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A Little Scared
KandiLynn
Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 8:22 PM
Joined: 1/20/2012
Posts: 9


My friend who has dementia has started falling. She has fallen 3 times within the last month. I am concerned about her falling all the time. Is this normal? Will she end up dying because she keeps falling and hurting herself? Any input on this would be appreciated. Thanks!
Stephanie Z
Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012 9:46 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4219


Hi Kandi, even with a lot more information (her age, level of functioning, physical problems etc.) no one can give you much advice about her falls beyond telling you to have her physician evaluate her problem.  Here are a few risk factors for falls: These came from the journal "American Family Physician" and this is what a physician would check her for:

Cognitive impairment

Reduced vision, including age-related changes (i.e., decline in visual acuity, decline in accommodative capacity, glare intolerance, altered depth perception, presbyopia [near vision], decreased night vision, decline in peripheral vision)

Difficulty rising from a chair (I'll add postural hypotension - low blood pressure from changing positions) 

Foot problems

Neurologic changes, including age-related changes (i.e., postural instability; slowed reaction time; diminished sensory awareness for light touch, vibration and temperature; decline of central integration of visual, vestibular and proprioceptive senses) I'll also add the possibility of small strokes. 

Decreased hearing, including age-related changes

  The full article is at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0401/p2159.html 

 

Until you can get her to a physician for evaluation she should not be walking around unsupervised, all throw rugs and obstacles to safe wandering should be removed. Check her shoes to be sure they fit well and are not worn enough to throw her balance off. She should be wearing comfortable sneakers

Make sure there is enough light in her environment and make sure she is eating enough so that low blood sugar is not a problem.

Hope this helps

Stephanie