Hi all. Well, my sweet mama fell on Thursday evening and broke her humerus in dominant arm. She also bruised her face as her head struck the wall. We are very fortunate there was no internal bleed as she is on Eloquis twice daily. Aside from breaking my heart to see her in pain I am really afraid she might not be able to come home again after this incident. She turned 94 on Monday and although I definitely feel overwhelmed being her live in and primary care giver but boy does the thought of mama not coming home make me incredibly sad. I feel awful when I leave her each day at the rehab. We have been in rehab before but with each incident my anxiety gets higher as she is getting older and more frail. I simply cannot afford to cut back my hours any more than I already have and am really worried as this is a major setback for her. Anyone had similar experience? How did things work out?

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My grandma, at age 94, fell and broke BOTH wrists. Any major bone breakage at 90+ is serious.

She was in a rehab facility for about 6 weeks, then mom tried to take her home. That lasted less than a week.

She ASKED to be moved to a NH near her condo. She never went back to her condo, instead, she decided she was now going to die. She was really organized that way. While there, she slowly began the final slip.

Mom and I cleaned and sorted her condo, Gma was very much in charge. It felt so weird to be packing all her stuff away when she was still alive, but she was planning to die, and by golly, she did.

If she had WANTED to heal and go back home, I am sure she would have. But she was DONE.
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Reply to Midkid58

I'm sorry about your Mom's injury. Last summer (July 2021) my Mom (92) fell and broke her wrist of her dominant hand. She lives mostly independently next door to me. The doc reset her wrist and said if she were much younger he would recomomend surgery for it, but was concerned that at her age the surgery itself had enough risks that probably outweighed the benefit.

She recovered at home and after the removal of the cast, it took the pain several more months to subside. She was going to PT to try to regain strength and movement. She did her exercises faithfully as she was very motivated to return to "normal".

Honestly it is hard to know what is now normal aging or what is a result of the injury. She also has arthritis in her hands and other parts of her body. She needs help getting lids off jars, zipping up, tieing her shoes, things like that. She still drives, does yardwork and housecleaning, etc.

At our Moms' ages recovery takes so much longer and can be discouraging. Normal age-related decline is hidden in the mix, so I don't think anyone can give you an accurate answer to your question because it all depends on the individual.

I highly recommend she do PT faithfully and keep reminding her to be patient about how long it takes for her recovery. If she simply lost her balance and fell, I'd have PT work on that as well (my Mom was doing performing an unusual maneuver while wearing flipflops and moving backwards, then tripped over the shoes). Chances are your Mom won't get back to where she was before her fall but she may get close. I wish you both all the best!
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Reply to Geaton777

Only YOU know if you can care for mom at home anymore after this last incident. Do you feel like mom is safe alone at home while you work? If not, can she afford to hire caregivers while you aren't there? If the answer is yes, then that solves the issue and you can let the staff in the hospital/rehab know you have your bases covered for her return home. If you feel that you're unable to properly care for her at home any longer, there's no shame in admitting such a thing.

When my dad was 91, he fell at home in his independent living apartment and broke his hip (refusing to use a walker). After the hospital surgically repaired his hip, he was sent to rehab where he made no progress; Medicare stopped paying for his stay and they insisted he stay there permanently in their long term care (Skilled Nursing) section of the facility. I said no b/c mom was alive and they needed to stay together. So I found them both an Assisted Living facility to live in together, and with PT, dad started to make some progress. But he had a brain tumor (that was discovered during an MRI after the fall) and that wound up killing him 10 months later. His broken hip turned out to be a major setback indeed, but mostly b/c he had a brain tumor and never was able to walk again afterward.

What's important with your mom is that she can make the necessary progress in rehab TO come back home. If so, great. If not, then you can discuss alternatives, such as hiring in home help to be there with her when you aren't.

Wishing you and mom the best of luck and a full recovery for her.
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Reply to lealonnie1

My 92 yr old mother fell and broke her hip. After surgery she went to rehab where she didn’t put any effort into physical therapy. She wanted to go home so we told her she needed to really work at getting stronger if she wanted to go home. Still no effort so when her insurance paid time in rehab ended she went to a NH. We talked with the PT and OT and they definitely pushed her to do therapy but finally told me they thought she had plateaued and couldn’t do more. The hip healed completely but she just gave up and she passed away yesterday. She was there 2 months. Encourage your mom to really do the rehab and keep her spirits up and there’s a chance she’ll come home. I’ll pray for both of you. ❤️
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Reply to Failingdaughter

My father-in-law (94) is in this situation right now. He broke his leg last month after a fall. He is returning home from rehab today, not exactly against medical advice, but not with full blessing either.

I'm expecting it to be a disaster but I'll let you know.

Your mom may do much better considering it was just her arm, but will need significantly more help.
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Reply to Kelanor
drowningcat Oct 24, 2022
Thank you and please keep me posted. Well wishes for your FIL.
Hi and thanks so much for your feedback. I am glad your mother is doing so much better with the wrist recovered and living her new normal. And yes, it is hard to discern when normal aging is the culprit. My mama lived alone until a few months ago and I ran back and forth between my house and hers. Now that I live with her some things are easier but others are harder. Basically, my mama can only be on her feet for a few minutes at the time due to degenerative disc disease and arthritis. She does have balance issues and is supposed to use her walker when moving around the house. However, recently she has been leaving the walker and maneuvering around by holding onto furniture, the wall, etc. Literally had just gave her a pep talk about how frustrating it must be to need the walker but that it keeps her safe. A few hours later I found her on the floor by the back door - her walker was around in the kitchen. :(

She will do rehabilitation at the facility for a 3-4 weeks and then hopefully home again.
I have a meeting with her treatment team tomorrow morning to discuss treatment plan, expectations and so forth.

I hope your mom continues to be as independent as possible and stays healthy!
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Reply to drowningcat

In January 2020, my mother who was then 92 years old, fell off of a chair and broke her left hip.

She (and me) were in the hospital for 8 days and she came back home with me instead of going into a rehab facility.

She began physical therapy twice each week, and I also worked with her daily to regain her strength and mobility.

She healed amazingly and is still going strong at 95.
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Reply to southiebella

My 97 year old grandmother broke her leg after falling out of her recliner while reaching for the phone. She was in rehab for two weeks and then sent home. She did very well on her own with a wheelchair but finally allowed someone to come in to help with cooking and cleaning (her insurance covered it because she went on hospice) -- she did pass away shortly after her 100th birthday, but it had nothing to do with breaking her leg.

I think the most important thing is for your Mom to literally use her whole body (I don't mean working out, I mean physical therapy and daily activities of living) while she is recovering. My father passed away Aug 31 -- end stage heart failure and kidney failure; his visiting nurse explained that the problem was that he lost pretty much all mobility a few weeks before the end. Our organs and vascular systems require physical activity.

Final note: I would speak to her surgeon or PCP about helping her remain physically active, if you can. Also please bear in mind that Tylenol can do wonders for pain without the negative effects of a pain medication.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's hard to grieve the loss of a parent while they are still alive but as my father told me several years ago, this may be the hardest part. And you will be ok. It's going to be OK.

Take care,

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Reply to groovygal

My Moms story was similar but we made different choices. She was a vibrant 98 year old who fell at the bathroom threshold and broke her dominant arm. I'll spare the details but she was in the hospital for almost a week during Covid - without visitors - and crying on the phone for me every night. I couldn't bear to send her to rehab and had her brought home by ambulance. She was in pain, but happy to be home and it for me it was a ton of work. But after a day or two she started to have problems breathing and she was gone within the week. Would this have happened in rehab anyway? The answer is uncertain.Another person would have said I absolutely did the wrong thing by taking her home. I do have many regrets yet having her home where she wasn't stressed out emotionally wasn't one of them. I adored my mom, and miss her every single day.
I wrote this to say you have to go with your gut, because we don't really have the final say over life and death. In advanced age, anything can happen at any time. Just by reading other's stories here, you can see the endings vary. You know your Mom better than anyone else - do what you feel is the right thing to do, and prepare yourself to live with the outcome. I wish you and Mom a happy outcome!
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Reply to NYCmama
robert152 Oct 30, 2022
You did what you thought was right at the time . You did it with love in your heart. You cannot do more then that. You are a good daughter.
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I am actually more worried for you than your mother. It sounds like she already isn't doing much for herself. Your profile also makes it sound like you are fairly enmeshed. You needing to work and her seemingly not capable of being left alone are a bad combination. Can you use her income to pay caregivers in the home for at least part of the day? Right now receiving treatment in rehab and getting the pain under control is much more important than her coming home (in her current condition). I would focus on that for now, one thing at a time. If you decide to bring her back home at the end of it, look into getting some help.
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Reply to iameli

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