Helping my Mom with severe arthritis/mobility issues. Any suggestions?

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My Mom is 86 and has severe osteoarthritis in her knees (as well as osteoperosis) She is also very unsteady & not a candidate for knee replacement. Mom uses a walker and is in assisted living (thank god). Here is the issue: Mom can barely get out of a chair, off a toilet and so forth. This becomes a major issue when I take her out. I'm a petite gal (with pre-osteopena) and while I manage to help her up, I'm becoming increasingly concerned and stressed that one day I won't be able to, or even if I'm holding her she is going to lose her balance (or her legs will collapse) taking us both down. (Mom weighs about 140) Mom also gets extremely panicky~ she's starts flipping out, screaming that I'm not holding her etc. This obviously adds stress to the whole situation. It's getting to the point where I dread taking her out cause I'm afraid. I feel bad, but I really fear something is going to happen (she's fallen in her room several times, and it always takes two people to help her) I should also mention that Mom is incontinent so going to the bathroom is a given while we are out. She uses the bathroom's handicap stall if available but sometimes the seat is too low for her to get up from. Also, once she's up she'll also start crying cause she is in so much pain (initially anyway) I just don't want to take her out anymore~ I feel horrible for feeling this way. Her assisted living facility is very nice and she does have opportunities to get out~ so it's not like she'd be a prisoner....thoughts/suggestions???

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Clarise1, I know it's been 2 years since anyone has responded to this thread, but if it weren't for the fact that your mother is about 10 years older than mine, I'd swear you and I had the same mother! Everything from their diagnosis and weight to the way your mom still treats you like you are 12 to the way she listens to the men in the family and dismisses the ideas of the women! They sound like twins!
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@ Karenzoo. Well......I can't say I'm creative with this by any means; I implant seeds and basically let it go because I learned it's not worth the stress and aggravation to try and make Mom do something. However, when all this stuff started with my Mom 4 years ago, I reached out to her doctor (behind her back) He was instrumental in 'making her' go into AL. He basically said, 'you will and you can' and gave her a deadline (LOL!!!) If your Mom is like mine, she'll listen to a doctor. I don't know about you, but my Mom still thinks I'm 12 so I don't have the same credibility. Plus, I think my Mom is more inclined to listen to a man. I've had my brother & cousin (her nephew) chime in and her tune changes!
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@ Clarise1 ~ I think you are right about that! I need to try to be more creative and come up with a way to get HER to buy into what she needs. My mom is also incontinent. I get it that she is embarrassed, but when I go to change her bedsheets she says don't bother. I don't consider that an option. So here are my questions for you: 1) ANY creative ideas to get her on board with a multiple of things and 2) When it has to do with safety, I won't give in. ANY ideas how to deal with that one? Thanks for your comments.
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@ karenszoo ~ I can relate (5 minutes for 3 steps) and like your Mom, mine is very proud/dismissive to help. I have found that the 'idea' has to come from her (i.e.. refused to use a pill organizer or have me help with it, but now she wants to give it a try!)

Anyway, I just found out last night that her ALF provides additional help for appointments and so forth so I will have assistance moving forward. HUGE relief!!!
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Interesting! My mom is in a wheelchair and over 250 lbs. I weigh half that much. I can relate. Hang in there. My dad has ALZ. I work outside the home and try to care for them both. They live with me. Thank God my husband is supportive. She won't tell me when it hurts or even dismisses my help (i.e. we had a ramp installed so we didn't have to watch her go up and down our steps...which took her 5 minutes for 3 steps...ouch!) and she got upset that we thought she needed a ramp. We can only do our best...
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I have a 92-year-old aunt (mother's sister) who lives in Ohio and has bad arthritis making her unable to move without assistance. Her hands hurt so much that her daughter will write messages for her when my aunt wants to write to me. I live in CA.
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I started taking turmeric capsules (with black pepper to increase its bioavailability) in February and it's made a huge difference in my arthritic knees (and I also have a meniscus tear). So Danammovedon I hope it helps your dad. Just check with a doctor before taking it, since it's an oxalate and can cause kidney stones in people predisposed to stone formation.

The strap is called a gait belt and it's very helpful in getting better leverage on others. But you'd need some instruction on using it with your mom. I used one on my dad (who was over 200 pounds) after he had a stroke to help him get up.

But Clarise if you can't get a third party to help take your mom out, it sounds like the fear you both have about it take away any pleasure that might be derived.
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140 pounds isn't all that much but if you feel uncertain about your ability to handle her, I would take a third party with you when/if you take her out. Personal care attendants use a belt (like a canvas luggage belt) to pull up a person from a sitting position, because it is generally safer and more steady than pulling the person up with their arms - you could dislocate their arms. My father wears a thick leather belt around his waist (to hold up his pants) and I will use that to help him up from a sitting position or grab it to steady him if we are walking and his legs give out. He also has a cane and a roller walker that we take everywhere. His doctor has him on Tylenol for arthritic leg pain and we are now trying Turmeric to see if it makes a difference. Glucosamine/chondroitin/HA did not work for him. You know how it is with arthritis - it hurts but if you don't use it, you lose function. By getting your parent out and about, you hope she will be interested enough in her surroundings to distract from the pain, but there comes a time when not even that will help. Oh, Depends will help with the incontinence problems when you go out, so she might not even have to use the facilities.
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This question was posted previously and there were several responses. What happened to the rest of the responses?
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Bless you for still wanting to take your mom out! The picture you painted sounds so very stressful and overall so many safety issues. For now, could you visits be in the facility? Do they have a family area or an outdoor area on the premises? It might be good to find an area right there to wheel her to and visit. When the bathroom break comes up, you would ask for assistance (and it helps to see how this facility aids her). Since you are sensing your own fragility in this; err on the side of safety. Your visits might be welcomed more by your mom. Take advantage that is already being paid for. Have a happier visit, bless you.
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