Alternative to nurse call button

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by WWSD, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. WWSD

    WWSD New member

    Sep 9, 2018
    3
    Hi

    My MIL has had Dementia for the past 7 years and over time it had gradually got worse. The final straw came when she had 3 falls in 2 weeks. She had a call pendant but had no idea what it was for. After hospital stays and the usual social services involvement, she is now in a nursing home. She has no idea again about the little nurse call button is for and doesn't use it. Has anyone got any alternatives to how she can call the nurse if she needs assistance. I have thought of rewiring the call button so that it is a big red button that sits on her table. Like what they hit in Ninja Warrior. Would that work? We are trying everything. She has hourly checks in the night and 4 hourly checks during the day. Any suggestions welcome.
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,898
    Female
    Scotland
    The problem isn't the button but the dementia. My husband was lying on his back on our landing unable to get up but didn't call me who was only yards away in my bedroom He simply couldn't work out what to do next even though he had hurt himself.
     
  3. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    6,092
    Male
    Bristol
    Hullo and welcome to TP, WWSD. Sorry your mum is now getting worse, but hopefully the checks she will have in the nursing home will mean she rarely needs to summon help anyway. I think Marion is right, even a big red button may not be seen or recognised.
     
  4. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,859
    Female
    I agree with Marion, it isn't the size/location of the button which is a problem, the dementia means she doesn't know what to do. My mother has a carer-call button by her bed but I can guarantee she would never use it. After she had a fall she was put on hourly checks, and she is still mobile so she also has a pressure mat so they know if she's got out of bed/out of her chair and can check on her.
     
  5. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,086
    Yorkshire
    hi @WWSD
    a warm welcome from me too
    as Sirena mentions, my dad has a couple of pressure mats in his room so that staff know if he is doing anything other than sitting peacefully in his chair - if he puts any pressure on the mat there's an alert and the staff go immediately to his room to check on him
     
  6. WWSD

    WWSD New member

    Sep 9, 2018
    3
    Thanks for the replies.

    Turns out this evening that my MIL has used her hospital table to walk down the corridor of the nursing home despite the fact she can not walk very well. There have been a number of issues which need addressing and this has been the last straw.

    Can anyone advise me on the patient to staff ratio as it seems the nursing home seems under staffed.

    Again, thanks for the help.
     
  7. YorkshireLass

    YorkshireLass Registered User

    Feb 15, 2017
    200
    Female
    Ilkley
    Hi, I struggle to work out the staffing ratios. My mum is in a residential care home where most of the residents have dementia. I regularly see residents walking with hospital tables instead of their zimmer frame because they have forgotten they have one. My mum isn't able to use a call button and most of the time she has no idea where she is or what is happening around her, To add to it all she is blind. Only being checked every 4 hours seems minimal. In mum's care home the residents who are bed bound are checked a minimum of once an hour and when my mum has had spells of time in bed during the day this has been the same for her. In addition she has a beam in her room that alerts the staff when she tries to get out of bed. there are 30 residents and the night staffing has been increased to 3 members of staff from 2 which I feel is inadequate but I believe from reading CQC reports that this is acceptable, During the day there are 2 seniors and 5 or 6 additional carers plus a very hands on manager. Most times totally adequate but can be a struggle when several residents are agitated. Hope this helps.
     
  8. WWSD

    WWSD New member

    Sep 9, 2018
    3
    Thanks YorkshireLass

    It seems as though dementia patients go through the same stages. Starts of with a bit of "old aged forgetfulness" then you get asked something and then 5 minutes later you get asked the same thing again. At this stage you start to think that there is something wrong. Now we are at the stage where she thinks she is at her home (childhood home) or on holiday. She remembers things from years ago, but unable to remember having her hair cut just a few hours earlier.
     
  9. pixie2

    pixie2 Registered User

    Jul 21, 2018
    39
    I always laugh at how people are given call buttons. They haven't a clue what they are and cant press them even if wanted to!
     

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