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My mil - Gran - has fallen a few times while in her wheelchair (she has one leg). It is mostly at night time in her bathroom. I thought the gabapentin was making her tired, so I try to make sure that she didn't take it until she went to bed. Now I am beginning to wonder if she is having small strokes? Because she said that she was on her way to the bathroom and woke up when she hit the floor. She doesn't know how long she was there or anything. This is about the fourth time in the last six months that I know about. She does tend to stay up very late at night and we usually have to go and remind her to get into bed. Appreciate any suggestions or thoughts! :)

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My mother has Alzheimer's and is in a nursing home, she can;t walk but can get up for the bathroom at times. she eats and sleeps in this wheelchair. recently she has fallen 3 times in the last few weeks and has a fracture on one of her fingers, she will not sleep in a bed, (I haven't seen her in a bed for 50 years), only in a chair, now wheelchair, how can we keep her from falling out?
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Ny mother has alzheimer's and is in a nursing home, she can;t walk but can get up for the bathroom at times. she eats and sleeps in this wheelchair. recently she has fallen 3 times in the last few weeks and has a fracture on one of her fingers, she will not sleep in a bed, (I haven't seen her in a bed for 50 years, only in a chair, now wheelchair, how can we keep her from falling out?
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ahh, wise as a serpent, innocent as a dove..that's the way to be. St. Paul would be proud of you :-).
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yes! I had told him of her behavior about a year ago, and he kind of dismissed it, so it was soooooooooooooooooo wonderful to have him take me seriously this time! I wrote in the letter that she gets extremely angry if I bring up her behaviors in front of someone else, but she won't act like it until we get home. I also told him about her trying to kick me and punch me from her wheelchair and trying to stab me with a pen while chasing me in her wheelchair!! I had to laugh when that happened. So I think the doc. realized that things aren't as 'sweet' as she makes it out to be when we are at the doc. I also tend to make faces of fear and shock behind her back when I talk to the doc and she is looking at him.... LOLOL. I know it sounds crazy, but it helps when I say "yes, we were wondering if the sound in her ear was the gas pipe under the house and it was going to blow up the house in the middle of the night, or possibly might be her blood pressure. or should I call the gas company to warn them that we might blow up??" while making a face of shock behind her. roflol.... I am easily amused , I know. But we have to find our 'escape from the madness' any way we can during this long journey! :)
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yay! glad to hear someone in my profession may have done something right for a change!! - but mainly, glad it worked! ;-)
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oh, and he changed her blood pressure meds also.
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we went to the doctor this past week and her blood pressure was low! Also, I always sent a note/letter to the doctor before we went and he decided to put her on Resperidol. OMG.....the difference is amazing.....immediately. It has totally helped with her anger/frustration/aggression. I am amazed. just had to share!
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We have a doctor's appt. on Tuesday! I'm going to write a note to the doc so he can read it before we get there (like I did last time) so he will know what behavior changes there have been. She tries to act like everything is so good in front of the doctor and will get mad at me if I bring anything up to talk about, so wish me luck!
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Besides blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias or low blood glucose can cause falls and fainting spells. She does not need to permitted to decide to blow off doctor's visits just to avoid the anxiety or the unwelcome news. As you said, "bite the bullet and just tell her" [I care about you and this coudl be important to take care of because I don't want you hurt and] "this is what we are doing".
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Elderly people tend to need more sleep. My father was in his nineties and slept like a housecat- about 20 hours a day. At doctor one time he was sound asleep in his wheelchair and didn't really wake up even during the exam. If he opened his eyes he would immediately fall back asleep when his eyes closed. Granted it was towards his end (and he wasn't that way all the time) but a person can fall into deep sleep very easily (at the blink of an eye). Maybe that is happening for your MIL (by the way, my father's vital signs were fantastic so there was no medical reason for the sleepyness- except for age).
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oh, and the son has the DPOA -- lovely. She doesn't trust him, so I have to monitor his movements with money also! I do have to say that he IS being responsible with her money, though. The other son who died 2 years ago drained all her money, so we have put in over $10,000.00 to help her keep her home and other things.
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LOL - well, thanks for the 'push' and encouragement. :) Yes, I know that it is ridiculous to leave her meds in her room, but I have been stuck in the middle of a crazy ex and a disabled ex mil. Ex husband wants to "be in charge" but doesn't do anything at all to help. So now I have my backbone again (thanks to ya'll) and will stand up and do what I have known to do all along. If the ex doesn't like it, well................. he doesn't like anything anyway! and he is always unhappy, so it won't really change things! LOL. Thanks again... it will be helpful to come back here after I get chewed out for being 'mean' by taking the meds and making her do certain things... oh, boy.........
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Get her a hospital bed and place her in diapers. Also, I'd suggest a new wheelchair for her - the one that can be moved into different positions.
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You can take her to the Dr, and he can tell her until he is blue in the face that she has dementia, but she won't believe it, and even if she sort of believes it she'll deny it. Looks like you get to be the grown-up here. If she has dementia her emotions are intact, but she has no better judgement than a drunk or a teenager (both are FULL of emotions and opinions, but their judgement sucks).
Your gut is right about needing to take charge. Been down that road, tried to be respectful, didn't take charge, and that was the disaster. Who has the DPOA -- you or the Ex?
When her son takes full responsiblity and he is the one caring for her 24/7 he can leave them in her room 'til the cows come home.
(pretty sure the "responsiblity" part got you laughing, right?)
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redrill the frame and raise the back wheels about 3 inches essentially lowering the rear of the chair. engineers nowdays are brain dead idiots imo. you have to modify everything to suit your individual needs.
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i had orthostatic hypotension once. i was trippin thru marion indiana about 1 am washing down zans with everclear. the remedy was so simple you wont believe it--a night in the grant county hoosegow and a good ass rippin by judge haas the next day. the longer term rehab consisted of 100 hours community service at the hometown goodwill store.
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Allowing a person with dementia to manage their own meds and to decide when medical consultation is needed is, well, crazy! LOL. You mean well, I'm sure, but re-read what you've written. Gran's doctor says she shouldn't manage her own meds. Gran wants to manage her own meds. You allow the meds to remain in her room. Yoohoo ... If Gran can take care of herself, what are you doing there?

Gran has dementia. People with dementia need guidance and protection. Do it!

(Do you feel empowered to make decisions on her behalf? That was my goal.)
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Thank you so much for your answers. they are very helpful. I'll also go update my profile and give some more info. I have a hard time getting her to even drink fluids, so it won't be hard to have her stop drinking anything in the evening. Also, I thought about it being her blood pressure, and I'm wondering if she is 'sneaking' meds, or messing them up. I have her meds in a weekly dispenser for a.m. and p.m. and the doctor told me (and her) that I need to have her meds in my room, not hers....... she threw a fit about it later and her son, my ex, wouldn't let me take them out of her room. I have learned bit by bit on this journey, so am willing and evidently needing to just bite the bullet and take the meds into my room and deal with the fit. Does anyone think it could be mini-strokes happening? I did tell her that we need to call the doctor, and she has gotten to the point -in the past few months - that she says "no, I don't need to go to the doctor for that" or "I need you to the doctor for this"..... just for different things. We had an appt. for cognitive functioning that she made me cancel!!! I need some encouragement - or a push - in this area to (again) bite the bullet and just tell her "this is what we are doing". I used to try to count on my ex to help/support me in these decisions or care for her, but he is really useless - hence the divorce. LOL. He is an addict and just wants to take the easy way out so won't 'make' her do anything. He will threaten to do things like take her to the doctor so he will tell her she has dementia because she denies it. But he never does anything. So.... should I just take more 'charge' of the situation and be more scheduled, etc?. My gut tells me I should, but I didn't want to make Gran feel incompetent; I want her to be able to make some decisions so she will still feel needed and important. Thanks...
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I was thinking the same thing horserider was: low blood pressure. A sudden drop in BP can cause a fainting spell. And while I'm not a Dr. and meds affect different people in different ways I've never heard of gabapentin (Neurontin) causing drowsiness.

4 falls in 6 months is way too many falls. Something's up. In my opinion she needs to see her Dr. In the meantime cut down on fluids after 6pm (she's not going to dehydrate) which may eliminate the need for her to get up in the middle of the night and fall. And a bedside commode is an excellent idea!

My dad fell frequently as a result of low blood pressure. He said the same thing, "I don't know what happened, I was walking to the bathroom and woke up on the floor." Blood pressure can drop when someone goes from a sitting to a standing position. It's called orthostatic hypotension. Try to get her in the habit of just sitting still right after she transfers. Just for about 30 seconds or so.
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low blood pressure is the issue for many elders...possible? agree with Jeannegibs that pre-bed potty stop needed or not might help (maybe limit drinks before bed too -- just like kids). The instinct to not wet the bed is really, really hard to overcome.
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Time for a beside potty chair. That is way too many falls!
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The profile questions don't always result in a clear picture. Gran is living at home -- is that your home, with you? Her home? It sounds like you are with her at night. Is that correct?

Both my mother and husband have/had dementia (different kinds) and both could have very sudden onset of sleepiness. Tonight my mother wanted a bath and was going to have one as soon as she finished her cake. But before she even got through with the cake she suddenly had to go to bed right now. I helped her get ready. She had no premonition she would suddenly be tired, or maybe she was tired and just didn't recognize it. In any case, it would have been risky to let her go off and get ready for bed on her own.

Discuss these episodes with her doctor. I suggest that maybe it is time to accompany her through her bedtime routine, including that last trip to the bathroom.
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