Hi I'm new, need advice on how to lift my mum when she falls

I’m new to the forum, so to begin - hello!

My mum aged 77 was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in January, she has a myriad of other medical problems!
She keeps falling over, (20+ times in last year) when this happens at night she is dead weight (she lives with me) and I cannot pick her up.

If she has a serious injury (many) I call an ambulance and they help me. If it’s not serious (no injuries) I just cannot lift her!
She has been drinking too much alcohol and this really doesn’t help, but she has agreed to cut down (not sure how long she will remember that promise). She gets aggressive if I try to stop her, or really upset. We think she has had Dementia for about 2+ years.

Btw - she falls with or without alcohol day and night - it’s not always alcohol related falls.

I just need to know if there’s a technique I can use to lift her without injuring myself, she’s only small, but so am I.

I am getting so depressed with it all!

Thanks for reading and for any advice.


Hi Julie
and welcome to the forum.

There is no easy technique for any one single person to lift a person safely on their own - especially if you are on the petite side ! You should always ring 999 for assistance. Ambulance staff are usually more than happy to help - they come in pairs and are trained to do it ! and, as a bonus, they will always check out the one who has fallen for any unseen injuries.

I had similar problems with my Mum who had Alzheimer’s; if she fell there was no way that I could lift her on my own so I always called for an ambulance. One paramedic told me he’d much rather be helping an elderly person get back on her feet that be called out to a drunk passed out in the street !

It might be worthwhile contacting Mum’s GP and asking for a referral to your local Falls Clinic and/or your local OT’s - at the very least her GP should be investigating the reasons for so many falls.

Hi - thanks so much for your reply.

If I so much as mention an ambulance she screams at me and says she would rather kill herself. Obviously if there is an injury that needs attention I do call an ambulance.

Last nights fall - for example - left her with a fat lip and bloody nose.

You are right of course, she could have injuries I cannot see, I’m just so tired myself. I am working from home at the moment so I am with her so much it’s exhausting!!

I’m still not that clear about the stages of this Dementia? I have no idea where she’s at and trying to talk to doctors has been so difficult through COVID. She point blank refuses to talk to a doctor and again gets so angry if I so much as mention it.

Ah…so difficult!

Thank you for your sound advice - I think I just needed a rant as well!! I got angry with her last night - then felt terrible!! Couldn’t sleep through guilt at getting angry - then she wakes up and doesn’t even remember her fall or my struggles and just asks how she got a fat lip!?!

Thank you again

DON’T lift her. Too many carers have serious back problems.

Call the ambulance every time, don’t tell her, just do it. If she doesn’t want them to come, then she needs to reduce her drinking.

The greatest benefit of calling the ambulance is something you may not be aware of. They send a report to the GP, and multiple calls will basically get the GP to act. You may ask for help, but the ambulance service has far more clout than you.

What, if anything, is being done to help?
Do you have Power of Attorney?
How old is mum?
Does she own or rent her home?
Is she currently getting Attendance Allowance?
Did you know that people with dementia are EXEMPT from Council Tax due to “severe mental impairment”. This can be backdated!!

Don’t feel guilty about being angry, it’s your body telling you that the current situation CANNOT CONTINUE.

Thanks for reply.

Yes, that’s what I will do call an ambulance every time, what you say makes sense!

I have had occupational therapists out and the house has had some modifications. Extra stair rail, shower chair, hand rail by toilet, easy armchair to get on and off (she doesn’t use it - too hard)

She is 77 - had major heart attack 10 tears ago - stents - diabetes type 2 - heart disease (I moved in with her 10 years ago and have been her main carer since then - hence why I am so tired of it all)

No power of attorney - but I have access to her money (she doesn’t have much) I am also sole beneficiary in her will which has been done professionally.

She owns her own house.

I applied and she now gets full rate attendance allowance - I also applied for a blue badge which she has now.

I’m not sure about her council tax? Will check that?

I think she had an episode last night as she was shouting in her room to someone shortly before the fall and was completely vacant in the eyes (staring wide eyed in fear at nothing).

Thanks again for good advice.

(TBH just talking is helping!)

If you haven’t already done so check out the Alzheimer’s website (it covers all forms of dementia not just Alzheimer’s) - they have a wealth of information, plus support from local branches (that’s for you, not her !).

Also check if you have Admiral Nurses available in your area - another very good source of support for you.

I got angry with her last night - then felt terrible!! Couldn’t sleep through guilt at getting angry - then she wakes up and doesn’t even remember her fall or my struggles and just asks how she got a fat lip!?!

Been there, done that and got a few t-shirts along the way :unamused: Just remind yourself that you are only human - you are not Superwoman, you’re entitled to get angry now and then; and ditch the guilt - replace the word “guilt” with the word “sad”; sad that this terrible disease is slowly robbing you of your Mum - you have nothing to feel guilty about you have, and are, doing your very best for your Mum and you should be proud of that.

To claim the exemption from the Council, just give them a ring and ask for a form. They then ask for details of the GP to confirm that the patient has dementia, then they should give you a REFUND right back to when the dementia first became apparent. I have heard of one person getting back £8,000!!

I would suggest that you keep a brief diary of anything out of the ordinary mum is doing.
Does mum have over £23,000 in savings (Yes/No)
How old are you?
Once you reach the age of 60 then the value of mum’s house would not be taken into consideration by Social Services if she needed residential care.
You might have a right to stay, as it’s your home, but I can’t promise.
Also find out about “NHS Continuing Healthcare” which would entitle mum to have free residential care, but it’s a postcode lottery.
Start looking round the EMI (Elderly Mentally Infirm) care homes locally, work out where you would like mum to go when (not if) she needs residential care. Good homes have waiting lists. Look at the Care Quality Commission website for reviews.
From now on focus on what mum NEEDS, not what you WANT, which is obviously a fit and well mum.
Now for a difficult suggestion. Google “Signs of Dying”. I’m NOT saying mum is dying, but obviously she is ageing fast now, and the body is slowly but surely going downhill. You will find some really good articles that explain that people aren’t going downhill because they aren’t eating proper meals. They are not eating because the digestion can’t cope with a proper meal, and explain in more detail.
The information I found helped me when my mum was ill, and I’m sure it will help you too.

Wow - thanks! Feels good in a weird way to talk to people who know what my mum is going through - and me!

I have read a million websites - I think I get confused because in the beginning I expected a clear answer to my questions - it soon became very clear there is no clear answer to any questions because everyone is so different. Just when I thought I knew the answer - another website contradicted it or confused me again.

One may say 7 stages - another 4 stages - and so on? I think she is moderate - whatever that means, whatever stage that is?

I did actually ring the Admiral Nurses some time back - we have local services. Tbh - they were not very helpful and sort of steered me in a different direction for some reason (can’t even remember specifically why I rang them now). It put me off!

The night falls are the worst thing at the moment! Never knowing which night, what time, listening for every bump in the night, how much damage done this time, getting her off the floor, to the toilet, hospital job or can I get away with just putting her back to bed (pleeease), etc etc

Hospital visits are usually always about a week long!! So draining…

Sad ----- not guilt I will try to remember that ------ thank you so much

I will contact the council about that - very helpful. No she doesn’t have that much money and I am 56! I think I do have the right to stay in the home as my brother has dealt with all that, he’s in that field and the only person I can turn to for help.

I’m not quite ready to relinquish her to a home, but my brother is as he is getting worried about me and my quality of life. And worried about her safety!

My husband died of cancer so I sort of know the signs of dying - well actually I do - and believe me I watch all the time! It is terrifying!!! The last bit especially - I never put him in a hospice either - I cared for him until his dying breath in our bed.

Some really good advice thank you so much!

I am just so tired of being a carer for the people I truly love and so tired of the people I truly love needing a carer and dying!!! :frowning:

Thank you all! Very useful and supportive help just when I am hitting the floor myself!

Given the number of falls Mum should have been referred to the falls clinic at your local hospital.

The above is an overview but no necessary your location. But you can see what should now be happening.

There are lifting cushions which are expensive bit of equipment. As already stated It’s best to call an ambulance and have the calls registered.

Well thanks once again! She has never had any kind of assessment like this? Another useful piece of information - that’s great! I will speak to her doctor about this. The last funny turn/episode she had (before last night) her blood pressure was super low - this was in lock down and doctor rang me back and they took her off BP meds.

I so want that chair!!! Yes really expensive… :astonished: …ambulance it is for now then.

Many thanks for everything - so glad I came on here. :slight_smile:

No one wants residential care, but sometimes it becomes the only option left.
Good homes have waiting lists, and sometimes also offer respite care, so you need to look at them well in advance, because mum will muddle along up to a point, and then something happens which will be the life changing moment when she needs it, immediately!
I had the best mum in law in the world, but sadly she developed dementia. Father in law found it very difficult, mainly because he was used to being waited on!!! I urged him to look at local homes, one was half a mile away, the other two miles away, but he steadfastly refused to consider the idea. Then she had a fall, and needed a skin graft in hospital. They promised to keep her in until after Christmas, but the weather changed, older people were breaking limbs, and they decided without consultation to discharge her just before Christmas!! Her condition had deteriorated in hospital, she didn’t know who her husband was, where she was (her home of almost 50 years, so the following day she needed an emergency bed. Both the local homes were full, and so she was sent to a home 14 miles away where she spent the rest of her life, causing us huge headaches in the process. If she was known to either of the local homes, she might have been admitted to one of them.
Don’t let this happen to you. Look at the homes now, decide which one you like most, which Social Services can fund if neccessary. Talk to the Matron/Manager, seek their advice, invite them to meet mum (so they can do their own assessment). You don’t know what’s available locally until you ask!

Hello Julie and welcome

My mum had many falls especially in 2016 and had a pacemaker fitted the following year. I noticed your mother has suffered badly with her heart so I think that’s probably been looked into.

Mum suffered from dehydration a lot because she’d only really drink quite small amounts of tea. I remember on one occasion in late 2016 the really excellent paramedic could barely find a vein into which he could inject the water. If your mum drinks alcohol she might be dehydrated.

Now my mum has been prescribed a low dosage of the antiepileptic Epilim Chrono because it’s believed she might suffer from seizures and that they have caused her falls.

One thing I have noticed during her latest two collapses is that the house seems to be very warm. Of course mum prefers this. She recovered well when I put a cold wet face cloth on her forehead the last time.

Best wishes, David