In cases of dementia, there can be a high risk of stumbling and falling.
The patient’s ability to maintain their balance when they are about to fall is impaired. Many movements are performed at a significantly reduced pace, which makes it so much more difficult for people to maintain their balance and avoid falling.
Advice on how to prevent falls and injuries when falling.
- Calmly explain to the person what will happen when, for example, moving about.
- There is a marked risk of falling when a person changes their body position, such as when rising from a sitting to a standing position and vice versa. Allow the dementia patient time to get up slowly.
- Make sure that the lighting is as good as possible.
- Avoid pulling and lifting the patient. They may not understand what is happening.
- Suggest going for walks to keep active.
- Avoid shouting and rapid movements with quick turns that may cause the person’s balance control to fail.
- Secure the surroundings by removing loose cables and rugs that may get in the way and cause falls. Avoid slippery floors. Ensure that shoes are non-skid and that slippers have a heel.
- Avoid calling to the patient, and avoid rapid movements that make it easy for the person to lose their balance.
- Regular fall risk assessments must be carried out if the person with dementia has been prescribed painkilling, relaxant or blood pressure medication, or if the person is taking three or more medications.