My Mom (93) has advanced dementia and is completely bedridden. How do I help ease her physical discomfort? - AgingCare.com

My Mom (93) has advanced dementia and is completely bedridden. How do I help ease her physical discomfort?

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Her legs are in an almost permanent bent position. She is unable to do anything for herself. We have been rubbing them and trying to do strengthening exercises, but she gets more frail everyday. She is just terribly frail. I do not know what else to do. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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Years ago I was the only one brave enough to bring my aunt who was a quadaplegic home for a week end. I spent an hour or so with a pt employee to show me ways
of handling her. She had to be turned every 2 hours around the clock. One thing I remember was a folded sheet under her that I could pull her from one side to another without a chance of breaking bones. She could only turn her head from side to side. Total dead weight but in no pain with paralyzed. It was a very hard week but I don't regret all sore muscles I got from it. She was as alert as any normal person and enjoyed being with family. She had a c-3 injury. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Back to the point, there are safe ways to move a patient so not to cause any injuries, just ask the pt and ot people, will be happy to help you.
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I have found chiropractic (non cracking), acupuncture, massage, heat/laser treatments, and physical therapy to be the most helpful for my aging parents. Also if she is getting more frail you need to look at her overall health. Discuss with her primary care physician about medication side effects causing any of her symptoms, often they cause more problems than they solve. Also be sure she is eating a healthy diet, lots of natural foods, probiotics, fermented foods, and protein. Drinking lots of water is crucial too and often people withhold from people who are incontinent. It could be her body is shutting down because it is near the end, or it could be her immune system needs to be improved, look into your heart to know for sure and be honest, not emotional, when choosing what to do.
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I would think once an elder becomes quite frail, there is the worry of breaking the bones if physical therapy is tried. I know I won't even try to move my Mom in her bed because she is all dead-weight even at 80 lbs. It usually takes 2 Aides or one very muscular worker to move my Mom from her bed to her Geri Recliner.
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Would PT or OT help her?
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FYI- Sandra93-Those boots are inflatable and they are used while on bedrest to prevent blood clots from forming in the legs (DVTs). If the doctor orders bedrest, then Medicare will pay for a pair through the DME (durable medical equipment) benefit, but these will not help end-stage contractures.
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ElizabethAnna, my Mom [98] is also bedridden and can't do anything for herself. One's muscles can shrink within a couple of weeks making it almost impossible to strengthen out without physical therapy which can be quite painful.

I went through that when I broke my shoulder and my arm muscles were locked. I really doubt someone with late stage dementia would understand what was happening to them if in therapy.

My Mom is in a hospital bed and the facility has an air mattress that runs 24 hours a day, plus the staff will place pillows here and there [mainly to keep Mom from trying to climb out of the bed since she can no longer walk] but she will hug those pillows. And as someone earlier had mentioned, if the patient is sleeping on their side, put a pillow between the knees to make it more comfortable.
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I know in Alzheimers that the end stage is being in a fetal position. It was with my GMom. I would request hospice. Medicare pays fully for everything you need including diapers. You don't have to be dyingin 6 months. Criteria changed a few years back.
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I looked up the leg massagers on as seen on tv
web site. They're called Air Press Compression
Leg Massagers. Also they have leg warmers
with booties. Even if they don't help they feel good.
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sounds like you need to get some advice from a doctor in elder care or hospice on how to handle with more ease. it is difficult I am sure. my father in a NH needs to be lifted with a "lift" to get out of bed and into wheelchair. I think most of the time his legs are bent also. just figure that as we get older, IF we do NOT stretch and keep our muscles in shape, they do shrink over time which might cause the bending, so once they have shrunk and lose the elasticity any movement to straighten them would cause pain. I wish you luck, maybe massaging them gently will help with some circulation.
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Don't know if this will help, but when I fell and broke my hip I of course couldn't get up until surgery. The hospital had these things that looked like blood pressure
sleeves that went on legs. Not only did I not get any cramps but they just felt good. I have seen them on a tv ad so you can purchase for home use. Helps with circulation and like I said they just felt good. I'd check with Dr first but look into it.
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