We have just received a call from M in laws care facility telling us that she has broken her wrist during a fall! This is her 4th fall in as many weeks & they all seem to happen in her room at night when she gets herself up instead of sleeping! They are insisting that she use the frame outside her room- but there isn't really enough space for her to use it within the room- one wonders what is more dangerous.
Maybe it's time for her to go into one of those beds with sides so that she cant get out unaided? We live interstate so it's all quite a worry. She is now at this moment being taken by ambulance to hospital to have it set. This will confuse her all the more I fear. Mum is 89 & her poor old bones aren't as strong as they once were......
Sorry, just had to vent. My husband is very stressed about all this- we were just down to see them last week & it is so difficult & expensive to keep going there. We go as often as we can- I just wish we had them in care here but at the time their friends etc seemed nearer & it seemed kinder this way. Too late to move them now though. My f in law, who shares a room with her in care, will be in such a state!
They are expecting her to be there just for the day while the wrist is set & tonight she will return again by ambulance.
Thanks for listening!
The following user gives a hug of support to bubblegirl: ninamarc (08-01-2011)
I understand bubblegirl. I have been at a distance before and it's not easy to be sitting on the distant side lines. I have also been through the breaks as well with mom's broken hand. It's scary but Mom did very well.
Dad was the faller similar to your MIL. Most of his falls were when he got out of bed unassisted. We did lower his bed. He was very tall so it was difficult for him to get up from a lower position. We also had them use a bed/chair alarm. That gave the staff a warning when he was trying to get out of bed and that truly helped. Here they refuse to use side rails and I understand. Climbing over the rails is more dangerous than just trying to get up. We also have high/low beds that lower almost to the floor. As an added measure they put a foam mattress beside the bed to cushion any falls that might occur. Perhaps one of those solutions might help.
As for the walker... anybody that reads my posts know I am not a fan of walkers. That is from personal experience. I believe it would be a better idea to use the high/low bed with additional padding on the floor, in combination with the bed/chair alarm to alert the staff. That way the staff could help him where he wants to go.
The other thing I have done with Mom is use Melatonin. Mom sleeps much better now with the Melatonin and there are not as many episodes of getting up and down.
I do hope she does ok with the wrist. Hospitals as not dementia friendly but I do hope she gets through it ok. Have them call you when she returns so you will know she is ok and you can even call the hospital for an update on her. Do what you have to do to calm yourself ... and know my thoughts and prayers are with you, hubby, and your MIL.
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post: bubblegirl (08-01-2011)
So sorry that your Mom broke her wrist. Perhaps you need to get her the lower bed through medicare. Or lower her bed by taking off one mattress or the boxsping.
Some home takes off the whole bed frame and put the mattress on the floor so she cannot get up without help.
My FIL started falling in May. Strangely he has begun to call for help before he got up now. We lowered his bed also. He was hurt in May and had pain killer for 3 weeks for some possible minor bone fracture at the tail bone or lower spine. He knows what is wrong and is cautious even though he has stage 7 AD!
Check with the facility and see what they do to help. We did and they told us they would do the bed thing and also ask people to hire one on one to make sure the patient does not fall. The home won't use any alarm as the bell will confuse the elder as well. Also the caregiver may not have the right time to come as the bell rings so it is not quite working although the home tried it before.
I sure hope she will get better and does not get too upset over this. I hope they give her strong painkiller so she feels nothing.
The Following User Says Thank You to ninamarc For This Useful Post: bubblegirl (08-01-2011)
Thank you ladies! The support you give is wonderful- we have been in such a flap here today!
We just had a phone call to say that the wrist is now all plastered up & she is on her way back to the home.
I think a lower bed would help a lot- the trouble seems to be getting in & out of bed alone- she isn't supposed to, but of course they are left alone at night to sleep & this is when she tries. She generally sleeps pretty well but sometimes she remembers that she should go to the toilet ......... lol
She is very wobbly on her feet these days & also very confused about the direction she should be heading. She does wear a wrist band so the staff know when she is on the move, but of course it takes them a few minutes to reach her sometimes.
Ah well we were warned that this is an evolving situation & a bit of a learning curve as well!
Bubblegirl, one thing I did want to mention. For most loved ones there is a period of "fall risk" between being able to walk on their own effectively and not being able to walk on their own at all. We try all the tricks and techniques we can to prevent falls but the only true way to prevent falls it to either wrap them in bubble wrap or to restrain them... and we can't do either. I have come to accept this as part of the disease. The caregivers have to do their best to prevent it but there is no way to prevent it 100%. Dad fell a lot and Mom has taken her tumbles as well. So far we have been fairly lucky. Dad had a very minor brain bleed and mom had a hand break that we think came from a fall. We did use the bed/chair alarm effectively with Dad... and Mom is still wandering. Sometimes it is what it is and you can't fix it.... you just have to pray you get through it and take your lumps along with them.
We were posting at the same time bubble Glad she is all plastered up and headed back. Hopefully she will deal with it as well as Mom did. Mom didn't even seem to notice. She just went right on.. and on... and on Let's hope for relative calm for a while!!
Sorry about the broken wrist, but glad it's been taken care of.
deb: I'm going to have to read and re-read your post about falls. My nerves are completely on edge whenever I'm with my dad. As I see it, every step is a near fall/trip to the ER (especially when we leave the AL). He is VERY unsteady. It's very hard for him to accept. I don't think he ever will. I'm seriously considering video-taping him to show him. I want him to use a cane and he refuses. He would be much better off with a walker. He was once a very fit/strong physically balanced man.
Didn't mean to hi-jack the post. But my dad fell "out of bed" this week too. However, he refuses to sleep in his bed and falls asleep every night on his couch. He breaks his eyeglasses repeatedly! sigh
Not sure where I'm going with this. The whole falling thing makes me a nervous wreck! (Awareness of any illness with him began with a terrible fall in the grocery store. Didn't even trip on anything. Just turned too quickly.)
Gogo... you have to remember that he is not going to "learn" or "remember" that he can't walk as well as he always did. It is just beyond his abilities at this point. Showing him a video of himself will not accomplish what you want. He will either say it is a trick, get upset or embarrassed, or not even recognize it is him in the video. Even if you got through to him in the moment, he would forget it before you had the equipment packed up!
The cane or walker are new to him. New equals learning and learning is beyond his abilities. Rather than being a benefit they are a hindrance and potential danger. At best he would just forget it was his and walk off without it. Yes, at one time he was a strong/fit physically balanced man. Now he has a disease that prevents him from being what he was. Think of it as a broken leg. You would not ask him to walk as he did before if the legs were broken. The bone is intact but the ability to use them effectively is broken so it has the same result.
What type of bed does he have? Is it possible to get a lower bed? This might alleviate his anxiety about sleeping in the bed. Perhaps rearranging the furniture in the room would help. Putting the bed where the couch is now? If he is in a double bed, you might want to try a single bed. Then again, if he is sleeping well on the couch then let it be.
Yep, the fall risk stage can be nerve wracking. Dad was bad to fall. He thought he could walk... oh heck he could run! He would get up (after numerous attempts), get a few steps, and plop. If we were lucky he would fall back in the chair or bed before he got two steps. That is why we went with the chair/bed alarm. The staff was great at immediate response to that alarm. But yet he still fell from time to time.
As far as walking with him, make sure he has a belt on. If he doesn't wear a belt ask the physical therapist if you can get a gait belt. It's just a belt that attached around the waist with velcro. When he walks, walk beside him, and you can hold on to the back of the belt. It is amazing how much control you will have. I could easily hold up my 6'2' Dad by his belt. If he did go down I could break the fall and successfully guide him down to a safe landing. That is one reason I insisted he always have on his belted pants when he was out of bed
But no matter what you do, some are just going to fall. More often than not these falls are not major. Dad fell at least a dozen times, only a few even required a trip to the ER, and of those only one had anything other than scratches or bruises. That was a minor brain bleed that cleared itself up in a day. Mom has fallen at least 6 times and has avoided the ER each time.
I finally placed Dad and now Mom under the care of Hospice. At their facility, if they fall, Hospice is called first. A nurse is sent to assess. Only if the nurse deems it necessary does the loved one go to the ER.
Know that this phase will not last. It is just one more transition phase to the next phase Hang in there!
Oh yes it is an awful stage! I am a nervous wreck when I'm visiting! Mum seems to lunge to the left all the time- it's almost as if she is a bent that way somehow- her back is no longer in a straight line, if that makes sense.....
Well she apparently had a good night following the trip to hospital & the plastering of her wrist. Trouble is now she keeps trying to take the plaster off!! It is a sort of back strap type plaster that is held to her forearm with bandages. The staff are having to watch her full time because she keeps trying to tear if off, & it needs to stay there for 8 weeks.
They are having trouble getting her to keep her bracelet on too (the one with the tracker in) Twice she managed to get it off & they couldn't work out how. She kept saying "I hate this watch!" Then they did a thorough search of the room & found a pair of scissors hidden down the side of the arm chair! She had been cutting it off! Funny how she remembered where she put those scissors & managed to keep it secret- & yet can't remember our names.... What a strange disease it is! lol
Bubble, are you sure we don't have the same Mom ?? Mom had the half cast secured with the ace bandages. She also tried to take it off, especially the first week it was on. They finally covered the little fasteners with cloth tape. That slowed her down enough that they usually caught her before she got too far. It was a piece of work to keep it on her arm thought.
We did change ace bandages daily. I discovered, when we wrapped the arm, if you take the ace bandage between the middle and index finger instead of the index finger and thumb, it gave Mom much more use of the hand and she seemed to tolerate it better. Mom's hand was broken on the outside between the little finger and the wrist.
Dad was the one that wanted his bracelet off. Once he was sawing at it with a large kitchen knife and used Mom's scissors another time. He didn't get far because the bracelet was metal. I found a small decal from his favorite university (where he worked for 32 years) and put it on the face of the bracelet. He thought it was an award and stopped trying to take it off. Maybe a little bedazzling would help?
Yep, it's a strange disease. You never know what is going to go in and stay and what is going to disappear. There is no rhyme or reason And I am off to see what antics Mom is up to today....