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As usual, the hospital screwed up on my elderly uncle's release and sent him home without proper information about transfers. My uncle broke his foot/ankle/leg and isn't supposed to put any weight on it. The physical therapist was supposed to come talk to my cousin and I before my uncle was released, but they didn't. Everything was messed up because my cousin wasn't sure he wanted to take his father home or if he wanted to send him to rehab. He needed info from the therapist first.


When the nurse transferred him from the hospital bed to the transport chair, she picked him up, but had weight on his foot. When the transport people put him in the car, they had him with full weight on his leg.


We can do (but haven't tried) transfers to/from the chair and bed with a board, but that doesn't work for using the toilet. His adult diaper pullups need to be pulled down/up. Even if we use a traditional tabbed diaper, it wouldn't be much better. We thought about having him go without a diaper and just loading up the chair with pee pads, but then were worried he'd make a mess with bowel movements.


Even if home care sent someone out, they would have the same problem. Anyone would, I would think.


So how do you lift a patient who is not supposed to put weight on their leg? The doctor said he shouldn't be in the bed all the time.


We don't know how much longer we can do this. We didn't want to send him to rehab and the doctor doesn't think it's a good idea either. He has Alzheimer's and the doctor thinks it would be better for his mental health if he stayed at home. I know how those places are, especially considering how bad the hospital was.

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Continued... after I read all your followup posts.

My mother doesn't want to use the bedside commode anymore, so when her knee is sore and she can't walk with the walker, she transfers from her bed or chair into her wheelchair. I take the walker into the bathroom, then wheel Mom up the walker, she uses the wheelchair arms to stand, the walker to turn 90 degrees and sits down on the toilet. Reverse to get back to the bedroom.

I don't find cleaning up after an adult's BMs any worse than cleaning up after a young child, other than the embarrassment factor for the adult. Stocked with the incontinence products there are some very large wipes/disposable washcloths to clean the major mess away, then you can use normal baby wipes for final cleaning (I like to use the ones with aloe). I discard the wipes into a plastic grocery bag or on the disposable pad during the cleaning, then close and tie the bag or wrap the pad around the discarded mess and then put it in a plastic grocery bag and tie it close to contain everything. You can usually find some latex gloves to wear too if neither you nor your uncle are allergic. It's not pleasant by any means, but it is bearable.
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My mother has a bad knee and sometimes cannot put any weight on it. Mom can push herself from a chair using one leg and the chair/bed rail arms. When she rises from the couch, she uses one couch arm and I place my forearm under her shoulder pit to provide some lift from the side where there's no couch arm. (Do not ever use your hands to grab a senior's arm, beyond bruising you can literally pull muscle off the bone.) Once she stands she can hold onto her walker and balance without putting weight on her bad knee. She can also turn 90 degrees to transfer into her wheelchair or onto a toilet.

I put a clean panty over my mom's feet and about half way up her legs while she is sitting, then she stands and holds to the walker as I tear the soiled panty sides and remove it. I clean and apply a cream as needed, then pull the clean panty up. It's a little harder getting the clean panty into position if she's wearing pants, but since you are using diapers that shouldn't be a problem. We use pads under her for leaks, which usually are minor and only happen overnight.

If your uncle has enough cognitive capacity to follow simple directions, then this could work for him too. I recommend using the gait belt just in case he doesn't follow a direction at some point. A simple adjustable and fold-able walker is available at Walmart or a lot of drugs stores for $30-40. Adjust it as best you can so the handles are at the natural fall of your uncle's palms so he doesn't have to bend his arms too much. Have the PT tech adjust it when he comes.

PT can work with your uncle to build muscle and balance so he can stand without assistance. They can also show you gentle range of motion exercises (often using some stretch bands) to maintain muscle strength and range of motion while reducing pain from contracted muscles and reducing the chances of getting bed sores.
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Call the facility where he was and ask to speak with the social worker. In my experience with my husband and hospitals or rehabs where he’s been, the patient and their family need to ask specific questions about care after discharge. You should have met with a discharge planner before he came home. This would have been the time to discuss home care including what kind of care he’d need and how to provide it.
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KateH2 Dec 1, 2019
Yes, someone was supposed to talk to us. Someone did come, but they got a call, left and never came back. Next thing we know, the discharge orders were already done. At this point, it was after 6pm so we just took him home.

I think we're leaning towards sending him to rehab. I just wish I knew how long he might be there. Two weeks? A month? Two months? That hospital is horrible. So many people. They would not listen to us, everyone was always answering phone calls, running out of the room never to return.
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You really do need a PT person to help you here. Time to call and see how to get that. Start with the doctor office. An accident will happen that injures one of you or the other, otherwise. It is almost impossible for one debilitated person to be transferred back and forth if they cannot fully understand, and esp if in a diaper that required more hands. So the adult incontinent pant gets unfastened and essentially left behind on the bed. A good ortho nurse can help. Also check youtube Transfer without weight bearing, because you would be amazing what is on that thing. This is really a show and tell that almost cannot be described, and I was an ortho nurse lo those many years ago.
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KateH2 Dec 1, 2019
Thanks. What can PT do to help us? With my uncle's foot/leg in a semi-hard cast, I'm not sure what they would be able to do.

Can't call PT until Monday around noon. Even if we used a transfer board, my uncle has little strength. Also, every little touch feels like a punch to him. He's extremely sensitive. His body is sore, but he doesn't understand and thinks we're being rough.

We're starting to think we should just leave him in bed and not make him use the toilet, just pee in his diapers. It's that bowel movement that has us worried.
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My mom is non-weight bearing and I use a gait belt to transfer her. She is only 110 lbs, however. Her doctor mentioned using a Hoyer lift to transfer, but those are quite large.
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KateH2 Nov 30, 2019
I think he (my uncle) was about 92 lbs. when he entered the hospital (he's a petite man but should weigh a bit more). I don't know what he is now, he was only there for two days.

I tried a transfer/gait belt (the simple kind with no handles) and while that was somewhat better on me, he still had weight on that one foot.

A simple transfer isn't too much problem. It's the transfer to the portable toilet and back that is the problem because his diaper needs to be pulled down/taken off. Should we not put him in a diaper? Just sit him on a bunch of pee pads in the recliner?

I still blame the hospital. They weren't supposed to have released him until we talked to PT. As it was, they told us so many contradictory things it was ridiculous.
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