After surgery he stayed in a rehab hospital for 2 weeks. He had PT & OT every day while there. He is scheduled to begin outpatient PT this Thursday. He came home this past Sunday and has not the least interested in doing his prescribed home therapy, walking with his walker, and is in a terrible mood. My Mom and I have been telling him he needs to move and do what he was told to do. He brushes us off and is nasty to us also. All he cares to do is stay in bed. He is very aware of what his therapists and doctors have told him to do. He is 80 and has never had any health issues and has never taken any medication until now.

What in the world do we/ can we do?

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He needs someone who goes to the dr. with him and rats him out. After DH's heart attacks last summer, he refused to get out of bed. We had a follow up with his cardio doc who requested I be there-DH would NEVER have allowed me.

Oh boy--the stuff hit the fan. DH is describing himself as being this model patient and then the doc looks at me and asked if this was true and I said "He doesn't do a single thing you've told him to do. In fact, if he will not be compliant starting RIGHT NOW, I am asking you to place him in a rehab facility. I CANNOT care for him at home." Yeah, it got nasty.

BUT--he started getting up. He went on low dose of Zoloft, which made a HUGE difference and he did "better" but never would exercise, and never will.

I had to be "b*tchy tough" which just makes me sick inside.

I even went so far as to say we could get a new dog (our sweetie had died 3 years prior and we hadn't gotten new one as I am sick of caring for dogs) if he would do everything Dr. requested. He wouldn't, kind of picked and chose and so I refused to even entertain the thought of a dog.

Sadly, as much as we want to be sweet, loving and caring with a sick LO, MANY people get sick or hurt and they simply will not comply with the "healing plan".

I DID put my foot down about meals. I would make all 3 meals and leave them in the kitchen. He HAD to get out of bed to eat, and when he did, I'd strip the sheets every other day and take my sweet time washing & remaking the bed. At least then he had to be awake & up for a while.

I am so not looking forward to his aging. He's only 67 and acts 100 somedays. They are going to take him off the Zoloft in a hew months and I know he is going to tank again---I may have to intervene.

Sadly, just being really, really tough and not particularly "loving" with him worked better than the "loving" wife.

If your dad doesn't start working on this, his muscles will atrophy and this will be the beginning of more falls, more broken bones--it's up to him. As far as the pain meds, Tylenol #3 is pretty mild. I wouldn't worry about addiction--keep him out of pain and he'll probably be less adverse to getting up.

Good Luck--I know this is very, very hard.
Helpful Answer (14)

The breathing is especially important if he is going to stay in bed. He puts himself at risk for pneumonia.
Even if he only sits in his chair he will be better off than being in bed.
Or is he having trouble standing up and down? That will emerge tomorrow with the Pt evaluation.
I was going to suggest that he take his pain meds before the pain gets bad but it is strange he didn’t need it as much in rehab. as he does now.
Maybe pay attention to the length of time in bed. Write it down when he gets up for the day, how long he stays up etc. You can track it to see if he gets better day by day. If he’s stalled you’ll be able to tell the doctor how much time he is in bed.
Is he getting dressed each day?
Dont let him get away with being crabby to you and mom since he isn’t doing what he is supposed to and pronouncing himself great to the doctor. It should be just the opposite. Complain to the doctor who gets paid to make him better.
We are all willing in the beginning to be our loved ones caretaker. But it wears thin when they want to act ugly and don’t do what would make them better.
Fingers crossed that therapist will uncover the problem.
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Amen! I like your answer, 97.
Thank you all for your responses. All three of us went to PT today. Luckily and by chance my Dad got the same therapist I had a couple of years ago with a back issue I had. He did his full assessment and then asked him about his pain on a scale of 1-10. Mom and I about died because he said 1-1.5!! He has been going around the house like he was feeling a 20 in pain. The PT asked if he had been doing some exercises at home. He told the guy "a few." I side-eyed him and motioned he hasn't been doing anything. The therapist gave him a very detailed sheet of new exercises that he did today. He told my Dad he had to do them 2 times a day and that if he wasn't committed to doing them on his own all of this will be a waste of time 2x a week on both their part. His hurt leg has zero muscle and is basically just hanging on his body. We'll see what he ends up doing. Prayers and fingers crossed.

By the way, my parents have a shih tzu and my dad loves the dog to death. We actually got permission to take him to his rehab hospital room once. It was a real highlight for both of them. Dad missed Lucky and Lucky missed him terribly.

About the constipation...the docs took care of all of that in the hospital when they took him off of schedule 1 pain meds. He's good, per my Mom.

You all have been an absolute blessing with your tips and listening to my ranting. I appreciate it!
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It's funny how my mom walked to the car just fine after dialysis today, but once I got her home she acted like a complete invalid getting in the house. Weird how that happens. :/
As a retired PT, I can tell you that getting out of bed is more important than doing a few exercises. Laying in bed leads to blood clots, pneumonia and bed sores. Stop serving meals to him in bed. Does he get up to the toilet or use a bed pan? Does he dress himself? Give him a reason to get back into life.

I suggest you invite a male friend or relative over for a visit. He will probably not want to act like a baby when one of his peers is around.
Helpful Answer (9)

Is he getting up and going to the bathroom?
Is he eating? Being served in bed? Taking his meds?
Running a temp? Is he afraid it will happen again if he moves too much?

Perhaps there is something wrong. Good idea to check with his medical team.

Is your mom ready to be a full time caretaker to a patient who won’t do his part?
Its one thing if he can’t, another if he won’t.

I would make sure he is otherwise okay and then have a serious talk with him.
If he is depressed it’s time to treat it.
You and mom need to not enable him into becoming an invalid.

When I was about 30 I had knee surgery. A few weeks later on a follow up visit my dr saw how I was walking. I’ve never forgotten what he said. “You can bend that knee or I will.”
To therapy I went and I was dancing in high heels soon after.

Therapy works but it is work.

He’s lucky to have you.

I would try to give the therapist coming out tomorrow a heads up before they get there.
Helpful Answer (8)

Perhaps he needs a Tylenol (if he can take that) 30-minutes before doing home therapy. If he's in pain, he's not going to want to do therapy.

To go from having no health issues to breaking a femur at 80 must be a shocking blow to him. Nonetheless, neither you nor your mother will be doing him any favors by enabling him to stay in bed.

Do not serve him food in bed. Do not give him a bed bath. Do not offer him a bedpan or urinal. You must treat him as a grown man otherwise he will slide into dependency faster than he broke that femur.

Now also is a good time to look into getting some in-home help for your mother. A weekly housekeeper and someone to help her grocery shop, prepare meals, do laundry, etc. Can they afford that?
Helpful Answer (8)

I should call his surgeon for advice, and possibly the PT team he was working with at rehab. The thing is, one would be tempted to leave it to the outpatient team - tomorrow, is that? - but after a break like that, in that long bone, and surgery, your father really can't afford to step down his efforts: it's not only about maximum recovery, immobility could be verging on dangerous for him.

It's in his interests that you're nagging him; the professionals might be able to suggest *how* best to nag him; and after that - it is up to him. If pushing him is getting nobody anywhere, you and your mother can still only do your best.

Is his pain relief okay now that he's home again, by the way?
Helpful Answer (7)
Home health therapists got my mom to do things that she would have never done for me. They were fantastic!
First of all, YES animals have a way of healing the mind and heart. I have seen it happen .And I am not saying to go purchase a dog, There are THREAPY DOGS that people bring in to nursing homes, Hospitals , privet homes, ETC. They are specially trained to help those who are hurting. The elderly are human beings that should be treated like human beings and I know first hand that dealing with them can be very hard. Through my hundreds of conversations with people between the ages of 70-98 and who had a physical issue, the most concern they had was becoming useless and a burden on others. If they like animals, a therapy or even someone's pet can help even if it is only for 30 mins 3 times a week.
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If your hospital offers home health nursing and care, they will send someone to do an evaluation, and provide more PT and help with personal hygiene, etc. Please know that for many elderly folks, a trauma like this can result in the onset or worsening of previously un-identified dementia and depression and possible small strokes which add to the already traumatizing event. You will need to be very patient but persistent. The home care folks were the ones who brought my husband out of his self-Imposed isolation and helped so much.
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To me (having a dad in a similar situation) it could be that he's depressed... having gone from being active and having no health problems, it can be a shock. After my own dad finally started feeling better, he then began doing more. When you have an active, robust octogenarian who goes from full speed (working on his cars, taking care of a huge yard and house, being involved in local politics, driving, etc.) to no speed (feeling weak, bed-bound, no appetite) it's as much mentally debilitating as it is physically debilitating.

Give him some time and try not to bug him too much (we bug because we care lol)... once he starts feeling better he'll most likely rebound. And it will improve his mood, too. Here's hoping dad is soon back to normal.
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