My husband lost three siblings since 2013. He has one brother left. His mother and his siblings all lived in Texas and we are in Alabama. When my husbands older brother passed away last February there was no one left to care for his mother. The one remaining brother is also in poor health. We moved my mother in law here to Alabama in an apartment across the road from us. She used a walker and was able to get around enough to perform simple everyday tasks. I would go over everyday and help with those things that she could not do herself. I took her to her appt's, bought her groceries, cooked meals and helped her pay her bills. She put me on her bank account before we left Texas and gave me POA. Everything was going well until she fell, twice. The first time, she fell backwards into her tub and fractured her spine in two places. Before we could really get anything done about that, she fell from her lift chair and broke her hip. She had her hip surgically repaired and spent three nights in the hospital (I stayed with her) and then was moved to a nursing facility for rehab. She was uncooperative with the PT's, even threatening them when they tried to get her to do what they prescribed. One of the therapists hurt her back trying to move her. My mother in law weighs around 220. Consequently she was discharged early from rehab because she was not progressing according to Medicare standards. She remained bedridden, so my husband and the rest of the family made the decision to admit her in the nursing home. I am not giving up hope on her recovering. I had her carried by ambulance to her follow up appt with the Orthopedic surgeon. He said that there was no reason that she shouldn't be walking with her walker. But she has a paralyzingly fear of falling and he said that was a real issue. He also said that she should continue with the therapy. I'm afraid that the PT's have given up on her. I also know that she has severe depression and she is just plain tired! But, she wants to go home to her 2 kitties. I am absolutely overwhelmed with the responsibilities that I have with her life. I have thought of nothing else for over a month now. I just want her to be happy. Her life has been so horrible for the last few years. I have run myself ragged doing things for her. It is just my personality, I don't know what else to do at this point. I continue to pay rent on the apartment and her utilities just hoping that she will come back home. Any thoughts?
" jazzy ". She'll have to be able to transfer but she might be willing to work on that thinking she doesn't have to bother with walking. Once she gets that going, retire the jazzy little by little. In other words, pull out all the stops. If she doesn't get up, she's headed for many more problems. It will get worse each day she remains sedentary.
She can do a lot of pt in a chair to strengthen her arms and legs. If the pts have given up, give them a pep talk. It's obvious you love your MIL but you might need a nudge yourself to not feel sorry for her. If she resists your efforts, you might want to withdraw to gain perspective and for her to realize she has some life left to live. Use this time to rest up from all the stress. Gain perspective. She isn't the only person who has had a hard time the last few years. What she is doing is not working for her best interests or yours. I had an orthopedic surgeon tell me one time, you will bend that leg or I will. I have an image of my 95 yr old mom rounding the walk track ( on her walker and with a broken back) in her hot pink gym clothes that inspires me to this day. But not all of us have that kind of grit. I understand that. Consider hypnosis. Consult an acupuncturist.
Consider that you might be depressed yourself. One last thing, make her laugh. Make it your mission to make her laugh.
I'd also explore if she has any mental decline. VERY poor balance is often accompanied by Vascular dementia. Sometimes, if that is in play, she may not be able to really comprehend how the hard work pays off down the road. That type of thinking is something that people who have mental decline have trouble with. I've seen that with a couple of seniors. You might speak with her doctor about that too. It sounds like she's exactly where she needs to be in the NH. She isn't able to care for herself.
And if she is competent and just doesn't want to do therapy anymore, then, I would accept her decision. If she refuses to get out of the bed, it may hasten her physical decline, but, I don't see how you can change that. Sometimes seniors reach that place in life.
I'd also chat with the staff at the NH. Ask those who care for her daily and see if they can offer any bits of information that help solve the puzzle. How are her conversations, how does she spend her time, does she remember their names, does she sleep much, how is her appetite, etc. I would think you would need as much info as possible when you discuss it with her doctor.
I will make one comment. My MIL just kind of stopped walking! So here we are a year later and she truly can't walk. But now her ability to transfer is also compromised. Trust me, it isn't a pretty picture! I would vote for making EVERY attempt to get her moving now before she loses the ability to do so.