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Not sure if anybody has a personal story to share, but I would like to offer my story here and see who has any comments.

We are a close family of 7 (it was until this past November when we lost our oldest 61 year old sister to cancer.

My mother passed away 3 years ago and we thought my father would die soon after from a broken heart. We are fortunate that we rally as a family. My sisters kept him company and there isn't a night that he didn't have a good home cooked meal in front of him.

Over the past year or so my father has started to fall a lot. He used to walk 4 miles a day but that has become a thing of the past as well.

About a month ago, he had a fall that broke his wrist. This really complicated things and added to his poor balance problems. Sure enough, a few weeks ago he fell over backwards in the kitchen trying to remove his pants. He hurt his back and went to the ER by ambulance. "They said" they couldn't find anything and discharged him the next day.

Well a week went by and his pain continued to be severe. He isn't able to get out of the chair or hospital bed without help because of the pain....and weakness too. Still concerned we reached out to an ortho doctor who we knew in a nearby community. He was great and told him to bring him in and he would have admitted to the hospital that he practices at. They did more -x-rays and found a few cracked ribs which seemed to be causing his pain.

That was 4 days ago and we just brough my father home after a good rest at the hospital, but while bringing him into the house, he seemed weaker than ever. Since his last fall, he is not able to walk without a walked and somebody standing behind him. He still needs help getting up from chair/bed etc

He is 84 years. He is stubborn about going to a nursing home rehab for a period of time, so we are pretty much it in his house. He doesn't qualify for many programs so we have been getting private pay help for overnights and some limited day time help as well.

Hopefully he will come to terms with the severity of his condition soon. He wants to get rid of any help (impossible---he gets up 3 times night to go the toilet) that we have. We want to move him downstairs (lives in a big 2 story house) and I want to renovate the downstairs bathroom to an accessible shower surround system as I am the son that is close by and has to give him a shower and help him with his toilet duties.

Anybody out there know of or been through something similar? I have no clue what to expect. To say that me and my sisters are stressed is an understatement.

Thanks---Happy New Year!

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Of course you are stressed. Having a family to share the load and encourage each other is a blessing. At least none of you are alone in this sadness.

You did a good job in getting to the bottom of the pain issue. Persistence pays off!

Have you gotten any opinions as to why he is falling so much in the first place? When a man who has been walking 4 miles a day suddenly can't walk, something more than old age might be involved. Have any of the doctors commented on this?

I think your plan to remodel the bathroom and to move Dad downstairs is awesome. It keeps him where he wants to be but recognizes the kind of support he needs. As you make changes, plan for wheelchair accessibility. He may not need that now, but plan ahead. When my husband was falling several times a week, a walker was only frustrating, but he soon accepted a wheelchair, because it gave him the security of not falling and allowed him to move around the house by foot power. If Dad has the financial resources and his children have the willingness to supervise and organize, he may be able to stay at home indefinitely.

I wish you luck!
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