Home Aging in Home Activities Dementia Care at Home: Ambulation and Fall Safety

Dementia Care at Home: Ambulation and Fall Safety

dementia care plan includes fall safety

  A dementia care  at home plan includes fall safety. Ambulation means to walk, or move about. ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) include the ability to ambulate, or walk. Walking is essential to most activities and it’s the single most important exercise for the promotion of good health. As with most ADLs, ambulating difficulties are not a concern in the early stage of dementia. But as dementia progresses, physical manifestations become more apparent and walking will likely require your assistance at some point.

A Dementia Care at Home Plan ….Ideas and tips

Increasingly, those with dementia need the assistance of an ambulatory device, such as a cane or walker, or the physical assistance of one or more caregivers. For proper care in regards to ambulation, consider these ADLs points:

  • Don’t try to discourage pacing or wandering; as long as their are safe and basic needs are met, wandering and pacing occupies their time and attempts to prevent it can provoke anxiety episodes
  • Daily activity is important, so assist as needed to participate
  • Those with dementia will not need much assistance with ambulation in the earlier stages, but reevaluate the need for assistance on an ongoing basis and provide help as needed
  • As dementia progresses, the person will move slower, more deliberately, and take short, shuffling steps, especially if he has Parkinson’s Disease; be patient and don’t rush him, as this will increase the risk of fallingdementia care at home
  • There will likely be an increased risk of falls, so evaluate for this and assist to ambulate as needed
  • Keep the environment safe; no throw rugs, quickly wipe up spills, keep the temperature comfortable, hallways clear, straight and clear path to the bathroom, etc.
  • Monitor condition of thier feet, as any blisters or other skin breakdown will cause pain, making walking more difficult and predisposing to falls
  • Be aware of any numbness to the lower legs and decreased sensation (such as with diabetes), which will make it more difficult to ambulate and increase the risk of falling

More on a Dementia Care  at Home Plan ….Ideas and tips

  • Those who use an ambulation aid, such as a cane or walker, are already at high risk of falls, since the use of such devices already assumes that the person is weaker than in times past, else using the device would not be necessary
  • Learn how to assist with ambulation; stand on the patient’s weaker side (if one side is weaker than the other) to provide better, more balanced support
  • Do not push the person to ambulate beyond his capability; this will only increase the risk of falling
  • Your family member,  in all likelihood will not always be compliant with use of assistive devices, so encourage the use of them, realizing that they will probably forget to use the device; cueing or reminding is ongoing
  • When walking and providing physical support, stand close, to the side, and slightly behind the person
  • THere are time, even in the middle stages of dementia that physical therapy may be appropriate

For more information on activity of daily livings

Series on Successful Dementia Home Care Tips 

Dementia Behavior Management Tips

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