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bearcubs 10-06-2012 10:04 PM

Walking
 
My mom had a hip operation because a lady who lived in the nursing home pushed my mom and she fell and broke her hip.

That was back in August of 2012. She is hobbling along like my mom would say and she uses the walker sometimes. When I remind her when I visit it with her. I don't know what she does when I'm not with there. Of course she doesn't remember having the operation. The dementia has gotten worse after the operation. My mom is unable to converse with me like she did. Now we just seem to talk about the weather and look out the window of her room and talk about whatever she sees outside. It is so sad. I find it very hard because I try to talk about something with her but then sometimes there is silence and I feel so uncomfortable just sitting there just the two of us.

The staff tell me she uses the walker sometimes and other times they have seen her walking without it. She doesn't remember that she has to use the walker. She calls it a chair. :(

My question is if she keeps this up will her leg heal and then she'll be able to walk in 3 months, 6 months etc. without the walker close to how she was before the operation or will she be the same 3, 6, 9 months from now if she continues what she is doing now. She is also doing no physio because she doesn't want to do it. So I think the staff have given up on trying.

Any ideas please.

Thank you

Elaine

Gabriel 10-06-2012 10:23 PM

Re: Walking
 
Elaine, there is no way to know. It has only been a couple of months since her surgery so there is time for some more improvement... but you never know. You are very lucky that she is up and walking because many do not get back up. It is best to be grateful for the successful outcome that you have so far and if it gets better then be grateful for that as well.

You might want to ask that the physical therapist try to work with her in the facility. We have had several that came back to the facility and then started physical therapy again. They are much more comfortable in the surroundings that they know than in rehab. I also believe that if at first you don't succeed you try again. It is worth requesting... you can do no worse than ending up where you are now.

It is not uncommon for trauma, surgery, or medical crisis to cause a deterioration in the cognitive level. Obviously she has lost the ability to talk about things that she can not see. It might help to bring in pictures. That might expand the conversation to things you might want to talk about. These can be family members or even magazines with pictures of things she might have enjoyed. Dad had a WWII picture book that we used many afternoons to bring him into conversation. Mom loved Our State Magazine with it's many pictures of our state. Use what she has (visual input) to expand her horizons. And sometimes it is ok to just be quiet. I spend many afternoons with Mom in the courtyard rocking and just being with her now. In those moments go back to the good memories and smile.

No, your Mom doesn't remember the surgery or the walker. She will use it momentarily when she is reminded but as soon as it is out of her sight she will walk without it. I am sure the staff reminds her but she will just keep forgetting it and have to be reminded again. This is ok... for this is the way it is. While visiting Mom today....I actually spent much of my time keeping residents and walkers together. We do the best we can and try not to worry.

I am glad your Mom is up and walking :) That is a good thing. Hang on to that!!!!

Love, deb

bearcubs 10-07-2012 01:48 PM

Re: Walking
 
Thank you Deb for your all of your insight into this terrible disease. Your thoughtfulness and caring for others is very admirable. I can always rely on you for your support. I will try to hang on to the good that I can find with this disease. Just the little things is all we have to hang on to. Thank God for those days. May you find peace and strength with your mom and may we have a group hug to keep us going. Thank you again!! :)

Love Elaine
xo

ninamarc 10-08-2012 08:51 AM

Re: Walking
 
Elaine,

So sorry that your Mom is more silent. I think there are 2 factors here. One is how she will recover from the fall/broken hip and the other factor is her stage with dementia. If it is Alzheimer's and she cannot talk, it is like severe stage. In severe stage, she will not be able to walk or eat later on. It is what happens in severe stage: no walking/talking and eventually she will have swallowing/eating issue. Note that such stop is not really 100% and yet it is like 90%. e.g., when my late FIL stopped talking, he could still say my husband's name and screamed with "Yeah" or "ouch"! When he stopped walking, he could still climb out and hold on to the wall. Later on, he had to be in the wheelchair and largely needed people's help to get him out of bed or lie down on the bed. Someone had to move his head or legs so he could sleep in lying down position.

I don't know if your Mom's walking like that is due to the surgery or it may have to do with dementia's severe stage. Give it time and see. Also any major surgery could make her decline more with dementia.
My late FIL was very sick in moderate stage at one time in late 2007 and he could not walk in the hospital for a short time. There was a short time when he could not walk properly. But he was able to walk with a cane 1 month later (he had used the cane for at least 3-4 years.) However, when he fell and stopped walking last year, he never recovered from the walk and needed the walker for 6 months and then afterwards he used the wheelchair until his death this year.
I sure hope your Mom will recover from the fall first. Everyone has different pace so she may not be there yet for stopping walking.

Hugs,
Nina

bearcubs 10-08-2012 08:48 PM

Re: Walking
 
Nina,

I find with this disease it is always a wait and see situation. She is able to walk pretty good with the walker but trying to get her to use it is the challenge. But all you can do is hope for the best. It is so sad seeing her the way she is now. My mom is like a lost soul. It tears my heart into pieces. You know you don't want them to pass away but you don't want them to be bedridden and not able to feed themselves. What a horrible situation to be in for the person with dementia and the people who care for them. :( It is so hard to see and the sad part is there is nothing you can really do to change the way things are at the moment. I always wonder if she knows things are happening to her or not because you can't ask her. It is very hard for me because I would confide in her for everything. May I find strength to carry on.

Thank you for replying to my post and have a lovely week ahead.

Love Elaine

Gabriel 10-08-2012 09:10 PM

Re: Walking
 
Elaine, you have come so far since you started this journey :) You have found the strength and courage to go this far... and you will use that same strength and courage to continue. This is a difficult disease for everybody involved but for now... hang on to the best that you can find. Take a smile and visit with your Mom just because you can! I do believe that there can be a connection even when they can not talk to you. In the later stages you have to be patient and wait for it, you have to continue to connect with them... and you will get glimpses of Mom.... and maybe even some laughter and smiles. Those are the moments you live for and hang on to...

Love, deb

bearcubs 10-08-2012 09:26 PM

Re: Walking
 
I'm trying the best that I can. It is so very hard for me. I'll just have to keep on trying. I don't have any other choice. I really need some hugs as I'm crying and typing this post. Please pray for me.

Thank you

Love Elaine

Gabriel 10-08-2012 09:59 PM

Re: Walking
 
Elaine :) you are doing amazingly well as I said. Yes, we all shed tears and that is ok. No, this is not an easy thing to do.... But you have been there for you Mom though this journey so far and will continue. You have and will continue... because you have to but also because you want to. Yes, I do keep you in my thoughts and prayers and understand your struggle. And if you will wrap your arm around yourself and shut your eyes.... you are being hugged by many!!

Love, deb


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