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And just found out her arthritic left hand has a fracture. We don't know how it happened. Mom suspects it's from griping the handles of her u step walker. Have to call orthopedic dr tomorrow set up appointment to find out what's next in this continuing downhill stage of my poor mom's life. I'm thinking if she has to have some type of surgery or binding of it to heal, shouldn't she be in some type of facility until she heals? I can't carry her around. Anyone else go through anything similiar and how did it turn out?

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My daughter works with people for disabilities. She has one client that is given Botox to help her open & close her hands, there's also other injections for stiffness that may help her. Also there are pain creams you can apply & excerises to help keep her fingers to stop becoming stiff but she may not be able to do them. Ask her doctor about this. I hope this helps. May God a Bless you, being a caregiver is very hard.
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TRY ROLLING A MAN'S SWEATSOCK, OR THICK COTTON SOCK, INTO A CYLINDER SHAPE AND OPEN HER HAND AND INSERT IT SO THAT HER FINGERS CURL AROUND THE SOCK INSTEAD OF HER SKIN. OF COUSE, THIS WILL PROVIDE SOME COMFORT BUT ALSO SEE A DOCTOR FOR A POSSIBLE SOLUTION.
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As I mentioned earlier we used braces for mom for her "claw" like hands, just found them. They are made by Lenjoy Medical and are called "Comfy Splints". Moms hands were closed tight in a fist. We were able to get them pretty close to normal with the exception of slight bending of her arthritic fingers. Well worth using.
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Best of luck resuming life before care giving. It's not an easy transition.
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After fracture healed water therapy is good light strengthening all muscles
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Light range of motion with a soft small smiley ball found in dollar store will encourage range of motion even dipping hands in warm water encourage range of motion in water
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When you see the doctor, make sure you tell him about mom's functioning as it relates to using or not using her hand(s). After it heals as the doctor for physical therapy, it can help with both her hands and legs making them stronger. Check with the therapist is her medicare will cover the expense. Mom may do fine with a splint/cast, make sure you ask the doctor if she can use it as normal, if not them she may need some temporary placement until it heals.
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Freaked out. Well said. We also has the therapists to come to our home to show us the right way and the wrong way to do things. Made a big difference. Some of the appointment were more for my benefit as a caregiver then for mom. Touching for us was also helpful when mom was anxious .
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One more thing. If you are going to use a lift with her get proper training by PT or OT or whoever is most expert at it. Have them watch you do it. Write down cues for yourself and if you are confused have them teach you as many times as it takes to get it right.
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My moms hand were turning in and our doc order orthotics consult. She was given movable braces, nice and cushy covered in terricloth. Occupational therapist came in and adjusted to moms hands. Would put them on and off for a couple of hours each day. Helped tremendously with her hands and we were able to get them open again.
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Regardless of what road you take, you should be sure you and your siblings are trained in safe transfers (getting in and out of bed, on and off toilet, in and out of car, chairs, etc.) by nursing staff or occupational or physical therapists. You are part of her care team and getting her out of bed can certainly add to the quality of her life. You may need to take her out with another family member along and also get the nursing home staff to assist to get her out of bed. A lift (often a Hoyer Lift) is relatively easy to use if done with two people assisting although a lift is a bulky piece of equipment so you wouldn't use for going out in the community. The degree of assistance she needs for transfers as well as other daily activities, should be determined by her care team including your mom, her occupational and physical therapists, doctors, you, nurses, etc. In addition to self feeding she may enjoy brushing her own hair and teeth in front of a mirror, even if you have to start hand over hand. The occupational therapist may be able to assist with this as well as increasing her independence in other activities of daily living including recreational skills. There currently exists a wealth of adaptive equipment and alternative ways of doing things that may make your mom feel more independent. Ask her and/or think of things she once enjoyed doing and there may be ways for her to participate again. If she likes gardening, could she have a few plants to care for? Using a watering can with arthritic hands would be a no no but using a small cup of water or small plastic container with a spout (like a measuring cup) would work just fine. I am retired on disability due to early onset Frontotemporal Dementia but I was a school occupational therapist and do miss helping people. Touch is a magical thing and, if she likes/tolerates it she may enjoy having you gently massage her hands, wrists, etc. Rubbing lotion on (hand over hand or by herself or just enjoying you doing it for her) feels very nice. Warm water soaks for her hands and/or feet with scented moisturizing bath beads or oil is another thing that may feel really nice to her, especially if her bathing routine is now completed by nursing home staff. Many of these types of activities are great for circulation and circulation means more healing oxygen, etc. to different parts of her body.
Best of luck to you and your mom!
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every situation is different so you just have to get the best advice you can and then weigh the pros and cons for Mom and don't push her to do anything in the surgery line if she does not want to.
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Though late in coming to her aid, you could introduce Apple Cider Vinegar to lessen her pain and minimize further deterioration. Go to earthclinic & read users' comments. I am 65, have had arthritis since I'm 53 & have been 95% painless because I've been drinking ACV religiously, 1 tbsp. in water twice daily. All the best to you!
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Hi. A year ago we decided to have an operation on mom's contracted fingers because she couldn't hold onto the walker or pull herself up from bed etc. Physically, it was too much for me to get her in and out-and it was terribly painful when she tried to help me cause she was crushing those fingers on the bar etc. The orthopedic Dr cut the tendons of the contracted fingers in the palm of her hand. The surgery went well and although she doesn't have strength in those fingers, at least she could get them around the handles etc. She was in a type of cast for a while. We had to feed her etc. She ended up in a Nursing Home for rehab-(she got sick after surgery and ended up deconditioned from lying in bed sick and needed PT to get her up and moving again and OT for her hands when the casts came off.) The OT there helped her with using her hands so she feeds herself etc. (The end of the story is that she had to stay at the NH cause she could not get back up and walking again and I could not physically take care of her here at home. They use two people and a lift to get her in and out of bed and into a wheelchair now. I will say the transition was good and she says they love her there! It was hard on me cause I felt like I failed her-but she is doing well and the siblings are all visiting her there so it has been a win-win situation. I am trying to resume a non caregiving life...and visiting mom as her daughter now instead of her caregiver!) Although the surgery led to other things, I think it was a good idea and as I said, she continues to feed herself! Good luck!
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Not all fractures require a cast, however, she probably has osteoporosis and she really didn't need to do much to break a bone. Having had both wrists fractured, it requires years to get hands/wrists working and I cannot imagine having arthritis with a fracture. That said, her best doctor is an hand orthopaedist (spelled correctly) who also specializes in arthritis. With possible hyaluronic acid injections, physical therapy and any cast that might be appropriate, your best option is to get her professional help. No sense in you fracturing any bones trying to lift her. You may be able to get a hoist in your home, but it requires a lot of strength and training. Do what you must do...
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Again I agree with Pam, also suspect mom has osteoporosis as well as arthritis which would mean any bone is likely to fracture with repetitive use. Don't allow them to take weeks to get an appointment with ortho. A PA or NP can order the necessary X-rays. If treatment is indicated she needs it immediately or it will simply heal on it's own. The ER is also a good way to go for faster care.
as far as a facility is concerned it may be fast approaching the time when she needs this level of care if you feel unable to continue in the home. It is a hard decision but as you are observing her decline will continue and accelerate. Make sure you are totally honest with the Drs. Focus on the positives for Mom rather than the negative of not being able to do it anymore, ie 24 hour care, immediate attention for problems, increased socialization and entertainment. You could still take her out for rides in the car or even home for the weekend. you know your Mom we don't so do what you are both comfortable with rather than wait for an emergency.
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Severe muscle contractions are a serious sign. Make sure you tell the MD that you can't do this any more. He will help you.
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