Mom is now in hospice -- new issues!

Follow
Share

Feel like I've been on here a lot lately with questions ....

Week and a half ago, Mom fell while I was trying to transfer her from commode to her rollator. Not a hard fall, as I had hold of her but could not hold her up when she bent over nearly double. When she went down, the outside of her lower left leg rubbed or hit against the strut of her rollator and she sustained a skin tear about 7 inches long and 4 inches wide on that lower leg. Called for ambulance, she was taken to local hospital ER where it took the med technician about 45 minutes to carefully put skin back in place and suture with Steri-Strips. They had no beds available, but I told them I cannot take her back home as I can't support her weight if she can't stand long enough for a transfer. We had Hospice already scheduled to come the next day to talk with us, so the hospital called Hospice and they sent someone out around midnight to the hospital to get the paperwork done. Mom was transferred to their nearest Palliative Care Unit for 2-3 days for evaluation, and brought back home this past Friday.

Hospital bed was delivered Saturday, she refused to use it, it was Monday before I got her into it. It's so much easier and safer for me to take care of her in the bed in terms of changing her when she's wet, not needing to get her up and down, keeping her feet elevated more, keeping her upper body somewhat elevated to make breathing easier most of the time, etc. She does refuse to have BMs in the diaper, but we've worked out a way for her to fairly easily transfer from bed to bedside commode for that.

Unfortunately, the hospital bed also brings with it some new issues. She wants to sit up ... 30 minutes later she wants to sit up higher ... the bed only allows to sit up "so high" and that's not good enough and a pillow at base of her back does not prevent her slumping. She's not tall (about 5'3") but even when sitting up and back as far as the raised bed head will allow, her feet press against the end of the bed which is uncomfortable when she wants to stretch her legs out straight. She wants her legs raised ... she wants them down a little bit ... no, down a bit more. She wants to sit up on the side of the bed and let her legs hang down ... now she's cold and wants a blanket over her lap for that ... she's still cold and wants her feet and legs lifted back up on the bed under the covers.

It goes on and on. I've got lower back and left hip strain from the struggle getting her transfers done last week before the fall, and I'm getting muscle cramps in weird places. Typically we both take an afternoon nap of a couple of hours each day, and she has interrupted me so often during my attempts at nap time, as well as waking me 2 or 3 times at night that I'm starting to have some noticeable sleep deprivation stuff going on. All the interruptions are about the above-noted sorts of things, to raise or lower this or that on the bed and so on.

She can't use the bed control herself, it is too complicated for her and she'll drive herself nuts if she tries. She was already having problems with the control on her lift-chair which was simple. *I* have some problems with the bed control, not yet sure which arrows address which things, so I know for sure that I can't hand it to her and tell her to set the bed where she wants it without my help.

Any ideas??

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
12

Comments

Show:
AZ--regarding sleep: you need somebody there at night so you can sleep. Or as you say, give her something to help her relax at night so you both can sleep.

Regarding water: see if you can find a cup holder that attaches to the side of the bed; put a cup with a lid and straw in it so that all she has to do it turn the head, put her mouth on the straw and suck. In the mean time, when she calls you for help, verbally coach her through doing it, don't do it for her. It will take 4x longer, but she may learn to do it for herself. It's also a way to ensure your attention, to call you to her side every 10 minutes or so. So when she does that, ask her to work for what she wants by even taking her hand, molding it over the cup and moving her arm and cup to her mouth. Or ask an OT to come in and help her do this herself. There are some mouth moisturizing rinses/toothpaste on the market now, too. To cope with the dry mouth issue . Consider if she is too much for you at some point and what you plan to do about that. Good luck with a difficult situation.
(1)
Report

Tracy, my husband was on hospice with no guardian.

My mother was on hospice with no guardian and not even a POA.

What would guardianship enable you to do that you can't do now? Why are you seeking it? It is a legal process and would have to go through the courts. Perhaps there is a quicker, less expensive solution to whatever your need is.
(0)
Report

Tracy, why do you feel you need guardianship? It's a rather complex and sometime lengthy legal process. Is your Hospice organization suggesting that you need it because no one has PoA?
(0)
Report

Hello i need Information on how to get guardingship for my mom whom is in hospics
(0)
Report

My mom was a fall risk and never wanted thre bed rail up. She tried getting out of the bed to pee and we were up 2-3 times bc she had fallen. Finally, I put my foot down, it's sad to see her resigned to me but she has fallen. But she still woke up and complained about the wet diaper or she wanted to pee. She too is immobile and hard to move to commode etc. I had to break through my resistance of using the Lorazepam but she takes it every night and we all sleep through the night. She is wet in the morning and sometimes everything is wet but that beats being up all night. Hugs to you!
(1)
Report

AngieJoy -- do have one of the rolling hospital-type trays that will fit over the bed, and also a sippy cup, and so I can put the cup and her Kleenex right smack in front of her over the bed and somehow she can't find those items. She can follow my instructions when I tell her to roll "this way" and then roll "that way" while changing her brief, pads and sheets, but she can't seem to follow my instructions when I tell her the table with water and Kleenex is right in front of her not 5 inches away. Not sure what to make of it, but most of the time I've been having to hold the water for her when she drinks and hand her a Kleenex when she wants one. Her hand grip and forearms are pretty strong when she wants my hand to pull her up a bit or more forward a bit.
(0)
Report

AZLife, I can relate to the hospital bed issue.... my Mom was less than 5' tall as she had gotten shorter over the years. And the bed wasn't that comfortable. My Mom was always asking to adjust the bed over and over again. Her back was always hurting, so was her tail bone as she was very thin. She was constantly trying to find a comfortable position.

And I could relate back to when I was in the hospital, as I am not tall and with the bed in a position where the head was up, I felt like I was constantly sliding into a "ditch", and it was difficult for me to pull myself back up.

When my Mom would doze off, she also would sleep with her mouth open, thus she was also asking for water. Mom didn't like food, but she would take Boost but only if it was put into a cup with ice.

Even with my Mom being in a nursing home, I still wasn't getting much sleep, worrying about what the next telephone call would bring. Mom was under Hospice so I was relieved she had another set of eyes and ears to watch over her :)
(1)
Report

I'm so sorry that you and your mom are in this situation. Re the water: When my dad couldn't get out of bed safely by himself, we put a TV tray by his bed and put a child's disposable sippy cup (with lid and straw) filled with water and ice on the tray. There are swing arm trays designed to fit over hospital beds. Would hospice be able to obtain one for you? You could place a cup of water, Kleenex, and so on, on the tray so that your mom could reach those items easily. Is your mom strong enough to reach out and pick up a cup from a tray?
(0)
Report

Thanks, jeannegibbs and cwillie -- I called the Hospice night nurse at 3 AM this morning, and she advised giving Mom some of the Lorazepam that was delivered yesterday. So I did, and after about 20 minutes Mom dozed off. I crawled into bed around 4 AM and got some sleep. Apparently the Lorazepam can be given every 4 hrs as needed, and while I don't want to "knock her out" all day or anything, it's good to know I can give her some so we can both actually sleep for a while.

Will talk to her case manager today about the Lasix increase and get an okay to drop it back to a level lower than 80 mg a day. The main problem last night was Mom calling for water every 5 minutes or so (not exaggerating about that). If I can get some food into her today, that will probably be of some help too.
(1)
Report

if you are getting muddled with the pills put them in one of those daily pill containers, that way you can see what you have given and what is left, I did that myself for a while when having a brain freeze.
Would she be able to still spend some time in her recliner each day? If she wants to sit up it would be more supportive than the bed. As Jeanne says, perhaps some help to accomplish this? And they should be able to give some suggestions to help keep her sliding down in the bed.
Perhaps the biggest problem for you is your own anxiety (and guilt over the fall?) which won't allow you to let some of her needs go unmet. You really can't cater to her 24/7, even if you want to. Give yourself permission to take a break and get some sleep, see if meds for her or a sitter will help with that.
(1)
Report

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions