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I appreciate your nursing guidance and advice. My Mum is 96yo and goes into a sort-of foetal position when she sleeps on her right side. When I put her into bed, I straighten her out to lie on her back. She crosses her legs in that position. She moves around and shuffles the entire night. Sometimes, raises her legs up like an inverted V. Sometimes she lies on her side. In the student nursing book "Long-term caring", it was mentioned that 'alignment of bones is very critical' and they provided diagrams of specific positions (supine, Fowlers, etc). When she walks, she stoops a lot and puts her hands on her knees when she walks. I make her do light exercizes and try to stop her bad habits but she keeps forgetting. She has osteoporosis between 20% to 15%. SHOULD I GENTLY TRY FIGURE-OF-EIGHT bandage to hold her shoulders-back straight ? There is no physiotherapist available. Her doctor refused to do a home visit. He refused to send a nurse. I am afraid to annoy him. I am not qualified so I better ask one of you really kind nurses !

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You can't improve the posture of someone that old - let the poor woman sleep in her preferred position! If she is able to be wiggling around all night then she likely has enough movement to prevent pressure sores, which at her age is the main concern. One of the griefs I feel about my mom's time in the nursing home is that they routinely put her to bed on her back with one pillow, this despite the fact that her forward head posture made it look as though her head was tilted so far back she was looking at the head of the bed and that her preferred position was her right side with a pillow between her knees - she was always so grateful when I arranged her that way (even if it only lasted a short while until she was repositioned). If your mom IS having pressure issues you should be helping her to change positions every few hours, not insisting she remain supine.

FYI - despite the advice in your textbook a lot of those old nursing techniques are no longer followed.
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PreferNotToSay Dec 27, 2020
Yeah, okay. The textbook was published in 2011. Our Local Library never bought anything after that despite there are several more recent editions. That was the only nursing textbook despite our Local Council area is massive. They only buy useless 'romantic' novels and psycho rubbish: never any useful stuff. How I miss proper medical and nursing advice we used to routinely have previously.
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I agree with cwillie, that fact that your mom is still capable of repositioning is a good thing, and at her age, stop trying to force her into rigid positions. cwillie's right, If she can position herself in bed, she can avoid the danger of pressure ulcers(bed sores).
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Reply to GGordonLizzy
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PreferNotToSay Dec 27, 2020
Thank you. Thank God she has no pressure ulcers bed sores. That problem was all over the nursing textbook. How the elderly suffer !
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Your mother is 96. Leave her alone! However she wants to sleep and walk and live is fine. Her 'bad habits' have been acquired over a period of 96 years & aren't going anywhere anytime soon! Putting a bandage on her to hold her shoulders back sounds like a torture device to me............like what they used to do in the 30's and 40's in Catholic school if you were left handed: tie your left hand behind your back to force you to write with your right hand!

You sound like such a wonderful & concerned daughter (or son?) to be so worried about your dear Mum. God bless you and keep you my friend. You're providing her with a beautiful and loving service.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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PreferNotToSay Dec 27, 2020
I never mean to torture her. I mean a gentle bandage for a few hours to apply light pressure to straighten out her shoulders. Her shoulders may need support that a bandage may provide. Perhaps she may become more comfortable. She was not like this before. She has started doing this only recently. If I try anything, I must ensure SAFETY and not injure her a bit. I am not 'providing service': only trying to pay a hefty debt to a super-wonderful Mum.
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I often get cold in the night, and can’t get bed clothes around my neck to keep me warm. I now have a microfleece of about 4’ sqaure. I cut a T shaped slit in the middle of it – the top of the T for my back, the slit down the front so I can push my head in. It keeps me warm better than anything before.

I also have bolsters (short circular pillows) that I can put behind my back to stop me rolling over if my back issues make it easier to lie on one side. I can still wriggle, and push the bolster away if I really want to lie on the other side.

Perhaps some tricks like these could help your mother too.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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PreferNotToSay Dec 27, 2020
Thank you for sharing your tips. I think she has circulation problems that make her legs hurt so she moves them around which helps. I do agree that clothes must be easy to wear.
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Good advice from everyone else.  Another thought:  maybe she's just cold.   I find myself contracting my legs and pulling them up when I'm cold just to minimize the length that has to be kept warm.  

I am concerned though about stooping and putting her hands on her knees while walking.   Does she have a walker or rollator that could help her walk in a more straight body posture?   My concern is not only for curvature, but for balance, and safety.   That hand on knees position changes the distribution of weight and could put her in jeopardy of falling over.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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PreferNotToSay Dec 27, 2020
Thank you. I don't think she is cold. Over here in Australia, it is summer. She gets pain in her legs due to circulation and moves them to help that. No she does not have a walker or rollator. It is too hard to teach her anything new. She may injure herself. She does not walk much.
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What is wrong with curling up when sleeping on her side? I do and have for years. I very rarely sleep on my back, usually one side or the other and definitely curled up. I also move all over my bed at night, heck I have been known to turn my duvet sideways and flip it over too. I have been a restless sleeper for decades.
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Reply to Tothill
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PreferNotToSay Dec 27, 2020
Thank you. I read that in the nursing textbook. I am not enrolled in a course so I will prefer your practical advice.
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If your mother is comfortable and sleeps well, leave her alone!

The light exercises during the day are great. Does your mother have a walking frame? Would she use one? And, what's the problem getting hold of a physiotherapist?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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PreferNotToSay Dec 27, 2020
Thank you. No she does not have a walking frame. It is too hard to teach her anything new. She may injure herself. She does not walk much. I have no transport to take her to a physiotherapist. Plus she needs a referral from her doctor. I think due to corona, her doctor thinks it is best if nobody sees her.
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