Logistics with Mom. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Logistics with Mom. Any advice?


Hospice is coming over Friday to talk to us about their services. In the meantime, mom is alert, eating, not needing any diuretics at all (from heavy doses up until three weeks ago). Her oxygen level is low 80's, blood pressure 160/60 or so. From 115/60 being about her norm. She no longer has any desire to get out of bed. I get her up quite late, just because I know it's better for her, and it's hard to just leave her alone in her room. She can't support her weight. I just don't understand it.

I can't figure out a way to get her on the potty. She can't use one of those transfer boards...no strength. She won't even put her feet down on the floor to try for us to lift her to a standing position.

Tom can easily transfer her from bed to wheelchair and back. MAYBE potty when she has to take a BM, if she tells us. (Which, I think she will.) But I'm having one heck of a time putting a diaper on her. She can roll far over on one side, but can't roll on the other. The hospital bed seems too narrow, and she doesn't seem to have the strength to do it on her own. I try to help, but she says it hurts her.

I'm ready to put her in a nursing home so she can have her diapers changed, for heaven's sake. Does anyone have any ideas?? What am I doing wrong?

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I'm sending you moral support!
My Mom will not get out of bed after two falls. She is 94, almost blind and very frail-but very healthy. She is so afraid of falling she remains prone 24/7.
It is a nightmare. I have hospice now. They have helped a lot. They send a home health aid to bathe Mom and change Mom's bed twice a week, they even shampoo her hair while she is laying down! They ordered a porta potty and Mom needs assistance transferring to go (when she remembers to call us).
It's tough. It's inconvenient, it's a nightmare, really. I now have a caregiver that comes from 7-1 daily to feed Mom and help her with the potty.
I bought washable bed pads from Amazon. They protect the bed- since mom refuses to wear diapers. Did I mention that she is still cognizant and adamant about what she will and will not do?
T.M.I.- sorry. A porta potty, washable bed pads, and hospice may save you from putting your Mom in a home. My thoughts and prayers are with you! My husband and I are at the end of our ropes- but Mom is so afraid of strangers, and can't see- that a home is not an option. At this rate she may outlive me, but I love her too much to just "put her in a home". Good luck, take care of yourself.
Helpful Answer (1)

You are not doing anything wrong. Trying to care for an elder who can no longer stand to make needed transfers is quite difficult. It tends to signal that senior is moving to the end of their life. My father lost the ability to stand and make transfers the last 8 months of his life.

If you intend to keep mom at home, you may well need to hire a full time home health aide, and lots of medical equipment. You have a hospital bed and yes they are not comfortable and they are narrow. I would get a sheet across the bed which if you and Tom are on opposite sides of the bed, can us to pull your mother up in the bed (flatten the hospital bed during this procedure so you can move easily move her up).
I would get a bedside commode but get one with a drop down arm if you need to lift her on and off it. This eliminates trying to lift her over the arm to sit her on the commode.

The transfer benches come in different types but my father also could normally only use them in the morning and then he lacked the strength to use it from about noon on each day.

I purchased 2 lifts. Voyager lifts worked well for my day. It has a battery pack and with a sling properly in place you can move them from bed to wheelchair and back with little chance of injury to you or your parent. There are manual lifts but I used the Voyager the most.

The use of depends if mom can lift herself in bed almost any depends will work.
If you need to do everything then you need to roll her on the new diaper, and then roll her the other way (she can hold on to the bedrail to assist with the diaper change). Ask the nurse for some brands of preparations to use on her skin to keep it from breaking down.
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Maggie, I'd say have hospice come even if you're in doubt. My magical thinking tells me that if you prepare for Armageddon it doesn't happen quite so quickly. I'm sure they will have lots of good suggestions. Hugs to you and mom.
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That sheet trick is one thing hospice showed me. I think you'll benefit from their experience and expertise!
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Ah Maggie, if only you were doing something wrong. Then you could correct it and all would be right. Sigh. Wish the world worked that way.

If your mom is going to rally she'll do it on hospice or not on hospice. (My mom was discharged from hospice after 3 months.) Putting her on hospice won't prevent improvement if it is within her to improve.

Hugs to you, tough compassionate lady!
Helpful Answer (2)

Thank you, Littletonway. I wonder if one of my problems is that I can't get to both sides of the bed. I'll have to move it from against the wall and see if that makes a difference. I do have bed rails, but she can't roll "toward me" -- only away. I'm going to try that sheet idea. That just may work.

Thank you for your very specific suggestions!! Very helpful!
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For the rolling over, do you have the guard rails on the bed? This is how Mom rolled herself over. Otherwise, put a doubled sheet under her, then roll her using the sheet. Reach over her to roll her towards you and then move to other side of bed to do the same thing. If you don't have an electric bed, then a large wedge to put under her to help with elevation when eating and with her breathing. My Mother hated that we had to change her diapers; however, she would do anything to not be in a nh. Best of luck. Take care of yourself!
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Maggie.......say it ain't so. You are full of excellent advice, one would never think you would be needing some for yourself. You never know about someone and their situation. If you can hang in there until hospice comes, they may be able to shed some light on your depend troubles. Bless your heart. I'll be thinking about you on Friday.
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Lots of help and encouragement here. Thank you so much, everyone.

Mom's oxygen was at 88 this morning. I put her on oxygen (2) and she's at 98. I'm just going to leave it on her. I was able to change her Depends this morning without too much of a problem. I suppose to some it sounds ridiculous. You've gotta' be there. ;) Anyhow, she was able to bend her knees and lift her butt up so I could get them on pretty easily. When you're dealing with a 115# sack of potatoes, it's harder than it sounds. Ha!

I'm feeling better this morning. When a problem rears it's ugly head in the evening, it seems like a bigger one than it actually is.

I shouldn't have called off Hospice last week. Stupid. But Friday will tell the tale. Frankly? I don't know if she's ready. Even the doctor doesn't understand why she no longer needs diuretics. ??

Taking the advice of not getting mom up unless she asks. Maybe for a little while at dinner...?

Jeannette, I didn't think a thing about your post. Your post echoed my incredulity that THAT would force mom into a nursing home. Plus, of course, those who dish it out have to be able to take it. ;) ;)
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Just to clarify, Maggie, you are always so on top of everything and make things sound easier than they are. When I posted you putting her in a home it was in jest, because you are so strong and capable and a depend surely wasn't going to be winner! I value your wisdom and helpful answers. Please forgive me and my hasty post. I was being yelled at on the "whine" thread ;)

I truly hope hospice is able to offer some help/assistance to you, Tom and mom to make this a little easier on everyone.
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