In home health care or nursing home?

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Hello. Mom, who has mobility issues and uses a walker to get around her house, got ill with a bug for 24 hours, went to emergency room, had very high blood pressure and a slight UTI. She's back home now but is too weak to get out of her chair and bed and needs assistance. My sister has been spending the night and staying with her during the day, but she can't do it much longer (it's only been two days, though). We are just waiting for her to get her strength back. I live out of town and can't get down there til this weekend. Do we get home health care to come stay with her or check her into the nursing home? She has no other illness nor demetia. She got a bad UTI last year, stayed in the hospital for a week and too weak to be by herself so, she went to the nursing home. She got stronger after a month or so. But it took a couple of months after that to convince my siblings to let her go home. She was at home and managed just fine with someone coming a couple hours a day to give her a shower, grocery shop, clean, etc. She's been home for 5 months. I would like to believe she will get over this and get her strength back. But what do we do in the mean time?

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CarolLynn .. thanks for the expert view on this. One thing, tho: Truvia is just a brand name for a stevia product, no? If not, I'm gonna smack 'em in their advertising tushes.

On an added note: I recently discovered D-Mannose (a simple sugar derived from many fruits, cranberry being one with the most .. hence its likely efficacy) supplements and after her last hospital visit and with the first signs of a UTI, began her on a daily regimen. So far, it's kept the worst of her symptoms at bay. We took a urine sample to have it tested, as a baseline, yesterday, and today began a more acute dosing. I have my hopes up.
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As a nutritionist, I am in agreement with what LadeeC has posted except for adding the truvia to the unsweetened cranberry juice. Better to use pure stevia or pure monk fruit as these are not artificial sweeteners. lf you must use an artificial sweetener, sucralose is the least offensive. If you can't find pure unsweetened cranberry juice or your patient find it unpalatable even with added sugar free sweetener, I have told people for years to use ocean spray light cranberry juice, which is also sweetened with sucralose. Again, not my favorite sweetener but the least offensive of the artificial varieties. LadeeC is absolutely correct that sugar will will FEED a UTI infection, and quick digesting refined carbohydrates (sugar, WHITE flour, WHITE rice, etc.) is quickly converted to sugar in the body and also feed UTI's, not what you want.

There is a very effective product on the market at work so well even urologist are recommending it. It's called Cystex and is a very concentrated cranberry juice. 1 tablespoon today, or two can be taken if needed helps to prevent UTI's. It also contains sucralose, however. I wish they would make an unsweetened variety where those of us in the health field good at the type of sweetener we prefer. But in the meantime, I write this off to thinking of it as medicinal and sometimes you just have to do what you have to do if the benefits far outweigh the risk.
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It could have been better to hire a caregiver for your mom because nursing home could be expensive, also home care or nursing assistant devote their complete time at your mom's health
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sunflo2, we have a very nice lady that comes two hours a day to help with bathing, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking light meals and my sister stops by every day. However, her doctor just prescribed home health care to come weekly to check her vitals...keeps having high blood pressure. As long as mom stays strong enough to get out of her chair and move around, she's good at home. It's just anytime she gets ill (UTI), it gets her weak. She can't bend one knee, so relies on her other bad knee to get out of chairs and a lot of upper body strength.
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Can she possibly afford part time in home care a few hrs a day or a few days a week to help ensure she stays hydrated and has meals? Can they assist her in bathing every few days or so and ensuring she maintains good hygiene? You can present as just temporary help while she recovers... Maybe her doctor can speak with her and advise she gets the help or dictate 8 glasses liquid a day, 2x per wk baths etc. is the shower easy for her to manage? Can you change the shower head to a handheld -- I would just leave it hang down so she can easily use and rinse. Consider a shower stool as well.

I think if she is all right and managing and willing to have some in home help, you can postpone a care facility and NH. It would also help you and family to not have the full time care responsibilities.
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For UTI prevention, many of these can be helpful (much of it depends on her ability to withstand the stuff, combined with other meds and current conditions):

.. Cranberry Juice (not the cocktails that are mostly sugar. We use 100% cranberry juice, mix with some water and add truvia sweetener, to reduce the caloric intake). Even better, from what I've researched, is extract in capsule form.*

.. Grapefruit Seed Extract is a broad spectrum antimicrobial (caveat: there are raging debates on the efficacy of GSE, but my personal experience is over-the-top wonderful) .. comes in liquid or tablet form. I can't begin to understand how it works for colds, flu, yeast and UT infections, I just know it does. Google it and read up for yourself.

.. Probiotics, like *live* acidophilus, is beneficial to the entire GI and Urinary tracts; helps stabilize bowels, and some have found it helps avoid the UTIs.

.. Clear liquids .. as much as s/he can tolerate, as much without sugar/carbohydrates as possible*

.. Healthy, wise cleansing. Most of us don't think about this, but START with clean hands. Dry wiping generally just spreads whatever it is down there around. Wet wipes are better. Bidets are better still (there are hand-held, water-filled bulb, long handled ones available.

Hope this helps. One of my mantras is, "Google is your friend" (or Bing .. whatever search engine you like). Research on UTIs + sugar, UTIs + nutrition, UTI prevention. There's a wealth of information.


* Sugar FEEDs the bacteria. Also note: starches convert to sugar. It's worth researching a diabetic diet. It primarily advocates a low carbohydrate, *balanced* diet and isn't that hard to comprehend or manage (even without calorie counting).
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Thanks everyone, it has been a week and mom has regained her strength and back to staying by herself. My task now is to start a regime on UTI prevention. She hates to go to trouble to take a shower (needs help) and it probably gets done only once a week or every other week. I know she doesn't drink enough water. Thus, more frequent showers, more water, wipes instead of toilet paper? What else?
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Cherry, my thoughts are to go ahead and get the home health in there right away and then just see how it goes. It's not like it has to be an either/or decision made immediately and it might help you to see how your mom gets on with the home health help for the next week or two and then reevaluate whether an NH makes sense. How are things going now?
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That's what I did right now for my mother. I love her so much.. she smiles everytime she sees my sons..that would make her day.
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I mean it could have been better to let your mom stay at home than on nursing home because sometimes the environment can worsen their condition. it's better if she can talk and see you all in your home as a family.
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