Woke up feeling sad and guilty about my mom falling while in my care...

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My mom was only visiting me out of state for two weeks when she fell getting up out of bed to go to the bathroom and broke her hip. I had a baby monitor watching her so I could get up with her each time, but she beat me getting up. She simply stood up and then somehow fell. I knew it was a game changer when the EMS said it was her hip. Her dementia has worsened and she will not walk alone again. She fell on Mother's Day morning, so it's been a month and a half. I can't help wondering how long she would have continued doing well if I hadn't went to get her. My sister needed a break, and my mom needed a break from her as well. So, I looked forward to taking care of her those two weeks and pampering her. We did have a wonderful week before it happened. It just hurts really bad.


Hi Icross,
I am sorry to hear about your mom--but want you to know that you did everything right! I care for my mom, and have learned that it is literally impossible to be present every moment of the day (or night) when caring for your loved one.
I want to share a story. I had been cleaning one day. All cleaning products are locked under my sink. I had used bleach to mop the kitchen floor and had every intention of locking it back up before receiving a text that my son's baseball game was pushed up 1/2 hour. In my mad scramble to get him ready and get dinner served to my mom, I forgot. Thank GOD that after he was dressed, I went into the kitchen because I forgot to get my mother a drink. There was an overwhelming smell of bleach and the open bottle was on the table. My mom had poured bleach on her macaroni and cheese and was eating it! Talk about panic! She could have died. I had my ex pick my son up to get him to the game while I took my mom to the hospital. Thankfully, she was fine.
I understand this is no comparison to an injury that will take a lot of time to heal. The tears I cried were of panic, relief, guilt and thinking about "what could have happened".
It was only after about a month that I realized that I needed to forgive myself. Accidents happen. There are so many things unforeseen in life that are out of our control and the "what-if's" can drive us crazy. Forget about the "what if I was there--this wouldn't have happened"....it did
happen, and this mindset will drive you crazy.
I hope these words are of some comfort to you. My thoughts are with you!
Lcross, I am sorry your mother fell and it happened on your watch. But, please, focus on the positive: you had put in all the preventatives (baby monitor, etc.) that you could have to stop such an accident from happening. Also, you were giving your sister a much needed respite break. Your mother wasn't by herself where it would have been difficult for her to call for help. You had a wonderful week with your mother before this happened. It was an accident, and accidents can happen anywhere, on anyone's watch. I am sure your mother doesn't blame you for the fall happening. Move forward now, and do what is necessary to deal with your mother's hip injury and get her well. You are a good daughter, not some deadbeat! Just remember that.
Icross, we've all been there. I remember telling my aunt's doctor (she's 95) about feeling guilty, and he cut me off. "That's what they do," he said. "They fall." I thought he was being insensitive, but now, 3 years into taking care of a "deeply forgetful" aunt, I see what he meant. She can fall just standing there. You learn to anticipate, but they can always pull a new move on you. The worst was the night she fell and we spent from 9pm until 2:30 am in the ER. I got her home and, as we were slowly going up the 3 wide steps into the yard, my aunt suddenly threw herself backwards and we both fell down a slope onto the sidewalk. She lay there screaming and begging the Virgin Mary for help - well the Virgin never came, but the paramedics did. So back we went to the ER. They still had her paperwork on the admissions desk. You do what you can because they "are" going to fall.
Icross, I am just happy that you are a part of your mom's life. My mom is disabled, stroke victim. Right side weakness. Broken hip at a four week visit to a nursing home..Lost her husband of sixty years, a year ago. She lives at home with twenty four hour care for as long as the money holds out. Yet two of her three sons do not feel the need to help out more than an occasional quick visit. Never do they ask what they can do to help. But they are quick to point out why they cannot help when asked.
Do not beat yourself up....my mom fell for the 3rd time breaking her 2nd hip last 4th of July at my home and laid there from around 3:30am till around 7am. She has fallen three times since then with minor injuries. This is what they do. My mom is having mini strokes and has vascular dementia....Please know you are doing all you can it would have happened no matter where she was. Praying for your peace with this.
Thank you all for the words of encouragement. There's been alot going on with family, which has made it all so much worse. Sredford: my brother also hasn't helped, using me as an excuse to do nothing because he's angry with me for stepping up. Because of his anger for me, he has thrown around the , "it's your fault this happened because you should have never came and got her." Although I know my intentions were to help and have quality time with her, it still hurts nonetheless.
Greenday: I'm so glad you're mom is Ok too. I can imagine you walking in to find her eating bleach...it's tough remembering to "child proof" everything again.
Quakerite: the doctors also told me the same thing...I too, thought they were being insensitive at first, but they see it everyday. I guess I'm glad if it was going to happen it happened with me because I got her help immediately. She had fallen last year at my sister's house, and she didn't get to the doctor for over 2 weeks, and then did not go to physical therapy as set up by her doctor. My sister and brother had decided if our mom didn't want to go to PT, she shouldn't have to go. Plus, just taking her to appointments was inconvenient.
My thoughts go out to all of you! Since the topic is falls, I would like to inform all of you and to pass along, a new product SafetyBunns, non-slip pants. SafetyBunns, a new non-slip pant, decrease chances from injury, falling/slip/sliding from any seat. SafetyBunns also decrease injuries to caregivers by reducing workman’s compensation claims and law suits. They also provide warmth and comfort for seniors and those who are disabled. This new product can end up being the difference between safety and injuries. SafetyBunn’s mission is to decrease slip/slides, promote safety and expose a new “one of a kind product”. Reducing injuries is a global priority!
• Previous chair/wheelchair falls
• Impaired sitting balance
• Persons with cognitive impairment and/or leg problems (weakness, neurological disorders).
• Stroke, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological impairments.
Developmentally disabled adults and children
please don't beat yourself up....there is only so much we can do!!!
lcross, after this last fall when my mother-in-law broke her OTHER hip, her walker has become her 'best friend'. She is already wobbly and has macular degeneration so she is legally blind, but up until she broke this hip she thought she could walk without it.. not an option anymore. I'm convinced that unless a person wears training wheels, they're gonna fall if they're gonna fall. Period. BTW, my m-i-l was up and walking right after surgery, and is still walking today. With her 'best friend' though. ha
This is not your fault. She got up before you could get there and many elderly people are prone to falls and fragile enough to break hips. I would suggest getting her both a walker and a wheelchair. Both are so useful and she might even get a power scooter through Medicare. Also, it might be helpful to have the baby monitor there and to give her a little bell that she could ring when she needs something or needs to use the bathroom. You would hear it on the baby monitor and she could wait for you.

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