Friday, April 9, 2010

Plan B

Ever since Nana's fall two weeks ago, we've been terrified she'll fall again. Standard operating procedure: walk with her whenever she's up. Unfortunately this is easier said than done. Sure we can keep tabs on her during the daytime. We take turns checking up on her and walk her even short distances. So far so good!
Nights are not quite so simple. Nana's dementia now makes it impossible for her to remember to call us when she needs to use the bathroom during the night (and most other times). And once she's in the bathroom, she might not remember where she is. She's tried to lay down on the floor when she's done, thinking she's back in bed already which is clearly not ideal.
Now I don't mind getting up to help her, if only she'd wake me. We tried bells on the bed that were supposed to dingle as soon as moved. Didn't work. Wind chimes, that required less movement to wake me: same deal. We resorted to sleeping in shifts. Super Man would take the midnight to 4am run, then wake me to deal with 4am to 9am. After a few days we were both too exhausted to stay awake for our shifts and came dangerously close to falling down ourselves. There had to be a better way.
It was Super Man to the rescue again, with his brilliant idea to set up a motion sensor in Nana's room. Sitting right next to her bed it triggers an alarm next to my pillow as soon as she swings her legs out of bed. Brilliant!
Now all I have to do is make sure she doesn't end up hanging her arm out the side of the bed, like last night when she set the alarm off by mistake about 14 times. We are living and learning!

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