Fall prevention tip: Maybe someone out there... - PSP Association

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Fall prevention tip


Maybe someone out there has some suggestions for me! Steve falls several times per month and has been doing do for about 3 years . We've been lucky so far with no broken bones but have made multiple trips to ER, stitched up his ear and head, and had a Lot of bruises. Anyway, he's walking with walker and sometimes cane. Recently OT and PT (home health ) and I agreed to take away cane inside the house because it seems more of a distraction. Problem is he uses walker but then walks off and leaves it. Then he is with no assistance. He understands the consequence of no assistance, but can't seem to keep up with it. He just got his new lift chair , gets up and down a lot , and I think between his restlessness and mild cog impairment it's too much to keep up with. After a fall last night, (Walker was 6 ft away when I got to him) I asked him how he would feel about being tethered to it? He said ok but I really doubt he'd keep it on him. Just thought I'd throw this out here and see if any of you had any ideas

20 Replies

If he is falling that much it may be time to only allow him to walk with assistance, no more solo trips. Of course that will put quite the burden on the caregiver since he is still mobile and can get up on his own. Possible get a pressure alarm pad and have him sit or lay on it, sounds when he gets up, then you'll know he is moving. Falling several times a month is a recipe for disaster in my opinion, sooner or later he'll have an injury beyond a few stitches or band-aids.


I agree!!!

Bar being with him 24/7 you won't stop the falling. All you can do is make safe areas where most falls occur. Get rid of any loose mats. Keep the floor as clear as possible. Cover shape corners with foam.

I bought Steve a rugby scull cap to wear out in the garden, to save his head and stop the cuts to his head. He fell, his head landed on the sharpest stone and of course the sharp bit was exactly where the holes of the cap were, but at least the cut wasn't deep enough for stitches.

Lots of love



I found that the walkers gave my guy a false senseof security and the canes were hazardous.Grab bars every where,railings and I now walk behind him everywhere.

Sorry not much help.


enjoysalud in reply to Hidden

I did not have grab bars, but every time my son got up (with walker) to walk, I or paid caretaker was right there. Because of us doing that, several nasty falls were prevented. When my son had his seizure I was in the kitchen preparing his meal. the hospice RN was in the room he was coming from. His paid caretaker was walking along side to bring him to the kitchen. I saw the seizure coming and stared YELLING, the caretaker caught him. The RN asked that he be brought back to the original room. ADRENALINE flowed from all of us, except for my son, he was "out".

I found If you want to prevent falls (as much as is humanly possible) you need to be close at hand (walking behind or beside), otherwise expect that they will happen.

I know just what you are going through, and I wish I had some wonderful advice to share. My husband isn't using a walking aid yet, but probably should be. We've discussed it, but he is opposed right now. And, the truth of the matter is, even if he had a device, he would probably walk off and leave it just as you say yours does. As someone else mentioned, we rely on grab bars, remove obstacles, and choose walking paths wisely, in home and away from home. I try to be there with every move (and I am most of the time) with the acceptance that all I can do is the best I can do.

Take care.



I found walkers were stressful for me as Chris was over confident. He strode off in a " slow fall " + couldn't steer !

I walked with him whenever possible indoors but he had no sense of danger and was a big worry ! However never broke a bone - only stitches !!!

Jean x

Our only solution was 24/7 supervision.

Our Liz would keep thinking, "I surely must be able to go and get the ***."

After the fall she would say, "I just kept thinking I should have been able to do that."

We never went down the route of a portable proximity sensor. I just did not want Liz to feel so policed... so I was always nearby and checked often and listened out as best I could.

There is no protection for falling against sharp edges of furniture or banging ones head against it.

She got some horrendous bruising when I failed.

It was exhausting too. I am so glad I gave her that support though.



enjoysalud in reply to Kevin_1


W is starting to fall more frequently. He had a cane but kept placing it on the ground between his legs when walking so we disposed of it. Tried rollater but he couldn't control it. So I try to keep an eye on him and assist him as best I can. XX

Khartt, can you please tell me the information of the Doctor in Dallas.

Thanks, Patricia.

Khartt in reply to Pavaga

We are going to UT Southwestern. They have a Movement Disorder group. We saw Dr Padrig Suillibaun (sp?). I believe he is listed on the Cure PSP website in the "find a physician" area. Our next visit is in August, they have a PSP clinic once a month, we will see a group of PSP specialists. We live about 80 miles from Dallas and were referred there by our local neurologist.

Marie_14 in reply to Khartt


Your Irish language is very good! His surname is spelt O'Suillebhan not sure if it's one or two n's at the end. Can be either I think. He is from Dublin in Ireland originally. Hence the Irish name! Now if you want to know what that means in English it is Patrick O'Sullivan! I looked him up on the internet!! 😁 I thought he was Irish born rather than of Irish decent because of the Gaelic form of his name. He graduated from University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. My place of birth and where I grew up! Trinity is very well regarded and UCD has become so too. I hope he is a nice man and also that he can give you some advice. Sadly as we know there is no cure. Will have to look him up on Cure PSP to see if he's good. I think it's great that you can see a group of PSP specialists. I have a friend who lives between Dallas and Houston. I hope she never requires their services though.

Marie x

My Irish has gone down the plug hole! I looked him up again and realised I had spelled it wrong...after looking him up!! He was and maybe still is a Movement Disorder Specialist. He does work in Neurology as you said, so maybe one of the group of people you will see? Movement Disorder Specialists are very good. The one my husband saw was very good and seemed to know at once that he had PSP. The odd thing is he didn't tell us. He sent the information to the hospital my husband attended!! With hindsight I would have asked more questions. If he or anyone else is sitting on the fence try to pin them down. Good luck to you too.

Marie x

Thanks Marie, he was very good and very thorough . He immediately saw the hummingbird sign on Steves MRI and showed it to me. he also had a positive DATSCAN that supported PSP diagnosis.

Khartt it's me again! Regarding the question about falls. Lots of good answers already. We had a chair lift to get my husband upstairs. He was strapped in...just in case! He walked with a walker until he could then had to be transferred to a piece of equipment which he was strapped to. We had one upstairs and one downstairs. Then after that he was in a wheelchair.

Before we did all this he fell down the last 3 steps on the stairs. He broke his right arm (both bones). So that really was a huge thing as it meant he couldn't use that arm properly. Falls can also be a killer. So handrails are needed and the bathroom needs to be changed. Maybe you have one downstairs and you can both sleep downstairs rather than upstairs? Don't trust him to do the right thing however as all sense of danger seems to go out of the window!


Marie x

Glad you have a clear diagnosis now! Sorry it is PSP though. I read that you were going in August..read it again and saw you had been already and that's your next appointment! Cracking up here!

You do need to try to stop him from falling. It is so scary but also so dangerous. Once my husband was using a walker he had to have 2 people to help him. If he falls on top of you you may be the one who is injured? Very difficult.

Hugs to you.

Marie x

My brother started out like that also, if he falls backwards then you or someone will have to walk behind him so he does not fall, I have posted several times on head injuries, as my brother got hurt a few times one fall his ear was dangling all stiiched up another fall Backwards into the bath tub and had a severe bleed in his brain, so after that I went on the hunt for a head helmet wore it a lot for a time he is now pretty much wheel chair and bed bound. Nettie

Hi Khartt; You might also want to check out the string titled "Falling But Otherwise Mobile": there was a lot of good info there.

Best of luck!

Anne G.

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