Why are those living with dementia at a higher risk for falling?

Help Elderly Stand

People who are living with dementia have a greater risk of falling because they are more likely to experience problems with mobility, balance, and muscle weakness. The following are just a few of the contributing factors which also lead to falls:

  • Limited capacity for new learning
    • Don’t understand why they had a previous fall, so it is difficult to recognize and avoid future risks.
  • Changes in mobility status
    • It is hard to learn and adapt to new methods as status declines, so it is very challenging to train someone who is living with moderate to severe dementia to use a new walker or practice new transfer techniques from sitting to standing.
  • Safety awareness
    • Those living with dementia do not realize they should not be mobile without support, and they cannot dress themselves and go to the toilet without assistance. These activities increase their risk of falling.

As dementia progresses, vision becomes impaired and there are issues with depth perception and even hallucinations. People also lose awareness of the position and movement of their body; their state of confusion and agitation fluctuates; and there are communication difficulties. One or a combination of these issues leads to an increased risk of falling.

Success Stories: Preventing Falls with AI-Enabled Videos

With the proper professional assistance, you can mitigate the risks of falling. For instance, a resident was seen falling while transferring from wheelchair to bed in a community which uses SafelyYou’s AI-enabled technology to detect falls The care staff learned why the fall happened after watching a video replay and intervened by adding an anti-rollback system to wheelchair and referring the resident to therapy. Since these steps were taken, there were no falls for over 10 weeks.

In another community, a resident’s daughter is seen in video transferring her father from his wheelchair to the bed. Her lack of training ended up causing her father to fall to the ground. The staff used the video to demonstrate to the daughter that she needs to request assistance prior to a transfer. They were also able to use that opportunity to encourage the daughter to assist in de-cluttering her father’s room to further remove potential hazards.