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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.
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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!
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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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My daughters legs gave out at the end. Her eating and drinking slowed down. Finally even trying to get her to stand would cause her to faint, she was just too weak. Hospice kept us all from going to pieces. It's like getting someone else to drive when the vehicle is out of control. They will hold your hand, good people.
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I had a question about her O2 as well. It can't be in the low 80's, she'd have anoxic brain injury. Low 90's maybe?

I respect your choice to keep your mom at home when she can barely be transferred. My dad did that thing with his feet too, hold them up while being transferred while I was screeching, "Put your feet down!" Oy.

There is a way to transfer her but it's haaaaaaaaard on the body. You'll need a gait belt. It's hard to describe but hospice will know. You get your mom into a sitting position with her feet on the floor (even if she won't stand on her feet). With a gait belt on you reach around your mom and put your arms around her at a little below the shoulder blades. And then YOU bend at the knees and lift her up and pivot your feet while holding your mom and transfer her onto the toilet or into the chair or wherever. You have to be caddy-cornered to where you're transferring her to. The transfer is one fluid motion. You're not so much picking her up as you are enabling her to lean against you after you've gotten her up.

IMPORTANT: Use your knees. Bend at the waist while picking her up. This will catch up to you physically but it's better than your back going out.

When hospice comes out they're going to suggest a catheter. That will make things easier.
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Is she getting oxygen? If her o2 sat is low 80s, I believe she should be on o2.
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Maggie just to tide you over, if hospice is coming over on Friday anyway, could they send someone ahead of time either to show you what to do or (if it takes two to tango, so to speak) to do it for you? I'm so sorry you and she (and Tom) are going through this.

If her O2 is in the 80s, by the way, I wouldn't be too disciplinarian about getting her out of bed. Yes, true, better for her in general, but there has to be a point. Make life as easy as you can on both of you. I remember that guilty feeling of having shut them in a cupboard from last year's strokes - mother was sleeping 20 hours a day, at one point. Does your mother like being read to? You could maybe keep her company in short bursts, instead?
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Maggie: YOU are not doing anything wrong. someone here on this board always says that HER MOTHER said that when the elderly patient is not able to toilet, that's when it's time for a facility. I don't think that it's good for ANYONE's dignity for a child to be changing their parent's diapers. I KNOW that's how my mom feels. I'm so sorry that it appears that your mother is suddenly practically bedbound, but believe me, it's not anything you're doing wrong. I think one of the other posters is missing the point, it's not just about the depends, it's about lifting, rolling, all the physical strain of deal with a bedbound patient. half of the RNs at my mom's place are on "light duty" now because of injuires they've gotten from doing just this, and they're in the 30s, not their 60s as we are.
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Maggie, if your mother requires more care than you have strength to give, a NH may be the best place for her. Try to find one that hospice is allowed in. Or maybe talk to hospice to see if they have a facility that is available. You don't want to hurt her or hurt yourself doing things that require much strength. My heart hurts for you, because I know what you are going through.
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Maggie, happy to hear that hospice will be coming in. You are not doing anything wrong. Have you thought about a bedside commode? At least you wouldn't have far to move her. If NY Friday, when hospice comes ask them the best way to get mom up. There are probably YouTube videos of how to make the transfer.
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You are ready to put her in a NH, just so she can have her depends changed?

Oh Maggie.... sorry if I read this wrong.... Can Tom change a depend:?
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