My Mom lives with me and she is always losing her balance and either falls or catches herself. Where do I draw the line? - AgingCare.com

My Mom lives with me and she is always losing her balance and either falls or catches herself. Where do I draw the line?

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She recently lost her balance getting off of her commode and hit the corner of her bed frame on her forearm. It broke the skin and the blood gushed out pretty badly...she's on Coumadin. I did the best I could to stop it but it didn't stop bleeding. I called the nurse and she came within two hours. Now, I have to change the bandage everyday and I don't feel comfortable doing it. I'm not a nurse! Wouldn't you think the home health place that comes would have a "weekend nurse" to help me or something? It's upsetting to me to have to do this, but I do it anyway, just because I love my Mom and would do anything to make her more comfortable, but where do I draw the line on care?

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It isn't as relevant here, but I did want to mention something I've done here. Not long ago I was picking up something off my mother's bathroom floor and hit my head hard on a sharp corner of some support piece in the bathroom. I didn't lose consciousness, but it was a big wake-up call to me. What would happen if she fell? We had 3 sharp corners in the bathroom alone. So I bought rubber corner guards that you can stick on sharp corners. They are made for babies to keep themselves from hitting the sharp edges of tables. I also recommend them for elders. Those sharp corners can be deadly if someone falls. It is like being hit with a pick. I'm fortunate all I ended up with was a knot on my head when I hit one.
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Start fallproofing the house. You can wrap foam around portions of the bed frame and/or arms to help cushion any future falls. You can also foam up the walker as well.

Have a carpenter install grab bars along areas where she would need handholds, and tell him they have to be anchored in the studs. Add grab bars in the bathroom, next to the toilet, in the shower.

Maybe she really is in pain every day, especially if she has a lot of arthritis. It's hard for someone who doesn't have it to know how uncomfortable it can be.

I'm not sure what's meant by a bed cane that could slip under the mattress to help in getting off the commode. Do you a link with a photo of one?
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My Dad was on Coumadin after having a mild heart attack, but he kept falling and having bleeds which were hard to stop.... finally we got a second opinion on the Coumadin and this doctor said Dad would be more at risk of having a serious bleed out than he would having another heart attack.... so Dad was taken off of Coumadin. That was a couple of years ago, he still falls but at least now the bleeds aren't high risk.

As for your Mom losing her balance, sometimes that can happen if you stand up too quickly and start walking. As we get older the heart doesn't pump faster like it did when we were younger and stood up, thus you stand up, start walking, and a couple minutes later you start to lose your balance because there's not enough blood to the brain. Ask your Cardiologist if your Mom would benefit from a pace maker if this is heart related and she is a frequent faller.

Sturdy shoes and a walker are a must.
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It's me again. Oh yes, I was thinking of getting a "Bed cane" that goes under the mattress; which would give her something to hang onto getting up from the commode (but it does have handles!) Oh well. Has anyone used these things?
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I'm back...(Mom who cut her forearm on her bedframe) Mom has heart problems too, she has a lot of balance problems because of lack of a big toe bone, She has "Arthur" galore and is always hurting somewhere! There's never a day without pain!!!!!!!! I just want to say, "Mom, can you just say "you're fine" today, but never does. Guess she likes the attention. I don't give it to her unless she is really hurt, like now, but she does play it up, so I will feel guilty to leave her. She uses her walker and can get around ok so far. I've duck-taped a small pillow to her bedframe where she jabbed herself getting up from the commode. We do what we have to do! Thanks for your comments everyone! Signed, "Somewhat exasperated!"
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pamstegman is right, you need to tell her Dr and the nurse your not comfortable. It took me a while before I was comfortable helping grandpa with his bandages too. It still makes me nervous esp when he has big cuts from falls or IVS from when hes in the hospital. ( hes on Coumadin too, 3mg all week except one day a week is 4mg)

Does she use a walker? I know it may only help a little, and she can still lose her balance. Changing her bed or adding something to it may help. Do you have grab bars or the raised toilet seat with handles? I think you should have more help, what else is wrong with your mom? Hugs
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Mom's doctor is the one who would order any extra care. Call him/her. Tell the nurse you are not comfortable with this and you can't do the care needed. She can make other arrangements for mom.
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