Preventing Falls for People with Dementia

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bigstock-Fall-5078139-300x203.jpgFall prevention is a concern for all older individuals, but it’s especially so for those with dementia. Falls can create significant disorientation in and of themselves, and the consequences of falling can also interfere with routine and make life more challenging for a person with dementia.

Fall Prevention Tips

Although there’s no way to guarantee a person with dementia will not fall, the following tips can help decrease the likelihood. (Many of these tips are also applicable for people without dementia, of course.)

Be well lit. When the home is properly lighted, it’s easier to see any objects which can be in the way and potentially cause a fall. This is especially true for people with dementia who are at a stage where correctly interpreting the data their eyes pick up can be challenging. The easier something is to see, the more likely it will be processed correctly.

Be uncluttered. Areas in which the loved one is likely to walk should be kept clear of toys, books, shoes, etc., — any clutter which could result in a trip or slip.

Use color to differentiate. Sometimes a person with dementia may have trouble separating two items that are the same color. Thus, it’s better if carpet is, say, blue, walls are brown, and the stairs are red, so that the loved one does not have trouble distinguishing where one ends and another begins.

Prevent nighttime wandering. Keep a glass of water, tissues, eyeglasses, etc., in a handy place near the bed so that if a person awakens during the night, they don’t have to wander to find these common items. Some people with dementia wander aimlessly during the night anyway, but sometimes making things “convenient” for them can help deter this.

Keep noise down. Too much noise can have an effect on a person’s balance, especially if they are sensitive to sound — as are many people with dementia. Keeping noise levels to a minimum can help decrease the chance of a fall and may also make a person with dementia less prone to irritation.

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