My mom is rapidly losing any strength or coordination in her arms. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My mom is rapidly losing any strength or coordination in her arms. Any advice?

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My mother went on hospice less than two weeks ago due to failure to thrive. Bladder and bowel incontinence presented shortly before that. Weight loss has progressed and has mulitiple stress compression fractures of the spine.


I will definitely ask hospice about the sudden lack of use of her arms. I see them tomorrow. I just would like any anecdotal experience if anyone else has been through this with a loved one.


It's alarming to see her not even able to lift and coordinate her little water bottle. I'm thinking of buying a 'sippy cup' with a straw so she can manage herself. No kiddy designs, just something manageable.


Wondering if anyone else has seen this kind of progression with SCF? I'm afraid her ability to feed herself will not be far behind. *sigh*

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Thank you 97! I will be sure to ask the hospice nurse about the drop arm test. It's certainly worth a try. It's so hard to watch her struggle with feeding herself. :(
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Your question was interesting to me because my mother had this. Look up "drop arm" test. It has to do with the rotator cuff. My mother had fallen and fractured her back.
After a hospital stay she went to rehab. I noticed she couldn't eat with her right arm. This was probably a week after the actual fall. She said she couldn't lift her arm. She was using her left arm. It didn't hurt she just couldn't lift it. I mentioned this to the therapist and he tested her for drop arm. He did therapy on her arm And she regained the use of her arm. She continued the therapy for the rest of her life to keep the muscles in her arms strong enough to use the arm as her rotator cuff was shot. This probably was for around 5 years.
Since you mentioned this happening to your mom with SCF I looked up SCF and was surprised to see my mother had all the symptoms except the incontinence. She was never diagnosed with this. She was 5'9" in her youth and went to 5'1". But I think she was about 5' 6" at 90. I remember her saying when in the hospital that she didn't have pain as long as she was still. But she did heal over a year or so with the therapy and was able to feed herself before she left the rehab and functioned very well even though she had developed CHF. You mentioned that your mother is on hospice but I don't think hospice prohibits therapy if it helps her function. Your mothers SCF might prohibit her having therapy due to pain but ask her dr to order a therapy evaluation for her. If hers is like my moms, she won't be able to feed herself with the afflicted drop arm until she gets help. Her back may be too damaged to tolerate therapy but worth asking about. My mother took a Tylenol maybe once or twice a year so after the healing of the fractures her pain was gone. Perhaps that's why she was never told she had SCF. The primary focus for her was CHF. 
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