My mom came home from rehab today and I am already more exhausted than I thought the daily visits to rehab would make me. I need some help (and sending her back is not the answer- she is actually at my dad's). She is recovering from a broken hip- alzheimers also(not recovering-of course). Anyhow....at rehab they walked her once a day and the rest of the time she was strapped into a wheelchair. Today, she was like musical chairs....walking ( very determined, and a bit unsteady, but really not too bad) from one chair to another NON-stop from 5 - 7 pm. She just would not stay put!! She is just un-steady enough that when she gets up, someone else has to get up with her. I am completely exhausted by this musical chairs. If we tell her to sit still, she gets aggravated and frustrated and gets up anyhow. We could "tie her/seatbelt her" in somehow, but then I think she would just end up dumping over a chair. I am hoping this was just a first night home from rehab event, but.....anyone have this experience and or solutions??????? I am exhausted from following her chair to chair!
Secondly... she lost 12 lbs. in rehab and her eating habits are now lousy(she was never a big eater). Anyone know of great ways to fatten up soups and drinks without making them taste awful? Other high calorie foods alzheimer patients seem to really like? She has no problems yet with swallowing.
As for the weight gain.... milk shakes are always good and can even be made with Ensure or other high calorie nutritional drinks in real ice cream rather than just milk. Try V8 Fruit Fusion. It has about 100 calories per serving and also has a full serving of fruit and veggies in it. Substitute protein bars for candy bars. All of these help you give them beneficial calories rather than just calories. Keep nutritional, high calorie snack handy. She may eat a little bit now and then during the day and end up eating more than at meal times. Cream soups have more calories than broth based soups. Potatoes or pasta added to broth based soups also helps as well as adding beans. Hopefully something here will be helpful.
As for keeping your Mom in place...... GOOD LUCK!! She has no understanding of why she can't get up and move around as she sees fit. I do remember Dad waking up from his Xanax over dose. The second time he got out of bed, ripping out his IV, we gave up on the IV. We had a similar problem after his gall bladder surgery. I chased him for almost two weeks. He "escaped", wanting to mow the grass, and I found him sneaking around the house with a gas can.
Perhaps you need to request from her physician that she has inhome help for a short time until she is more ambulatory. Here, if the physician orders in home care for a short time, medicare picks up the tab. I think it is your best bet to get some help. Your Dad is not going to be able to do what needs to be done while you are not there...... and you already know how exhausting it is going to be for you. Good luck.....
Did you have the right music on for musical chairs? LOL
Sorry about your new activity, yes it's exhausting, but short of strapping her into something (ensuring she's an even stronger falls risk) your best bet is some in-home help or asking the local church if there are some members willing to stay with her for a bit so you can get other chores done or even perhaps have a rest!!
As for enhancing (fortifying) the calorie intake in foods, try the following:
In a blender, whizz up soup & bread.
Use lots of butter (the full cream butter stuff) in everything.
Use full cream milk/cream in mashed potato's
Lots of power shakes that include:
chocolate or strawberry drinking powder
Basically, everything you were told not to eat because it will affect your blood pressure/cholesterol/diabetes.. you can eat now
... your loved one hasn't forgotten you ... the DISEASE doesn't remember you
thank you for all your recipes and ideas. Tonight I made a chicken pot pie and garlic potatoes and ensure plus for the drink. For the first time in 2 1/2 months she fed herself. Her perception of where the plate is was way off, but she kept trying. Any ideas to make that easier? I had to keep saying " on the red plate", but her spoon was about 5 inches off each time. She would finally get it, but that seemed very frustrating. She actually had a great afternoon. Fed herself, went the bathroom by herself(#2), took her pills without them being crushed(like pre-rehab). Ahhh, it was one of those relief type of days.
A last question though...I am new to emptying(sp?) a catheter (which hopefully she will be getting rid of next week). The urine smells awful coming out of that. Is that normal or does that mean infection?? Of course, long weekend, no visiting nurse until Tuesday. Any advice?
As for the urin smell, that is not unusual and doesn't necessariliy indicate an infection. It can be a result of foods or medications. You might want to push fluids since the urine will concentrate when there is not enough fluid intake and that can also concentrate the odor..... as well as darken the urine. If the urine is cloudy you might want to check with the doctor.
Change the color, size, or shape of the plate and see if that might help your Mom locate the food. Their perception is different and no telling what she is actually seeing. Dark plates may appear as a hole rather than a plate. Color contrast between the plate and the food may help. Trial and error are the only ways to know.
I am truly glad you had a better day yesterday. Guess we can chalk Thursday up to first day at home. They do have adjustment problem when going from one location to another. Hopefully the worst is over and your mother will get better each day.