Should we just let Dad stay in bed?
Answered by David Troxel
It is taking us 1 to 2 hours to get my dad out of or into bed. He is in Stage 7. At what point is it just safer to let him stay in bed?
Families often have to look at their values as they consider what level of risk to take when providing care. It may be risky to encourage a person to walk (he or she could fall), but walking is also good for the body and helps the person maintain independence and feel a part of life.
Keep your dad as active as possible. Being in bed constantly can lead to a number of health issues including painful and dangerous skin breakdown.
Consider obtaining expert advice from a visiting nurse association or hospice nurse/doctor. A professional can help you set reasonable goals for your dad and also advise you about equipment and other procedures that can help if he is in bed most of the time.
Remember that activity and engagement is still important. Be sure he has access to his favorite music. Read to him or engage him in conversation. Arrange for a friendly neighborhood (or your own) cat and dog to visit. Open the window for fresh air on nice days. Focus on quality of life even as his dementia worsens and he spends more time in bed.