Follow
Share

I need some support. Mom is really weak. She either falls out of bed or falls using the potty. She doesn't walk very much and her legs are weak. Daddy is strong but when he has to pick her up, it hurts his back. Last night, she "fell out of bed" and Daddy had to pick her up with his feet. He can't afford night care. They have a caregiver during the day until 4:00 each evening. Please give me some ideas.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Redhead, friendly beds have supportive systems in somewhat of a framework around the bed, with poles and some assistive devices to help people hold onto something and provide stability.

Commercial links are usually deleted if posted here, so just Google "friendly beds" and you'll see examples.

I'm wondering if your parents ate dinner earlier, if there might be less need to get up at night, as that seems to be the "falling hour". I don't know of anything offhand but I'm wondering also if there's a way an alert system could be used to wake up your father at these times. Maybe something like a pressure sensor that indicates a shift in your mother's position, or battery operated sensor on the edge of the bed where she'd had to move to get up out of bed?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

FriendlyBedGuy, thanks so much for your helpful answer. What exactly is a "friendly bed?" Most of mom's falls happen at night when she's up to use her bedside potty. Dad helps her but sometimes, she doesn't wake him up and that's usually when the falls happen. She doesn't get her balance before she starts to move and down she goes.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Common situation- elderly couple with the caregiver spouse only a hair better than the other one- if the caregiver gets injured everything falls apart. People living at home as long as safely possible is a good thing but there are costs involved. Could be paid help for assistance. Could be OT/PT needed to maintain one's abilities. Should have an OT evaluate the house to make suggestions on what may be needed. Where/how are the falls occurring? What assistive devices would help the situation? We get calls all the time and have to drill down to details before making suggestions. Bed area falls are common because of the time spent there- being weak, dizzy, sleepy, and in the dark makes a bad combination- and if UTIs are involved bathroom visits become more frequent/dangerous. Items like Superpoles or Friendly Beds can provide assistance to aid in standing and maintaining balance and often a commode is placed right next to the pole for additional stability in using the commode. Please get hold of me if I can offer suggestions to anyone.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm so sorry to learn of your uncle's death. What a challenging time this is for you! I hope you're able to take some time out periodically to just relax - there's just too much going on in your life now.

As to your older son, it sounds as if he's making some bad decisions; there's only so much you can do and if you don't have bail money, you just don't have it. Perhaps being incarcerated until his hearing will help him see the light and help him rethink his behavior.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

He has done a lot better lately with decisions for her. There was a time whereas I had to fuss at him and remind him about what she needs. My Grandmother (his mom) was so stingy that she would hide the candy when me and my sister went there on Christmas day! So, Daddy gets it honestly! I've advised him that if mom falls and breaks another hip, it'll be a lot worse! When he fusses, I just remind him that it's better than her not being here. That seems to hit home with him! It's SO exhausting mentally for me! And NOW, my uncle (mom's only living sibling) passed away yesterday.... We have decided not to tell her because she just might concentrate on that instead of eating and getting her strength back. In addition to all of this, my older son is now in jail (AGAIN) and has called me to get him out. I don't have the money to post bail and I'm an absolute mess! Honestly, I'm not sure how much more stress I can take! I'm sorry for whining! I know there are others who are going through much worse!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You say your dad has gotten very forgetful and mistrustful lately. He also has dug his heels in about your mom's care. Is there any point that you would consider his position unreasonable and unsafe?

I would have to take more action. It sounds like he's not dealing with it well and isn't putting your mom's needs first. I think I would have to step and advocate on her behalf.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother used to fall a LOT. In Los Angeles, where she lived, one could call 911 and ask for 'the lift service" ..EMT's would arrive , lift her, check her out, and leave.. A time or two they transported her to the hosp. for observation..There was NO CHARGE for this, however they don't rush out as they do when you call with medical emergencies.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Great idea! I'll check with them! Thanks so much!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

militaryredhead, check with the ambulance service to see if they bill Medicare.... and if the $500 is for transport to the hospital, and not for a fallen elder who doesn't need transport.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Just thought of something else that could cause falls when she gets up: orthostatic hypertension. BP can drop rapidly if someone gets up too fast, sometimes head lightness or dizziness occurs. My father used to have that problem. Even if she gets up slowly and her BP drops quickly, she might be susceptible to losing her balance.

This issue of nonparticipative siblings has been discussed so frequently here. I'm leaning toward the position of being more aggressive and asking them specifically how, not if, but HOW they can help out.

Don't your parents have Medicare? It pays for ambulance service. As many times as I've called 911 for my father, he's never had to pay a cent.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

All of you are so helpful and I truly appreciate it! Yes, Dad gets up to help mom when she has to potty. She DOES start to take a step before she gets her balance! Her skin is so thin that any type of fall or running into something peels her skin back. As for relatives taking turns sitting at night, there is no one. I have an older sister, but she stopped visiting or calling my parents close to 15 yrs ago. And, it isn't like she lives far away! She lives about 30 min. from them. So, it all falls on me. Renting a room is out of the question, although it's a great idea! Dad is going through a phase where he doesn't trust anyone. He would never have someone in his home. Calling 911 is a no-go, too. When an ambulance goes out in our area, it's a $500 charge! All of this creates intense frustration for me.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Renting out a room sounds like a new suggestion I've not heard before. A coincidence that was on my mind today. With creativity, it may work.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I see where you said they can't afford night help. Where there's a will, there's a way. Perhaps a relative could stay overnight, maybe several could take turns. Maybe they could rent out an extra bedroom to someone who would help lift her off the floor if needed. Whether they like it or not, they do need more help than they are getting.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

When your mom gets up to go to the bathroom, does dad get up too and assist her? If not, he should. Especially since he is so adamant about staying independent. She probably is like most people and tries to stand too quickly upon sitting up. Does she take any medicine that might have dizziness as a side effect?

Your dad needs to call 911 each and every time mom falls. They will come and check her out to be sure that nothing is broken or if somewhere is bleeding. Also they will get her off of the floor. They say that more often than not, the hip breaks and then they fall, not the other way around. She needs to be checked over for breaks, bruises and cuts. Their blood is usually so thin and their skin is too. And the bones are brittle. Maybe after a while of this, dad will realize that they need more help than he thinks.

At the very least, hire a night time aide.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Does she have either long or short grabbers? They have a sort of pincher on the end to grab onto clothing. They can be used to pull up socks or pants, or vice versa.

Add my parent to the list of nonbudgers.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

freqflyer, thanks for your answer! My mom was too close to the side of the bed, so after y dad talked to me, I suggested he put her closer to the middle of the bed. It's a full sized bed, so there isn't a lot of room. With that said, mom doesn't move much while sleeping. Dad pretty much makes the decisions for himself and mom. There is no way he would agree to moving. It just makes it so hard for me! What's even worse is that I have an older sister that hasn't seen or talked to my parents in over 13 years! She's in the area, too! If I had some help, it might be different, but it isn't.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

militaryredhead, my parents won't budge either when it comes to moving into someplace that is safer for them. I bet your Dad is grumbling because he now realizes that his and your Mom's life have changed so much that they are getting older.... they are losing their independence.

Would your Mom consider moving to assisted living? If yes, would your Dad follow her there or would he still dig in his heels?

Curious why your Mom keeps falling out of bed? Wonder if the bed is now too small... my parents still sleep in a double bed which doesn't give one much room to roll over. A king size would be perfect if there is enough room in the bedroom.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks to all of you for your great suggestions! We do have a university in neighboring town and the nursing student idea is one I can consider! My mom hasn't fallen the past two nights, but when she does, it just kills my dad's back to try to get her up! She has a bedside potty, so that helps. I was there yesterday and she barely has the strength to stand in order to get her pants down to use the potty. In addition, she has osteoarthritis in her fingers and they are all bent and distorted. On her right hand, her middle finger is in a "locked" position to her palm. Her ring finger and pinky work, but she won't use them, so it's very hard for her even pull her clothing up. My dad is getting more and more forgetful and he's beginning to complain about everything! I can't get him to turn the air conditioning on and it's so hot in the house! While I was there on Thursday, he waited until three o'clock in the afternoon. By then, it was just too late to get the house cooled down. He complains about the food the day caregiver makes and he complains about other things. It's absolutely wearing me out mentally and physically....especially mentally. And, as for putting them in an assisted care facility or something similar....it's out of the question. My dad won't budge.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Don't leave them alone at night anymore. You do need support, this is a difficult situation. We, here, can help you with decision-making, and I am hoping you can get your parent's cooperation.
Then, there is always the "Lifeline" pendant alarms. A neighbor signs up to be called/signaled and comes over as the first responder. This would work if it is only occasional and they have good neighbors. Try that for awhile.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Take classes and if possible, teach them how to fall properly, such as a military air force 3-point landing. Then, teach them how to safely get up after falling, by reading the articles on AgingCare.
Make sure father knows not to pick her up because she could be injured, or both could be injured further. I would suggest (in the summer), he put a lightweight yoga mat near her, with bedding, have her roll onto that and rest, with a cover. He could stay with her until she could maneuver to get up.
Before we criticize, could we all just think about what is soooo very bad about sleeping on the floor awhile? Didn't our kids do just that on sleep-overs growing up? The suggestions above are very excellent if one doesn't want to try unorthodox procedures.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Re-schedule the caregivers to meet your parent's needs. I naively suggest a three person part-time team. A college student could come in as a sitter/watcher overnight 9 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. and need the job so they can study. A nursing student might like the job experience. Colleges have programs for college credits in exchange for work.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would be concerned with your dad having to lift her when she is no longer able to walk. With dementia, it's not that likely that she will grow stronger and recover, especially at her age. I would explore more in home care around the clock or placement.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

The above answers by GardenArtist are very good. It is a valid point that people get caught in rails. Because facilities can't have a "rails up" policy for that very reason, they use bed alarms or a mat on the floor to "catch" the person or cushion them. The problem with something like that on the floor is a higher level of balance is needed. Is the there a bedside commode or is she walking to the bathroom?
PT/OT can assess your home situation. Any physician can write a prescription for home health.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I apologize for asking your parents' ages - it was right in your original post! Duhhh!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I assume from your profile that your parents are living with you, or you with them? How old are your parents? Can they participate in PT to strengthen your mother's legs and your father's back? Has your father been trained how to safely pick up someone?

PT and OT would be my first thought. Second thought would be to ask one of their physicians about ordering a hospital bed with rails to prevent your mother falling out of bed. I am curious though how this happens - does she turn over and slip out of bed, or is it when she's trying to get up?

There are also various hand holds that can be added to a bed that isn't a hospital bed to provide support for someone. I'm not sure about adding side rails though.

For some with dementia, there might be an issue of becoming caught in the hand rails, so this is something that might be discussed with one of your parents doctors and/or an occupational therapist.

Another possibility is to add the kind of protection pads used by hospitals underneath sheets. I think they're primarily for incontinency accidents, but they also create enough adhesion to the mattress that it's harder to move. When I was in the hospital last year I had a lot of trouble moving around because of the pad.

Since your mother doesn't walk much, she could strengthen her legs sitting down by using one of the pedalers. They're essential bike pedals mounted on a frame and can be put on a table and used to increase arm strength or on the floor to increase leg strength - assuming a therapist would agree that it's appropriate to engage in that kind of activity.

The pedalers look like these: activeforever/pedal-exercisers. You can get them cheaper through some catalogues though.

Does your mother use a walker or rollator? Commode? Are there grab bars on the bathroom walls? Elevated toilet?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter