Mother keeps falling, refuses to go to hospital. What can I do?

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Hey, everyone.

So... my mother is not exactly good at taking her medication as prescribed. All of my efforts to get her not to take too much are for naught. She is also dealing with a morphine addiction, and she's currently unable to get any. So she's taking twice/three times her night meds so she can sleep through withdrawal. Except she's not sleeping.

As of right now, she has fallen; I mean completely, just, WHUMP, 5 times since yesterday. She gets out of bed to go to the bathroom and loses control of her arms and legs. She can usually get on her hands and knees but that's it. I've had to physically drag/carry her back to bed all 5 times.

Earlier today, she literally just laid on the floor and yelled, "Help". She couldn't even get onto her knees.

She will not go to the ER. She is frail. She is 5'10 and ~110 pounds. For all we know, she's broken something, but she just told me, "Get that idea out of your head, I'm not going anywhere."

What can I do? I didn't get any sleep last night because of the surge of adrenaline that came from having to drag dead weight back to bed, and I know the same will happen tonight. But she doesn't want to do anything because she's presumably getting more morphine tomorrow, which is the only thing in the world she cares about (except for making my life miserable).

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Top Answer
It is heartbreaking to see our parents decline....

When my Mom started falling and was unable to pick herself up, I had to call paramedics. After several falls and calls, and the last one resulting in the paramedics taking her to the hospital, the paramedics told me that Mom needed to go into assisted living.

You need to come up with a plan for your Mom's best care. Can she go into assisted living? If not, can you get a hospital bed so you can put the bars up at night?
Perseverance (I love your kitty icon, btw), out of curiosity, did you live with your mother at the time? I posted awhile back about how doctors, relatives, and Joe Schmoe on the street never take my mother's deterioration seriously, or assume that I've got everything under control (which could not be farther from the truth). The hospital always sends her home because she assures them that she's got all her ducks in a row and so forth, with me and my dad to take care of her. No one has so much as whispered the AL-words.
Hi, Celly, Yes, I was caring for my mom in her house, while I also worked full-time.. My kitty icon was found via google, but my cat really does look like him! ;-)
My Dad has parkinson's and falls frequently. He refuses to go to hospital. I don't fight him. I insist that he go to rehab to build his muscles so he bounces instead of breaks. Also the stronger he becomes the easier to get him up. I try to get to gym to lift weight twice a week, that's the biggest help. Lifting weights gives you a sense of control in the situation. Google proper lifting techniques in elderly patients or get an nurse or lpn to show you how to transfer and lift a patient.

Good luck, bless you for your love and caregiving. You don't say if this is an end of life issue? Your Mom seems dangerously underweight. How are you coping with the stress?
Brainstorming: don't ask her, just call 911. They will likely take her to the ER and there you can work with the docs out of her earshot to have her released into a rehab clinic. That way she will get the care she needs to stop falling so much before she comes home. Medicare and Medicaid pay for most of these costs.
I agree with CathyJ. The next time your mom falls call the paramedics. If you think your mom needs to be hospitalized take one of the paramedics aside, explain the situation to him, and they will pull out all the stops to get your mom to the ER. She can say no and continue saying no and if it looks like she won't budge they can't force her but I discovered first hand with my dad that it's very difficult to keep saying no to 4 big guys and 2 cops. And they'll be very nice and gentle with her. When I cared for my dad in my home and he fell the paramedics were my best allies. Or if my dad was having an issue that he refused to see the Dr about, I'd just wait for him to fall (I never had to wait long), call the paramedics, and explain to one of them the situation and they would always get my dad to go to the ER. And they were just so wonderful each time.

The next time your mom falls (and once our elderly loved ones start falling, they keep falling) pretend like you can't get her up. Say you're sick, you have a pulled muscle, whatever. And call 911. Let them try to get her to the ER.

And about the morphine. Your mom shouldn't be withdrawing at home. Morphine withdrawl is dangerous and very painful.
Best wishes to you. If the bed area is where most of the falls occur please check out AbleData for Superpoles or Friendly Beds that would allow her to safely stand and maintain her balance. If she refuses to use a walker/wheelchair how about a bedside commode to avoid some of those trips? There are exercises and other things to help rebuild strength/balance that would help with frail seniors- perhaps some therapists could jump into the discussion.
Celly, I feel so badly that you're having to deal with this at your young age! I'm almost your mom's age and can't imagine putting someone through what you're dealing with. You need to check out Al-Anon (which is free to you) ASAP. Your mom's drug problems have created a huge issue for you and you need to learn how to separate yourself from her issues for your own mental health. Your mom is manipulating you to both of your detriments.

She needs to be in a place that can wean her from the morphine or dose it properly. You're not equipped to do that. I wouldn't pay any attention to what she says she wants - you say she's an addict and therefore isn't in a place to make good decisions. You are. Does the hospital have a rehab facility? Do they understand her drug issues? If you're trying to hide them, don't. Let them know the full picture and maybe you'll get some help.

You need to take care of yourself in this situation by getting your mom to professional help, either rehab or hospital. Good luck and keep us posted.
@Perseverance is Right..
According Me,You Really need to come up with a plan For Your Mother's Best Care.You Can Also Choose Home Health Care Srevice. Its Also Best For your Mother.
Dear Celly: I sympathize your dealing with such major challenges with your Mom, and a disabled Dad. Please don't allow your Mom to call the shots any longer - she does not seem to be either physically or mentally competent to do so. Based on the facts you stated, she is an addict, cannot manage her prescribed meds properly, literally cannot maintain her balance, and is 5'10" tall weighing 110 lbs (possibly suffering from malnutrition could be affecting her balance as well). You cook and I'll bet she refuses to eat or has no appetite. I think it is clear to everyone here that you are under incredible stress and trying to do the best you can under the circumstances. However, it seems to me that you are dealing with a dangerous situation that needs immediate attention. Perhaps I am over-analyzing, and I don't mean to alarm you, but by not forcing her to go to a hospital, I am afraid that you could unwittingly and potentially be accused of neglect (for example not calling the paramedics when she is injured and refuses to go to the ER). You have worked too hard to put yourself in that position. Eyerishlass said it best and more tactfully than I - pretend you can't get her up and let the Paramedics convince her to go to the ER. I believe she needs more help than any lay person would be able to give her at this point, either physically or mentally. Once you get her into the hospital, ask for a case manager to evaluate the entire situation and if they have to declare her mentally incompetent in order to get her into a facility, so be it. I'm pretty sure she qualifies for Medicaid, so you should not have to worry about the medical expenses. I pray you find the help you need as soon as possible, and don't feel guilty about taking the necessary steps. Just keep reminding yourself, that whatever you do on her behalf, you are doing out of love and in her best interests.

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