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My Mom needs to walk around but she is so unsteady that if I look away for 5 seconds she falls. I keep straining my back and neck trying to keep her from falling. Just venting I guess. Have to get more help in here.

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I have gotten some help in here now and things are a lot better. I am able to get out and have some "me time" so I am not as frazzeled. I still have to watch my Mom when she gets up and use a gait belt sometimes to keep her from falling backwards. She usually wants to walk around in the early evening so I have gotten used to it and walk around the house with her until she gets tired and wants to sit down again. Just part of our daily routine now. Good luck , msgeri, it's good that you have helped your Mom!
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You are not alone. My mom falls on a daily basisi. I watch her like a hawk but all it takes is to look away for a second. I got her a rollater and wheelchair. Doctor says its the dementia not much you can do
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My mother-in-law has to use the walker type that has only 2 wheels. She can't be trusted to remember to use the brakes, so it probably would go shooting out from under her. It has been a life saver, her little old fashioned walker has.
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It's the people who made all those holier-than-thou comments to sskape1 that are living in a dream world. It's not a question of being unwilling to reach out for help. When was the last time you tried it? If you got help right away, either the planets just happened to be in alignment for you or it was a VERY long time ago or the part of country you live in.

Here in NY, I contacted the County Office for the Aging in June, because my Mom (76) who is my father's caregiver (he is 83 and has late stage Parkinson's), was going to have surgery and was not allowed to bend or lift. We were looking for some respite care help. Well, they called back the first Friday in AUGUST, a month and a half after my mother's surgery. Ironically, it was also the day my father was discharged from the hospital (because he fell Aug. 1) to a rehabilitation ctr because he lost so many skills while in hospital. They bounced him back to the hospital due to swallowing issues, he was there a few days then to another rehabilitation center for 21 days. You can believe it or you can call me a liar, but even the REHAB place could not find a home health aide when it was time to discharge him. They wanted to hold him in the rehab ctr till they could find one! But he was not doing well there--cognitive skills seriously deteriorating. So my mother insisted they discharge him solely to her care while they tried to find someone.

After discharge, the County Health Dept. took over (the two private agencies were still too busy and could not find a nurse, phys therapist, and aide--claimed it was due to it being "the last week in summer and right before Labor Day"). The County mercifully was able to come up with a physical therapist, speech therapist, and a visiting nurse, but they too still could not find a home health aide no matter how many agencies they called. Two different times the County thought they had found one, and the people never showed up and never called. It wasn't till the end of September that they managed to find one, and she was supposed to start the Oct. 6 but never showed up till Oct. 10.

So let me tell you, it is NOT a question of being reluctant to seek help. Even when you DO seek help, the heartbreaking truth is that there are so many sick elderly out there that there are just not enough home health aides to go around. Also, in-home care is not cheap--most agencies charge $20/hr. around here. Not that the aide gets that. But you do run a risk in hiring someone through an ad in the newspaper--they're not bonded like they are with agencies, they don't have criminal history checks, they don't have the training/certifications, and they don't have the random drug checks. (A lot of the drugs the elderly are on are controlled substances. Besides which, you don't want someone stealing from you to feed a drug habit.)

Anyway, sskape1, I feel your pain and I hope you find someone to help with your mother soon. I know my father is falling more often now and we are at our wits' end. He is not ill enough for a care facility and not well enough to be home. Forget assisted living--at $6K a month, they would rapidly run through their life savings (assuming they could even find a place that had an opening).
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Dear Ed and Bonnie,

Thank you for all your kind words and support. If I came across too harsh, it is only because I have a mother-in-law who has AD. She is living at home and 3 weeks ago she fell and broke her neck. She is now in a rehab home and being well taken care of. She is going to be there awhile until she heals. The big question is with her having AD it does not look like she will be able to come home without 24/7 care.
My husband and his sister both care for their mother along with my brother-in-law and I. We have been doing everything for her, because she can not anymore, and her wish is that she will be able to stay in her home. My husband has realized for some time now, that his mother should not be alone. But his sister thinks it was not to that point to where their mother should have 24 hour care. We too have looked into all the possible placements for Mom and resourses that are available.
On top of all of that, My husband also has one more sister who lives out of town who will not speak to any one but her mother, because four years ago we had to place their Dad in a nursing home. And now she hates all of us because their dad died in a nursing home. I have seen and have felt along with my husband the fustrations that comes with caring for our elderly parents. Our goal is only to do what is best for Mom. Her safty and good care should only be top concerns.
I too have a mother in a nursing home. She lives out of state, and when the time came that this was the best choice for her, it was very hard to see her go there. I just talked to her yesterday, and she told me that this was something that she had to except. There are times she is sad that she can not be with my Dad of 63 years, but caring for her at home became to much for my Father. He too has failing health, and his condition was getting worse. At least now I know my Mom and Dad can have quality time together. They are laughing again. They are playing cards again, something they both enjoyed doing. Dad can go home and get a good nights rest, and so can Mom. She can not say enough about the wonderful care she is getting.
Am I sad that they can not be together? I am, when I think about it. But my brother, sister and I have so much less worry for both of them.
I wish my husband could have the same relationship with his sisters as I have with my family. All the dicisions that need to be made would be so much easier on everyone.
Aagin thank you for everything both of you said. I been there and have done all. So I do understand where you were coming from. There is an expression that I love to say," there are no mistakes, just lessons to be learned."
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Good luck to you it is very hard for some people to see their parents needing help and some elders take it very bad when they are given advice no matter how inportant it is and I hope you take advantgage of help that is available in your area.and I hope you let us know how things are going for you we all learn from each other.
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When I wrote the question I was stressed from a long day and yes, I was looking for support. Thanks for the supportive answers and to the others, everyone has a right to his/her opinions. Being able to discuss on this website has helped save my sanity through this caregiving process.
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"Just venting I guess. Have to get more help in here."

Sounds as if you were already answering your own question and thus were seeking support more than so much advice? I wish you well in resolving this challenges as you make various choices.
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Assess her physical limitations. Has she lost her strength in her legs, is her vision declining resulting in her unsteadiness, is she losing her balance? She may need to begin using a cane or walker for stability. My parents, ages 85 and 87, depend on canes and walkers both in the home (where many falls occur) and outside the home. Mom has a cute basket attacted to her walker so she can tote things with her either from room to room or while out in the community. The added support can increase your mom's confidence and encourage her to move about more, which is key as they age: Keep them moving (always placing safety first)!
Do a safety check in the home. Are there rugs that can catch her feet and result in a fall? Are her shoes or slippers causing her to trip? Are there uneven walking surfaces?
It may sound strange to say, but the approach to caring for our aging and elderly parents is much like what they did for us when we were young: anitcipate their next developmental stage and plan ahead. I see that my Dad may not have sufficient vision in the coming months to safely continue driving. In anticipation of that I have contacted a local agency to inquire about transportation services that will enable him to continue to accomplish daily ilving activities such as going to the grocery store or post office. Don't wait until a crisis occurs, anticipate and plan ahead!
I have found that my parents, who still are able to live independently in their own home, are somewhat resistant to my suggestions for them as they see it as a sign that they are losing some of their abilities to do things for themselves. I have found it to be very successful if I tell tham that I am 100% in favor of their remaining in their own home, and these measures I suggest are all aimed at doing that. I live in California and they live in Nevada, so I tell them that when they accept these services and accomodations around the house, it helps me because if anything happens to them, I am 4 hours away. The have been very responsive looking at it from this perspective.
Good luck and remain patient and loving as it is an honor to assist out parents through this life stage.
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There are so many possibilities behind her falling. Has she had bloodwork done recently? Extremely high potassium could contribut to falls. Vertigo. Weakness in her legs. Side effects of medication or mixes of medications. All kinds of things. Will she use a walker or at least a cane? My mom kept falling and Home Health Care Physical Therapy got her up moving around and strengthening her legs. Now she's doing well.
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I'm sorry I expressed my concerns here. The insensitive answers were inappropriate.
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Some of the above comments were very harsh, although very true. I don't know how long you have been caring for your Mom, but it took me over a year to realize how many resources are available out there. I am still finding new avenues. The best place to start is with your local Office on Aging and go from there. I actually sat down with an attorney yesterday that specializes in Elder Law and he was a fountain of information. I really wish I would have started out with him. Not only did he give me valuable information about my parents finances, but he knew what help was available in my area and how to get it.
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CINDY:

You know what? I've been asking myself the same question for many. For starters, caregiving catches us unprepared most of the time. Most of the time don't know what resources are out there; half the time we're too tired to feel the inclination to get informed. So we do it the hard way. Often because it feeds our ego, other times because we're too embarrassed -- or don't know how yet -- to ask for help.

Add to that the time management issue. Again, we're not prepared enough; so we react to everything instead of responding properly. The patient says jump, and you don't even bother asking how high. You just do it. Harebrained, isn't it?

In the beginning, what most of us fail to realize is that the most important tool at our disposal is staring right at us: the Internet. Instead of researching everything we could possibly need to make our lives as caregivers better, we commiserate, vociferate, b___ch, and vent. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with letting it all hang out. Actually, it's quite therapeutic. But there's a lot going on in the Caregiving Community that we don't -- and should -- know about. Being well-informed is half the battle, but unfortunately we're stretched in so many ways that we learn as we go along. Every now and then we make mistakes, and don't even know how to correct them because we're not informed enough.

That's why I'm constantly letting my fingers do the walking, and the sweating.

-- ED
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Why are people waiting so long to get outside help. If you know you can not do it all yourselves, then get help.There is so much help out there. And If you can not pay out of your own pocket or parents do not have the means to pay. That is what we have medicare and medicaid for. No one is failing their parents if they come to realize that caring for the elderly is a full time job. And if you are still working and have family of your own there is just so much you can do. The best care for our parents is what we need to focus on. Nursing homes are so different then they were 20 and 30 years ago. There are so many great people who have made a career of caring for the elderly. They have been trained and know so much more then we could ever do for our loved ones. I have seen some of the most wonderful people in these nursing homes. For every elderly person, there are 10 people asigned to them each day. And we the children think we can do it all ourselves. Lets wake up and smell the coffee. It is so sad to read how the children of these poor elderly people are thinking toward their parents.
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What is the reason that your Mom is having trouble walking? I had this same issue for about 2 weeks after my Mom broke her hip and needed surgery. Also we have what is called a wheelie walker it has 4 wheels and a seat to sit on when my Mom is feeling that she is getting weak. I know that caring for our elderly parents is very trying and new obstacles crop up everyday. Best of Luck to you and your Mom and know we are always here when you need us.
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SSKAPE:

Four options:
(1) A home attendant (oops!! "Home Health Aide")
(2) Put her in assisted living
(2) A wheelchair
(3) To build up strength and muscle mass and prevent injuries, sign up at a local gym.

-- ED
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