I am assisting my mother in the care of my father, who is in his late 70s. Dad has an artificial knee, hip & shoulder and neuropathy in his legs in addition to muscle spasms and nerve pain. He's in physical therapy to try and help him walk again, since his knee was replaced about 6 months ago. But even if the continued PT helps, he can't really feel his legs so he'd need to use his walker anyway.
He's already got a walker and a smaller indoor power chair. He's also got a chair that helps bring him up the stairs and all but I'm discovering how difficult it is when all of these helpful chairs are different heights. My father is upwards of 6ft and roughly 180-190 lbs. Being tall myself, I can see and tell how difficult it is for him to have to pull himself up out of one to transfer to another. I'm a couple inches shorter than he is and only weigh a little less, but I've learned that I have considerably less upper body strength from trying to lift him when he's fallen. My mother is not able to lift him at all and is considerably shorter and lighter than he is, which is why I'm trying to be there as much as possible.
So incredibly long story short, Im new to all of this so I'm interested in people's solutions to these situations I'm finding are problematic for him and sometimes, me helping him too:
- maneuvering from electric wheel chair into a bathroom that's too small to get the chair in past the door way- he can get in and uses the sink to walk over to the toilet, but then the toilet is so low that when he gets up, if he's unable to get ALL the way up first, like after PT when his strength is depleted, his legs will give out and he'll slip down. Though he's figured out a way to make sure he will fall on his butt to avoid hitting his knees, sometimes that's not possible.
- maneuvering to a taller chair than the chair he's in when his strength is depleted.
- ANY SUGGESTIONS ON NON SLIP/SKID ANYTHING!! I've even bought him super grippy yoga socks that he loves but sometimes they don't even help.
- any certain ways to lift him or any devices or contraptions they make that would help me and even my mother lift him, when he's slipped down, to help him get up.
I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to medical devices or things we could purchase that would make things easier and less dangerous around his house.
my mother is stressed beyond belief with it all and I'm taking over as much as possible but other than strength training for myself, I just need some ideas.
My dad is the strongest man I've ever known and such a proud person that I don't want him losing a shred of his dignity. I've gotten him to a point where he realizes I'm going to be positive and he should too but that we still need to be prepared and also that if I need to step in the bathroom when he's fallen and have to shimmy his pants up for him that he has no reason to be embarassed (I'm his youngest daughter), I'll close my eyes and shimmy his pants up to keep him from being uncomfortable.
I just don't want him to feel like he is any less my hero just because I'm wheeling him around or trying to get him off the ground.
Sorry this is all rambling it was just a rough one this evening after him having what the therapist called his best session in 2 weeks. ANY advice is welcome- EXCEPT- please don't tell me to get a caregiver for my dad or put him in a home. Neither one of those things is an option.
Thanks in advance!