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I’m new here, I just need some advice. I feel so overwhelmed. Last month my dad passed away. My 94 year old mom moved in with us. Since then she’s fallen twice, broke ribs the first fall and my son found her on the floor with a nasty cut the second time. Someone was here when it happened both times. She’s had a couple accidents going to the bathroom. I’ve noticed she had trouble standing and walking she uses a walker. I live in constant fear she will fall again or worse. I think she should be in assisted living. My brother is not on board, she’s now living with him. Help, what can I do to get him to see she’s not safe, and needs 24 hour care? This stress is taking a toll on my health. My brother is only looking at the money she will spend down.

Let him do what he wants. He will eventually get burned out with caregiving and then something will be done.

Your mom actually has the final say, what does she want?

I am sorry for your loss. Try to remain strong during this difficult transition for your entire family, especially your mom.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Maggie61r Sep 2, 2021
Yes! It's only been a month and soon your brother may realize that it is alot more work than he realizes. Do not let him bring mom to your house, even under the pretense of only 'for a short time'. If he is only worried about the money rather than your mom's well-being, he needs to be her 24 hour caregiver.

Is your mom happy with this arrangement? Though she is probably still grieving and is clinging to family, perhaps after some time has passed ask her what she would like
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Maybe your brother is looking at the money, maybe he's looking at what mom wants?

Nusing Homes are not all what they seem.

Patients fall, brake bones and die in them.

Lover ones are much happier, feel more loved and much better off living with a loved one.

You can help brother fix up his house to be more safe for mom.

No throw rugs to trip on.

No clutter to trip on.

Keep a Light on so mom can see going to the bathroom.

Have a bedside toilet so she won't have to go so far at night to the bathroom.

Install a hand rail by the toilet and in the shower.

Have a shower seat for her to sit on.

Have a camera installed in her room so you can watch her at any time 24 7 from your computer or cell phone. I use Nest and it was pretty easy to install.

Hire a Caregiver to help out a little.

Give brother a break watching mom once a week.

Prayers
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NYDaughterInLaw Sep 6, 2021
Great answer! Only thing is that poster's brother may not agree to a camera in his house.
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We'd all love to blame someone when an elder falls. We'd also like to think once we send them to Assisted Living the falls will stop. Both are inaccurate; it's nobody's 'fault' that an elder falls, and AL isn't going to ensure your mother stops falling, either.

My mother has fallen 78x while living in AL. In fact, she started falling BEFORE she went into AL, now that I think about it. Today is my 12th anniversary. The day I got married, my parents were here for the event, having flown in from Fl. Mom was in a BOOT on her foot after having taken a fall in the bathroom of her home. She was taking Ambien, got up to use the bathroom, fell asleep on the toilet, fell into the tub and broke her foot. That was the first fall I knew about.

78 falls have happened since I moved them out here in 2011. They moved into AL in 2014 and the falls started in 2015; mom has neuropathy so even with a walker, she had poor balance, plus she hated to follow rules of any kind. So the falls started and it wasn't the ALs fault; she'd refuse to use her walker, or ask for help getting on and off the toilet, etc. She broke a few ribs and some sternum bones but we didn't find out about that until she was hospitalized later on for pneumonia and a CT scan revealed broken bones in various degrees of healing. She had lots of PT, nothing helped. She moved into Memory Care in 2019 and became wheelchair bound so I thought, phew, the falls will stop now, thank God. Nope, I was wrong. Since then, she's taken 38 more falls which weren't due to negligence on the part of the MC, either. They did everything in their power to help stop her falls, she just doesn't follow instruction and has very poor muscle control, etc.

No elder is 'safe' anywhere; not in their children's home or in AL or even in a SNF. Falls happen. It's not your brother's fault, much as you'd like to blame him, so I'd stop doing that if I were you. Once your brother gets tired of caring for his mother at home, which is no small job, he may change his mind about placing her in AL. As far as you worrying yourself sick goes, there is nothing you can do to prevent your mother's journey from playing out the way it's going to play out. Why ruin your own health in the process? Go over there and visit with her every day for a few hours if you think that will help her and you relax a bit. That's all you can do.

You can't save your mother from her fate; you can't change your brother's mind about what he wants to do with his mother's care, so do what YOU think is right about visiting her at your brother's house. Then let the rest of it go. Every time the phone rings and I see that it's my mother's Memory Care ALF, I get a knot in my stomach wondering 'what now?' but knowing there's nothing I can really DO about any of it anyway, you know? So I say a prayer that God watches over her and leave it up to Him to do so.

Wishing you the best of luck taking care of yourself now.
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Maggie61r Sep 6, 2021
Boy, your mom sounds like mine! After 3 falls this past year resulting in broken hips & femur, she's come back home to live with us each time. Her second fall was due to her trying to walk without her walker. We completely adapted 2 bathrooms for her safety. (It does nothing for the aesthetics of the bathrooms, but who cares, right?) So which bathroom does she use? The one with no grab bars or any safety devices...
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Momswithus

So sorry for the loss Of your dad.

Your brother is not totally wrong. Your mom will fall, regardless of where she is. Old people fall, especially it seems, once they start it continues. In a facility she might have someone to pick her up quicker.
Your mom has been through a lot. Losing her husband and now moving twice. Each time you can expect a decline. Is she receiving medical care for the falls?
She may qualify for home health care which would get her a weekly nurses visit and help with baths.
Assisted living sounds like not enough care. Of course, extra care can be contracted for. She would probably need a nursing home. At any rate, a needs assessment would be beneficial for her to make sure she is getting the level of care needed and get you and brother on the same page.
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Barbeem Sep 6, 2021
Definitely bring to dr. Have a prescription for physical therapy & occupational therapy. They will show her how to maneuver around the home. Let brother take care of her for awhile, he will come to his senses. When he speaks about her house remind him it is her house and used for her care, and she has final say about her home, then change the topic. And not all AL are great!!
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While you're researching an AL placement, you can take steps to address the problems she's experienced:

1.   Clear pathways in the rooms she traverses, pushing chairs, etc. to the side but available if she need to fall on them.    What kind of floors are in your house and your brother's house?

2.   Upgrade from a walker to a rollator, or ask one of her doctors to script for a wheelchair.  You can get both at a DME supply store, or if I remember correctly, wheelchairs can be delivered to the home by a DME supplier.

3.   Ask one of her doctors for home PT, OT and nursing care.    That can help immensely.

4.    Your brother doesn't seem to be focusing on care, but do try to get him to realize that fall proofing the home is a top priority if you do decide not to go with AL, and even until that decision is made.

5.    Is your mother cognizant enough to make her own decisions?   If so, and she can benefit from AL, then brother's focus on the money is his problem, not hers or yours.   If she's executed either a POA or DPOA, who are the proxies?
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Yes, she will fall again and will have more bathroom accidents, etc. She may already need more care than is provided by Assisted Living.
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You stated that your mom is sharp mentally so the decision is up to her. She is allowed to make poor decisions as long as other options are available to her.
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Reply to annandpaul1629
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My daughter has worked in NHs. She says "they will fall". Whether in an AL or NH they will fall. To be honest, if Mom was in a NH she would be wheelchair bound. Mom was and she got around better than your Mom. The AL Mom was in the Nurse had her down as needing to walk with a walker. Lots of times I was there and Mom was not using her walker. She fell 4x in 4 months.

Just need to say rollators are not for everyone. They tend to get away from some people and some aren't strong enough to put on the brake. I would ask a PT what they recommend.

You can get a Dr. to order PT/OT. This can be done every so many months. If Mom has money, brother can hire someone to give him a break. Her money need to be used for her care.

I think what you need to do is be there for brother. He will find that caring for Mom is a 24/7 job that he is not capable of doing. It may work if you work together.

Medicare does cover the cost of Durable equipment. So do some secondary insurances. But things like wheelchairs and Hospital beds may be rented. If so, they may need to be returned once not needed anymore. Check this out with the company u order from.
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notgoodenough Sep 6, 2021
"I think what you need to do is be there for brother. He will find that caring for Mom is a 24/7 job that he is not capable of doing. It may work if you work together."

This is spot-on advice. If you don't heed anyone else's words, please listen to these.

You tried to take care of mom, and realized her care needs were beyond you, and talked about placement. For whatever his reasons, your brother disagreed. This isn't uncommon. What IS uncommon is your brother stepping up and taking on your mom's care, instead of trying to brow-beat you into doing something you couldn't do. Believe me when I tell you there are people who are pea-green with envy over your brother's willingness to "step up".

Right now, the worst thing you could do - for yourself, your brother and especially your mom - is to enter into an acrimonious relationship with your brother over this disagreement over your mom's care needs. Either your mom is going to do fine at your brother, which will mean he will, at the very least, need respite at times, or your mom isn't going to do well at your brother which will mean he will need your support to move mom to a place that will meet her care needs. So getting into a fight about things as they stand now will not achieve anything other than create a rift that will do no one any good.

Visit mom; offer your brother a shoulder to cry on if/when he needs it; and stand ready to give support as you feel you can.
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If your brother wants to take care of your mother, why not let him? Maybe he's OK with 24 hour watch...and your mother might feel better too.
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If your mother is falling and bones get broken, she probably has osteoporosis - thinning of the bones from a faulty "bone-making mechanism" in her body.

If she is unsteady on her feet and refuses to use a walker or ask for assistance, she will fall again. Staying with your brother or being in a facility will not change this fact. Usually people with osteoporosis break bones easily and don't need the trauma of a fall to do so.

I would suggest the best course of action is to have her evaluated by a doctor. He/she can order tests and treatment to diagnose osteoporosis or other health issues that concern you. He/she can also order physical therapy to help you mom strengthen muscles, learn to use a walker or other assistive devices, and train family members on the best ways to assist her. It would be helpful for several family members to get this training.

If you visit your mother and see evidence of neglect, you can call the authorities to intervene. If your brother is caring for your mother well, you will need to find peace with this situation.
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Erikka Sep 6, 2021
I’d add a cautionary note: find out the legal implications of charging a family member with neglect.
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