While taking care of your parent with dementia at home, you are concerned that they may get up in the middle of the night and hurt themselves falling. To prevent injuries and let you and your family sleep a little easier, take steps to avoid this scenario.
Use Bed Rails
Bed rails will keep your loved one from being able to get out of bed at night. If possible, order a hospital bed that has them already attached from their home care service.
If you do not have room for a hospital bed, ask about rails that can be installed on your parent's bed. They can be ordered in several different sizes, based on the measurements you provide to the company.
Every time you leave your loved one in bed at night, get into the habit of raising the rails. If you are concerned about them hitting their head or getting an arm or leg trapped inside the rails, cover them with a thick blanket. Use duct tape to secure them to the rail. This will close the openings and pad the hard surfaces.
Create A Pillow Barrier
If you are unable to use bed rails, you can create your own barrier using pillows. After making sure that your loved one is comfortable, place pillows around them longways the entire length of their body. Do this on both sides. This will make it difficult for them to roll out or get out of bed.
As an alternative, you can also create a pillowy barrier using comforters and duct tape. Fold the comforter in half and roll it up tightly. Tape the ends first to secure it, then wrap the duct tape around the roll every foot. Make two of these and place them on either side of your parent at night.
Use A Bed Alarm
Your loved one may still be able to get past any barrier methods you put up. After they have done this a couple of times, you are worried that they could still get out of bed and fall, making you want to check on them every hour at night.
If they are still able to get up out of bed and you need to get caught up on your sleep, ask your home care service about a bed alarm. This alarm has a sensor that is put under your parent's back, detecting their presence.
Whenever your loved one tries to get up, the pressure is released off of the sensor and a high-pitched alarm will sound. This alerts you that they are trying to get up so that you can calm them down and get them back into the safety of their bed.
Keep Watch At Night
After an especially bad day for your parent, they may be more confused. This increases the likelihood that they may try to get up and wander around at night. On these nights, you may want to take turns with other family members and sit up with them.
If you are by yourself, talk to your parent's home care provider about the possibility of having a sitter come in for part of the night. This can give you a chance to rest without worrying about your parent being alone.
As your parent's dementia becomes worse, you will have to be more vigilant about preventing falls at night. Talk to the home care nurse or aide about other ways you can prevent them from falling, not only at night but also during the day. You may need to enlist the service's help more as time passes so that you can continue to provide the best care possible for your loved one at home.
For more information, go to http://comforcare.com.