to shuffle to the top of the stairs, possible because he thought he could use the upright from the banister to pull himself up or because he thought having his feet down one step would help. But because his balance isn’t good that would put him in danger. I told him him in numerous ways that he was going the wrong way, tried to get him to cooperate with me, but he just ignored me. In the end I had to bodily drag him away and got him sitting on the first of two steps that are separate, then onto the other. He got up from there. I happen to be strong enough to do that but it is not idea.

So waiting for the ambulance isn’t an option because he won’t do that.

He did go to the falls clinic years back. They gave him some help but I don’t know what they can do currently. The medical profession hasn’t been able to diagnose what is causing him to fall, I think it is just that his co-ordination and reactions are going. There isn’t a cure for that. We have hand rails everywhere feasible.

Maybe a don’t move instruction might help.

Not recommending just to illustrate what I am highlighting as a possible option.

The main benefit of this kit is its ability to play voice recorded voice prompts by remote control transmitter. This is particularly useful to remind or warn a person with dementia to events such as attempting to leave the home. Create reminders such as washing hands when using the W/C or food and drink reminders when approaching the kitchen. The alarm receiver has 3 channels with individual message recording for each channel.

It’s still important an ambulance is called. This is just an aid to try and stop Dad moving after a fall.

However, if Dad is unable to listen and unable to follow the instruction.

You would need to do your research.

Yes, a voice coming from no-where would just confuse him. If he isn’t going to listen to family telling him what to do or what not to do in various ways with physical cues and physical encouragement, then an alarm thing won’t help. Although I’d not seen them before, I’m sure they’ll be useful for some people.

I forgot to address something from one of the earlier posts. We’ve tried to get him to use a commode, he won’t. The problem is that he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with him. Even when he has actually fallen and is trying to get up again, he isn’t aware that he has a problem with falling.

His dementia is now very serious, he is clearly incapable of understanding most things now/
You most certainly should not be dragging him anywhere. Something has to change.
Ask Social Services for an URGENT OT visit.

Social Services are well aware of the situation. We also had someone from the rehab team visit when he came out of hospital a couple of months back. The only advice we get is to call an ambulance if he falls, when we tell them he tries to get up himself, they don’t seem to have a response. It is like the set of procedures they have don’t account for people with dementia having their own ideas and being wilful.

It’s not really a matter of being “wilful” but not being able to remember because that part of the brain isn’t functioning.
What was dad in hospital for?
Was this happening there?
Were you told?

Keep a diary of how often this is happening. How much can dad now do for himself, feeding, dressing? talking? washing?
Are you aware of NHS Continuing Healthcare?
How many hours care a week does he currently have from Social Services?
Is he getting Attendance Allowance?

When he keeps doing something when you are telling him he is putting himself in danger and telling him not to do it, giving physical cues as well, that is not about remembering.
The hospital visit wasn’t related to his falls, we know little about his stay there (only a couple of days) as their records didn’t say my Mum had power of attorney so she wasn’t being told anything (we’ve fixed that now). We know he had bad constipation which was cleared and he was sent home with laxatives. This is another issue, we had no idea there was a problem because short of actually watching him on the toilet we have no way of knowing. He wasn’t reporting any discomfort.
Until he was in respite he was getting a couple of visits weekdays from carers to change him. He is on the higher level of AA.
He can’t dress himself, he can eat OK as long as meat is cut up, not much chewing involved etc. Needs to be washed, doesn’t even wash his hands when he goes to the toilet. Does communicate needs sometimes but mostly doesn’t even know his own needs, (won’t know he is hurt if he has fallen for instance).

I’d never heard about NHS Continuing care before. Looking at the checklist, it seems he would qualify. It may be that he was assessed in hospital but if they asked him the questions they’d get the wrong answers. I’d need to check with my Mum if this is something she knows about as she would have have been the one who should have been consulted if there was an assessment.

It is a difficult situation. I had the nicest kindest mum in law, it was so sad seeing her confused. Even worse watching my lovely sister in law with the same problem develop whilst still in her sixties! Remember that the more help you can get in the family home, the longer dad can be able to live there.

It’s very much harder to qualify for CHC than you might think. Social Services are not your friends: it’s unlikely that your Mum knew anything about the assessment - that’s how they work - they lie and cheat and do anything else possible to save their employers money.