Mother-in-law cannot get to doctor's appointments. She is unable to get downstairs in our three story home. How can we get her help? - AgingCare.com

Mother-in-law cannot get to doctor's appointments. She is unable to get downstairs in our three story home. How can we get her help?

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Parent has trouble with legs. Barely able to walk. Sits in her room all day while most family members are at work or in high school.

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Being that she is late stage kidney failure, perhaps turning your dining room or a section of your living room into a bed/sitting area for her might be a solution for her. The isolation alone is a bad place to be for her depression. If he Loves her that much, it's the least thing you could do for her. It doesn't sound like she has that much time left on earth, and if you can get Hospice in, all the better! If there is no possible way you can get her to the ground floor, then other suitable living arrangements need to be looked into! I can't imagine being stuck up on the third floor for the rest of my life, it must be terribly lonely for her!
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My Mom had what I thought was excellent care in her nursing home. My Mom [98] would try to get up to go to the bathroom but she kept forgetting she could no longer walk, thus would be falling constantly.... one reason she was kept in her Geri recliner by the nursing station, as she was a major risk to herself.
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wonder who was seeing her in the hospital that they didn't do any more then than just say she needed to see her primary and wonder if they let him know she was in there, if he didn't see her there?
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Confined to the third floor:
1) Is not safe
2) Is not emotionally satisfying or intellectually stimulating. It is depressing, in the clinical sense
3) Is probably illegal

Good luck in breaking through hubby's denial.

(Would reading these posts be educational for him?)
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I guess one thought is if she is in later stage kidney failure is she actually Hospice?
The one reservation I would have about an institution is that sometimes the care is so negligent at nursing homes that she might be better off where she is. We love to imagine that residents of skilled nursing are lovingly watched, constantly tended to, and that every danger is removed, but staffing is frequently 12/1. At home she is at least free to get up and use the restroom rather than being parked in a wheelchair at the nursing station and forbidden from standing ("SIT DOWN Mrs. Smith -- you might fall") while being forced to wait 45+ min or soil herself when she has to go to the bathroom.
Maybe you could hire someone (neighbor?) to come around mid-day to check up on her, eat lunch with her, etc. Also, there are Dr.s & Nurse practitioners who will visit patients who are housebound (which she is. really). Local Hospice providers may have a list of Drs. who do house calls.
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That why I suggested the OT Debs - mum isn't suitable for a stairlift - she WAS....when the OT came but when she did an assessment she said it wasn't suitable because of mums declining posture. While it would have been great for a year (actually slightly more but who's counting) in the long term it would become unsuitable hence us moving not adapting.

IF we had had one Mum could have retained the use of her bedroom upstairs and had a commode and washstand downstairs.

My real concern is with that level of lack of mobility is this woman safe to be left alone and only an OT can tell you that for sure. The one thing that they will be interested in apart from everyday stuff is .... in the event of an incident can she get out of the house to safety. Mum can't now if she were alone in the house and to that end if I DO have to go out and there was an incident alert then the response services know there is a vulnerable person in need at this address
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OhJude, glad you brought that up; have a friend who has one, but do you really think that's the solution in this situation because even if she could then get down, then what? or maybe can you move them in and out, though I know that still leaves her up there, or maybe she could at least be down in the daytime while they're gone?
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She is not safe in this luving situation. Fine her appropriate care now. And she is home alone while everybody works?! Read this thread then think about what is best for her.
https://www.agingcare.com/questions/I-have-an-important-share-Not-a-question-May-I-share-193873.htm

And in a situation like this I would not be at all surprised if someone were to report this to Adult Protective Services.
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I know it may sound daft but have you considered a stairlift? They have arms and you can also have a safety belt to hold them in place as long as they can sit upright (my mum can't). They aren't cheap but you might be able to get a second hand one and you can sell them later then move her down one floor and put a commode in her room and a wash stand for hygiene or a bowl on a tb le or wet wipes or even hand gel although that last is not so good for extended use - YOU MUST wash your hands after the third use or bacteria starts to grow on the gel which rather defeats the point of its use.

Could an Occupational therapist (or whatever you call this particular OT in the USA) come and visit the home WHILE HUBBY IS THERE and advocate what
a) Must be there
b) should be there
c) what would be useful
d) what else you could consider

For then and only then can you plan for her safety and possibly your husband will learn that she is not immortal. I am not being flippant here but a lot of people stay in denial not recognising that the final stages of life can come quickly
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If the first floor isn't going to work out, then she'll need to be placed in a group home or nursing home - ASAP - where there's usually a nurse practitioner or doctor seeing patients regularly. If this is too expensive, another option is to get her into a groundfloor apartment and hire round-the-clock caregiving or to stretch the dollars, either you or your husband or some family member can be with her part of the day. Depending on where you live, there can be non-emergency transport for wheelchair-bound or people suffering from other mobility challenges. Where we live, it's a little pricey but is affordable occasionally. Arrangements about your MIL's situation needs to be made ASAP because if there was an emergency and access to her is a problem, her doctor may want to why is it his patient with serious mobility challenges is not in an environment suited for her irreversible condition. Is your husband ready to give an answer to Adult Protection Services if the doctor or someone else calls them to report his mother is not in a safe environment? This can get ugly very fast.
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