My 89-year-old dad keeps falling out of bed when he tries to get up to go to the bathroom himself at a skilled nursing facility. The staff have put a bed alarm on him and do all they can to keep him safe, but he keeps falliing. He plans to move to a lower level of care in two weeks, but I don't think its possible because of the constant falls.
I recently purchased a seat cushion with a slight slant towards the back of his chair. It's helped to reduce sliding out of his lounge chair. He has the television on too loud at night to effectively listen to him using a baby monitor. I walk behind him when he's up so he doesn't fall backwards (Parkinsons). I've decided to take a break from purchasing items in the hopes of avoiding a fall. I take care of two elderly parents with multiple medical issues as a 24/7 live in caregiver. I always hear that I must take care of myself in order to properly take care of them. It's not always that simple. When I saw the post above advising three full-time caretakers for 8 hour shifts it makes me think about my need for respite care. My parents insist they can stay by themselves because they don't want to spend the money.
If I ever bring my mother to SE Florida, I'll be looking you up for sure! Sounds like you're doing a great job for your people!! God Bless!!
In fact right now, we have a man who also jumps up out of bed and just fell twice in a week. The first time no biggie but the 2nd time the nightstand cut his head... Then if we move it away, we are out of compliance for what each room must have - nightstand by bed with at least one drawer, can have shelves, doors...
You would think whatever someone can do in their Home, we can do More here, but actually Not - for example insulin injections etc... I've found a lot of times it's about the money for Drs, nurses, insurance companies. And the Big places, of Every kind, have far Fewer staff to Resident ratio and that's Allowed by Law, so it Favors the big places and Punishes small ones that already do a better job in many ways for those not needing skilled nursing care.
Nursing facilities simply medicate them so they stay in bed at night. I give a couple of melatonin/Valerian/Chamomile tabs at bedtime, and if they like tea, I give chamomile tea to relax after dinner. Also, keeping them well hydrated through the day and not giving liquids after dinner can help (unless they specifically ask)
You may want to consider a Urologist consult b/c if he's doing the typical elderly man thing, that's a few drops each time, maybe a tablespoon and not worth getting out of bed for but they Feel it as if it's a full 'event' they need to rush to the bathroom for. So maybe the Dr can give him something (increase flomax if there are not contraindications) to help him go More and Empty the bladder, that then coupled with mild herbal sleep aids & Technology*, he can sleep sounder for a few hours instead of tryng to get up every half hour to hour like our guy does.
The Technology is Amazing - one of those radios by the bed that plays Sounds, like surf, rain, crickets & other soothing natural sounds. I find I sleep much sounder and wake more refreshed when I use mine, and it's given great results with a few clients.
If I find out anything else as we go through this with our resident, I will let you know.
And you are doing a fantastic job. I probably would know some of these things from reading other posts, but I'm afraid I'm not very good at keeping people who post straight until I've interacted with them a few times. Sorry.
Hugs to your husband. He certainly deserves to be well. I hope the treatment plan is a success.
It sounds like you are doing a good job of learning to set boundaries. (Not easy for many of us.) I understand that the sons have to have peace in their homes, but it is too bad that turns you into the bad guy. Hang in there!
Some very fine people have fallen into the prescription drug trap. I sincerely hope your friend can get some help, without damage to her relationships in the process. Given your situation, it may be enough for you to refuse to enable her -- taking on a more direct intervention may be more than you should try to handle right now. When other aspects of your situation improve/conclude/change, then perhaps you can direct some of your energy toward her situation.
Don't let anybody tell you that any of this is your fault, or that you somehow should be doing a better job. I don't think that is what Ruth was doing, but I understand your defensiveness. Some people really do imply that, and you are right to reject such implications.
My sons try to help when they can. They all have small children, jobs and are going to school too. Their wives were spoiled by an overly indulgent mother. My sons look to me to put them in their places. Unfortunately, I have put up with their bad behavior and now I have trained them to act badly toward me. I have a hard time setting boundaries. And won't fight back unless I'm really pushed into a corner. I am the youngest of four children. Three brothers ahead of me, and an adult child of an alcoholic. Never felt like I had a voice. I've been working on that too. I have the same pdoc(psych doc) as my husband. And I'm also on meds for depression. My depression is event related. Having to deal with all this.
I have already made the decision not to feed my friends habit. Now I have to decide if I should approach her enabling husband. Her daughter in law would probably back me up, but I'm not sure. She also knows theres a problem.But mom in law has been so generous to her and her hubby that it's hard to speak up in a critical way. Some people control their atmosphere by obligating those around them. I think she is unconciously doing this. She's very sweet and hugely generous.
Anyway, thanks for listening. Sorry if I seemed to jump on Ruth. My nerves are pretty raw and it felt like salt in the wounds that someone else is able to control the falling but I can't.
No wonder you are exhausted and grumpy!
You need to get some of these problems addressed! (No kidding, right?)
Your sons should be trying to figure out how they can help you with Nanny. Do they ever come over so you can have some time to yourself? Do they offer to take her to any of her appointments? That they expect, or allow their wives to expect, you to babysit their kids is outrageous. If they can't figure that out for themselves, I think it is time for you to set some boundaries. Yes, I know that is adding something else, and something distasteful, to your overflowing to-do list, and I'm sorry. But you did ask for advice. No more babysitting of the grandkids! How about you take them on an outing some evening or weekend while their parents stay with Nanny? Certainly you want a relationship with your grandchildren. But under the circumstances that desire is being exploited unfairly.
The girlfriend on drugs? Please, please don't give her any more. My brother is also addicted to pain pills. His doctors are quite careful but he has "friends" who feel obligated the way you do. It is not doing him any favors, and you are not really helping your friend -- which you know, which is why this is a problem for you. I think you might have to go with the truth on this one. "Friend, I'm really afraid you have become addicted to these drugs, and I am worried where that will lead. I can't in good conscience contribute to that. I love you and I want to keep you as a best friend. I'm sorry I can't give you pills any more." Whew, another not pleasant or easy task.
Now, for your husband. Depression is a serious illness. Is he taking his meds as directed, and following medical advice? Where is he while you are following your mother from couch to bed to bathroom? What does he do all day while he is unemployed? Is he unable to work because of his depression? Have you considered applying for disability? Do you suppose he feels like, "I'm hurting and I'm ill, but all my wife's attention goes to her mother. What's the use?" Just asking. Some people, especially depressed people, in his situation might be feeling that way.
And then there is Mother. Sigh. Have you been in touch with social services to see what might be available for her? Is there anything that could relieve your burden just a wee bit? Could they provide transportation to the day center? Cleaning help? Respite care? You don't know what is available until you ask. (Maybe you have already done this.) You are obviously working very hard at being an excellent caregiver for her. I'm glad you've accepted that the disease makes her fall -- you don't.
Whew! You have so very much going on in your life right now. One by one I hope you can address your stress points, if not by the ways I suggest by SOME way that will lighten your psychological load.
Best wishes to you.
Hey, I'm really not looking for sympathy. I hate being a whiner and yet it seems I've turned into one. Y'all overlook me and just skip all my moanin and groanin. I appreciate the sweet words tho.
Do you know knotting hill the movie? we remind me of the scene where they see who has the saddest story to win the last slice of pie - and each story sadder than the other? yours breaks my heart. i wish i could help in some way
Here it is 1:30am and I'm still up mainly because I've had a migraine and the fioricet has caffeine in it. Might as well shoot me up with Red Bull and expect me to go to sleep.Not happening. It's so nice to have someone to write to even if none of you are awake and tuning in. I don't feel so alone.
I'm probably getting y'all down so I'll shut up. I'll go thru my joke bank and see what I can find to post.
I want to get a job as a call center at home, but I can't because she won't sit still long enough for me to work. And the night shift is out of the question. I'm trying to see if I can afford to put her in day care a few hours several times a week so I can work. Not sure if it would be worth it. The day care is $50 a day. The call center would have to pay more than $10 per hr to make it even pay for the day care not to mention that the closest one to me is 40 mins away so gas would be costly. If I work the night shift and pay someone to come in and take care of her during the day while I sleep, that would cost 10 to 12 and hr. Sooooooo my only sensible option is to get my depressed husband to agree to a regular job. I don't know if any of you have ever dealt with a self employed construction worker, especially one with major depression and panic disorder, but talking him into trying something new is tantamount to asking him to try a sex change. He won't even consider doing this. I've told him it's him or me. One must work and the other take care of Mom. I don't care which. But then I worry about him watching her because of his meds he is apt to go to sleep any moment and she'd be up walking right past him lying on the sofa. At least a few feet before she fell. Also he would not do any of the things I do like dishes and laundry and dusting etc. So I'm between a rock and a hard place. I've talked to his Pdoc and we've tried to cut out some of the meds, but so far nothing is working. And now my heating and air conditioning unit is on the blink. The compressor I think. So far it hasn't been bad cause the weather has cooled off, but soon we will need the heat. So it has to be fixed. or replaced.
My Dils are PO'd at me cause I can't babysit any more. My sons love their Nanny, but listening to their wives whine is getting hard on them too. No problem keeping the bigger boys, but the toddler is just too much for me. She and her brother both have ADHD I think. They are just off the chain. And my energy level is so low, I just don't think I can keep up with them. Speaking of whining...just listen to me whine. Ok done with that.....moving on...
I don't know if I mentioned it before, but my best friend whom I love like a sister has a prescription drug problem. I'm beginning to avoid her calls because she's always asking me for pain meds. She's always just one day away from getting her prescription filled and can I give her one of mom's percocets or my fioricets. I can't in good conscience give her any more. I'm afraid she will od or something. She's having black outs now. She's my best friend and I don't want to lose her either to the drugs or from getting angry with me and never speaking to me again. She makes me avoid her and now I'm lying to her about not having any. What do you do? Any ideas? My pdoc said I should just tell her it's illegal, but that won't fly cause we've helped each other out in a pinch too many times before to just suddenly say it's illegal. Another dilema as if I needed another one.
I remember comforting our daughter who was with her dad early in his illness when he fell in the bathroom, landed in the bathtub, hit his head, and she had a heck of a time extracting him from the tub. I had to assure her that he didn't fall because of her carelessness, that it could have happened no matter who was trying to watch him.
Hubby fell several times a day in those first few months, in spite of using a walker. Going to a wheelchair was a great relief to both of us. Having a doctor come up with the right drug for him was even a greater relief.
After not falling for several years, he is once again having problems. Of the five times he has fallen this summer, I was with him during four of them. The other happened at his day program. If I were to claim, "No husband of mine is going to fall while I'm with him," I would have to say, as Ruth did, ha-ha-ha. 'Cause no-falls is a great goal, and the goal we are sharing tips about, but that is all it is -- a goal.
Since my husband's symptoms are becoming more severe now, his doctor has ordered two changes to his meds. The second change may help with the falls, but we can only make one change at a time, so I'm expecting more falls. I'll try to prevent them, of course, but I know that my power is limited. We may resort to the wheelchair if the problem worsens.
I'm sure that our loved ones are much better off with us than they would be on their own. But the fact is, falls happen.
As for our fellow forum member, Ruth...let's all give her a big 'ol break. She made her comment with a wink and a nudge and doubt she was lauding her skills over family caregivers. Her job is to work with clients who are at the end of their lives. Yes, she gets to go home at the end of the day. But, when our loved one passes, we go back to our lives, such as they are, but she soldiers on to the next person in need. I have hired paid caregivers in the past who were wonderful. And even though we could only afford having them for a few hours a week, those were precious hours that I could have to myself or use to do errands for Mom. I felt completely confident leaving Mom in their care.
Caregiving, paid or not, is an incredibly stressful and draining job. This is forum is the one place we can come to vent and speak our mind in complete openess. I hope we can keep the atmosphere here congenial for all our sakes.
I have had two wonderful PC's with Mom when my grandson was born and when my daughter was seriously ill. They were A+++ and provided exemplary care for the week they were with Mom. Had Mom fallen in their care I would still rate them this highly. No caregiver is so good that they can - or should - guarantee infallibility. It is both unrealistic and unachievable.
I still don't think that Ruth's comments were insensitive and self serving. When I have to hire someone, I hope it will be a Ruth.
so sometimes we shake our head and thinkin its our imagainary and oops he is realy hollaring .
as for falling down . not on my watch hahaha . thats funny . it realy is funny . cuz once dad was walkin with his walker , i dare not to be far from him , walk behind him cuz he would stumble backwards . just so happen i wasnt watchin him within a blink of an eye boom he fall backwards ! holy crap ! how in the world did that happen ? i was just right behind him ! so my watch is always screwed up .
rith u better knck on the wood cuz now maybe ur watch will be screwed up .
i felt so so bad and cried at my brother . honeslty i never want dad to fall waaaaaaa . he said oh linda it just happens , he knows cuz he was watched dad down down hill for the last 30 yrs of begin with him . says maybe dad did that on purpose to see if u ll catch him ? phhhht . not on my watch mmmmm never say never cuz it happen to me too .
i understand pc and fc is totaly diffrent . aint that the truth ! there has been time my brain just shuts down and i was dead and didnt hear dad hollar and hollar , he even goty into my face and screamed , i was dead . hubby came and shook me so hard i woke up , he sai dman linda didnt u hear dad ? i said no i didnt why ? he said he s been screamin bloody murder how could u not hear that ? oh hun im so tired my brain just shut down . i honestly felt like i did died to sleep forever , good ole hubby shook the helloutta me , said he had hard time wakin me up . so i am Fc , i will never be a pc or fc when all this is over .
not on my watch hahahaha ......
Paid Caretakers (PC) vs. Family Caretakers (FC)
A PC is doing a job they were hired to do and is being compensated for that work, sometimes with benefits. Most family FC positions are not paid, (in fact it costs families BIG BUCKS to care take - you can look it up), and many must hold either PT or FT jobs outside the home in order to support the family.
A PC has another life when their shift ends, same as the person who works on the assembly line or checks your groceries. The PC gets to leave - they get to go to dinner with friends, or cruise the mall, or go on a date, or spend an uninterrupted evening of amore - anything they want. As long as they remember to set their alarm clock and return to their job on time - their time away from the job is theirs to do as they please. Most FC live in the home of their elder, or their elder lives with them. Some are all alone in this - some have other family members around - some have other family members around who will occasionally help them. Others have family members around who resent the time and attention paid to the elder and make this fact known.
A PC can take a vacation, call in sick, or quit. Their obligation is that of an employee - not as a son or daughter or other family member. A FC doesn't have these options. Many rarely leave the house, don't have the option of staying in bed with the flu, and know if they quit (which many fantasize about doing), their elder will be forced into a NH (possibly substandard and/or not nearby), or taken by another family member whose main interest is to clean out the elders bank account. Many FC did not CHOSE their roles, but had it thrust upon them by circumstance. They do what they do because it needs to be done, and they have a sense of moral obligation.
A PC is not carrying on the necessary, ongoing, and routine work of an entire household. They may make a meal, wash a dish, do some laundry, and the like. But most aren't trying to figure out how to pay the electric bill, cleaning the upstairs bathrooms, changing the kitty litter, or mowing the grass, etc. FC's either have to let these things slide (you should see my grass with all this rain) or they accomplish them when they should be resting.
A PC may develop an emotional attachment to the elder (and one would hope they would). But a FC has had an emotional attachment to the elder, in my case, for more than 50 yrs. Sometimes this is a loving attachment i.e. "Mom did so much for me growing up - how could I not do this for her?" Sometimes FC's end up caring for elders who weren't so loving - they were abusive, or absent, or addicts, or indifferent - we still have emotional attachments to be sure, but they may include bitterness or resentment or even hatred for wrongs FC's may even find unforgiveable. A PC does not have this history, or this complexity.
I could go on and on about the differences between the PC and the FC, but alas, as a FC my daily priority is my elder - and heaven forbid she has fallen while I was writing this - when I should have been resting. But I learned a long time ago - and I have been at this for YEARS - that it is impossible to watch my elder 24/7. I do my best to keep my elder safe and clean and warm and fed and well-tended, and I strive to do it with kindness and understanding. I can't afford a PC. If I could, the most basic of assumptions I would make about their services is that they would not let my elder fall. In the meantime I keep 911 on speed dial so I can get some assist in helping her up if she does.
But I think that everyone is staying on track here, in sharing tips on preventing falls by the elderly, frail, or demented. And it sure isn't easy, is it? I love your redneck life alert idea.