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Say in middle of the night, or even in the middle of the day, I throw out my back changing the diaper on a bedridden person. I can't leave the diaper half changed while I writhe in pain on the floor. Is there anyone to call? Are there agencies that work 24/7 on a emergency basis?


Hoping for the best, planning for the worse.

Last year a family friend was being cared for at home by her husband. He had to go into the hospital for a flare up in his heart condition. His wife was also taken to the hospital under emergency respite.

She is now in a nursing home and life is easier for both of them.
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Reply to Tothill
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Certainly start gathering a list of people, and phone numbers. Keep in an obvious place (on the fridge or cork board?). When you need it, the stress is high and you will not be able to think as clearly and remember everything. (think of it as stress amnesia). Or, put the list in your cell phone with as much details to help with memory as possible.
When you talk with someone kind who offers to help, ask if it's OK to put them on your list for crisis times. Think of friends, church/temple connections, kind neighbors, etc.
And if you have an agency that sends someone good - privately ask that person if they might be available for crisis calls. Many of them don't earn enough money after the agency takes their cut, and often are looking to pick up extra work. Better to ask an individual you trust, rather than the agency since many agencies don't offer 24/7 assist.
If there is a caregiver support group in your area, attend when possible and get acquainted. Ask these people for any recommendations to add to your list.
Also, don't be afraid to call 911. Our local firefighters were amazing. They sent 2 EMT/firefighters on several occasions when our loved one slid to the floor and we couldn't lift her. They were kind and efficient (and no cost).
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Reply to oceansong
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Watch how to change a bedridden patient diaper on YouTube. There are hundreds of videos. Maybe you are doing something wrong. Also I used to put extra thick kotex in mom's fancy panties through the night. Use extra disposable chucks to keep the linen dry.
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Reply to commutergirl
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So a few times when I was living with and caring for my elderly mother out of state for an extended period, I had to use the services of her town's ER hospital. I then would call a friend to stay with my mother (or by that time, she was already in one of her 4 hospital trips herself). It took a long time to get reimbursed by Medicare, 9 - 12 months for those visits for myself, but it finally came through.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Where I live, no one but 911 would come. I called a in home care provider and she told me they don't come in emergencies. When I had my retinal detachment and my mom was bedridden in my home, I waited until regular office hours to call my eye doctor and just worked and powered through the blindness in one eye changing mom's briefs and bringing her food tray. I can't help but wonder had someone been there, if my vision wouldn't have been restored better if I had the operation sooner. The lack of help I encountered so many times during this care giving time of life really ruined my faith in people and friends. You can call various agencies in your area, and hopefully they will be more helpful than what I encountered. If your mom is on hospice, they will be more inclined to help. There is always 911.
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Reply to Katie22
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I do know that many of the ladies who worked for my mother (through our local agency) were willing to take on extra work, they may not have been able to drop everything and come immediately but they may have been available after regular hours or on days off or evenings. The difficult part there would have been getting by the office staff, unfortunately some of them were less than helpful.
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Reply to cwillie
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You need to schedule specific times for a caregiver. How can a company survive with low reimbursements if the staff just sat around for hours waiting for a call. For falls call 911.
It sounds as if you are incompacitated as a caregiver. Your next option is assisted living. Perhaps you could share an apartment
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Reply to MACinCT
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Lyndovie Jul 23, 2019
You responded you need to schedule specific times for a caregiver.
Did you even read the question?
It says when she got sick or hurt her back.
Ok let's see next August I'm going to hurt my back let me schedule an aide for that day....
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I have wondered the same thing, I have no upper body strength and have had a couple times when my mom fell and didn't think I could get her up off the floor. I eventually did, but like the idea of a list of helpful people. The agency I use flat out told me they wouldn't help in a situation like that, I would need to call 911.
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Reply to kbuser
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I think its time for LTC. This is a scenario I would want to even think about, That God I didn't have my budging disk problem when Mom lived with me but I think helping her out of her chair and bending over to put shoes and socks on contributed to it. I have no upper body strength so I could never care for a bedridden person.
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disgustedtoo Jul 1, 2019
Never mind bedridden - mom has been mobile, first year with no help, next 2.5 years with rollator, but she weighs enough that if she isn't stable, I cannot support her weight (she was already overweight and gained 20# that first year in MC!) So, back late last year we had leg pain/inability to walk, etc. That was not fun. We had two falls in one day over the weekend and now they scheduled appt with PCP. I was there Saturday, and watched her struggle to pull her pants up (couldn't stand up straight) and get back to the transport chair from the toilet. Between a little help from me and the grab bar, she got settled. But, she still cannot walk and getting in/out of my car isn't going to happen. It will cost, but they have transport available. I have already had 3 cervical discs removed/fused and have lower back spondylolisthesis - this is where the vertebrae slip out of place, not the disc. It can be not only very painful, but lock my back into a position where I can't do anything!

(side note - phooey to those who criticize those of us who do not do the hands-on care for mom and/or pop. Sometimes it just isn't possible, even if we wanted to do it!)
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If I became incapacitated for some reason my plan was to call 911, I figured they wouldn't be able to leave a vulnerable elder on her own so they would have to take both of us.
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Reply to cwillie
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It sounds like you need a few days off to rest and recover. Schedule time to rest, even if you must call an agency.

The agencies charge exorbitant prices for emergencies, but some of them do offer emergency help.

if you are able to wait, devise a list of individual assistants to call in case of emergency. Constantly update and edit your list.

My list included about ten individuals (at the most): compassionate friends (with no training), relatives, neighbors, CNAs, RNs. When you meet someone very kind and special, ask if you can add them to the list. Be “on call,” to reciprocate for others.

Remove those who become apathetic or unavailable more than once.

In the end, the friends and the hired assistants were the angels that came through for me. One even met me in the ER in the middle of the night during a nightmarish hemorrhage. How she healed my breaking heart!

My biological family members were absentee, and thus were removed from my list. (And accordingly and subsequently I removed myself from their list(s).

I have since adopted a new concept of family.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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disgustedtoo Jul 1, 2019
As I often say, you can pick your nose, you can pick your seat, but you can't pick your family! For some, family is close-knit and supportive. For others, not so much.

One brother I am done with. He isn't local, thankfully, but as of May last year, he isn't welcome here. He isn't likely to visit mom at this point. When he was here last May to help with clearing out condo, I suggested he visit mom. He did once on his own and refused to go back again, saying he "didn't know what to do with her." This from one of two who found out how much MC costs and quickly said for that amount they would take her in!!! HAHAHAHHAA

The other brother - trying to get in touch/answers is like pulling teeth... actually pulling teeth is easier, and in some respects, less painful! Cousin on dad's side has been helping me some and his sister wrote him off after their dad passed away (mom had passed earlier.) So, I suggested I divorce my brothers and become his sister! He seemed interested...

Friends and those who have good hearts are the way to go - hopefully without alienating the friends...
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I've wondered about this myself, especially after I suddenly came down with a terrible case of the flu last year in the evening that left me repeatedly having to sit on the floor to rest in the midst of getting my father safely into his Hoyer lift sling and into bed. And I still needed to undress him and take off his compression hose and stockings, take off the depends and apply skin protectant cream, switch from the leg bag to the bedside bag, fit on his nighttime oxygen, etc. Luckily, my sibling whom I share care with was able to quickly return from a planned break to take over care. But otherwise, it would have been so difficult to complete even the bare minimum safely.

Later I thought that had my sister not been available I could have tried calling our home health service (we have it for monthly visits to change my dad's supra pubic catheter and also can call them for advice about problems) and ask for help from the on-call nurse. Otherwise, if something very dire happened that took me suddenly out of commission I think I would have to call 911 for help. Not the best option, I'm sure.
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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