I am caring for my 83 year old mother who is pretty overweight, has type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Usually I am able to provide for all her needs in home. However, lately she started to have more and more difficulty getting out of bed. She can't get up without a lot of help due to weak muscles and pain in arms and legs (due to age). The situation deteriorates rapidly to a point where I don't know how to get her out of bed and on a toilet. Not without injuring my back. I am at a loss what to do. Do I look for some kind of facility where she can live safely? As her official in-home service provider I feel unable to physically assist her because of her weight. Do I look into hiring another person? Are there devices that might help her get out of bed? She usually uses a rollator (walker) for walking,
If I can't get her out of the bed or put a pampers on her, her safety and living conditions will suffer. I need advice. Thank you.
You may well also need to hire a second caregiver, depending on what the OT recommends.
I wouldn't delay. If you damage your back not only will you be out of action but what will happen to your mother? You're quite right not to take any chances with this.
Your mom needs an evaluation with a physical therapist who can then determine what assistive devices might work as well as exercises to improve her mobility and perhaps decrease her weight. That physical therapist can also educate you on techniques to assist your mom that make it safest for your mother AND YOU. Things that could help might be a bed rail, a hospital bed, or a trapeze on that hospital bed. There are programs out there that she might qualify for that could bring a nutritionist to her to discuss ways to improve diet. Eventually some patients need a HOYA lift to get out of bed which requires two people. At that point, your mom will needs to be in a facility. You do not want to injure yourself. So, start looking at nursing homes in the area and programs to help pay for that.
Get a copy of Eat Right 4 Your Type and see how she can be helped to lose weight. The trouble is, with "facilities" the less money they cost the cheaper and less nourishing the food. I live in a rural area with few "facilities." I was amazed they had no "diabetic diet" which was a standard years ago when i was in nursing. Everybody got the same food. And it was the cheapest they could buy, according to one person familiar with the corporation that owned the place.
I wish you luck, but know you will have to tackle this one on your own. Depending on how much of a fighter you are, will decide how it turns out. Corporations are all about the money. I will never have enough to live in place where my pocket is deep enough.....
Once he started needing more help getting up I started using a Sit-to-Stand and that helped a lot as he declined and could no longer safely hold himself on the Sit-to-Stand I got a Hoyer Lift. If you can not get these types of equipment to use at home it would be safer for you as well as your Mom to place her where they can either do 2 person transfers or use equipment. (Some facilities have regulations that they will not use 2 people to transfer but will use equipment only, ask about this if you begin looking for a facility)
From my experience, as the 'patient' who lives alone, I needed to protect my ability to get out of bed by myself after a head-on car collision, now with a disability on right side, so I was issued a bed rail by my VA PT/OT. I am overweight also, but had the MOST trouble just turning over in bed after multiple surgeries, It wasn't just my weight,but weakness. I could not turn on, or sleep on my right side for 5 years until I healed. So the bed rail is a life saver, I can grab it and get to a sitting position, then hold the rail as I stand to get balance.
I am still using it 9 years later! as I also had a stroke on the right too . There are many 'tools', but the simplest can be best. My OT also ordered a "cloth ladder", made of strong fabric strips just like a ladder, it ties to the bottom frame of the bed, and you can pull up by reaching for the next ladder rail. Even a long strip of bedsheets can be tied to the frame and you can pull up.
I tried hiring 'Visiting Angels'- $27 an hour and they won't lift anyone, or expect employees to manage that due to possible injury to them.
I don't think it would make life any easier and it might just complicate both of your lives. But I wanted you to be aware of the Hoyer. In hospitals and skilled nursing facilities the Hoyers are mechanized but in-home Hoyers are hand-cranked.
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