Scared... what to do about my mother's falling?

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I always have to get my mother ready for her doctor appointments at least two hours prior to her appointment to have her there on time, and we live only 15 minutes away from her doctor... with that being hard enough, as we were getting ready to leave, she falls as we are going out the door!! My mother is lying on the porch in a position that I just knew had broken her hip or back! She is screaming in pain. All that I could do was lay with her on the porch for a few minutes, as I fell as well, trying to catch her fall. I made it to my feet to get my cell phone to call 911. As I waited for the ambulance to arrive, I called my sister to tell her what happened... I could barely talk through my crying and being so upset and scared! Well... long story short, my mother made it to the hospital, had x-rays and scans...Thank God, she had no fractures or any broken bones! She is using her walker to walk now, but I am so scared she will fall again, for this has been her third fall in less than 2 months.

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One time my mother was in rehab and was getting help with her walking. I remember the therapist encouraging her not to shuffle her feet. She said that is what causes a lot of falls. The elderly think they are being safer, when they are not.
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I agree with Eyerishlass. Oftentimes the PTs and Docs are unrealistic in their expectations. They tell you to bring the loved one to appointments constantly, change your house all kinds of ways, as if there is nothing to any of that! It makes caregivers feel so guilty. I don't think they mean any harm, I just think they feel that they need to give advice. The bottom line is, it's just advice. Do what makes sense but remember that you can't really change the fact that your loved one is getting old and will have these problems.
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I have been told by doctors and nurses that dehydration is a cause for loss of balance in the elderly. My mom falls less when she consistently drinks a couple of glasses of water during the day along with other liquids. She still has some falls outside the house when I take her places because it's easy for her to stumble on irregular pavement or a little step. I just have to hold her by the arm when we go somewhere and walk very slowly to prevent falls. I recommend SAS brand shoes - comfortable and sturdy. Some come with velcro.
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Chicago1954 suggested exactly what I was going to suggest.

Get a gait belt for your mom and ensures she wears it everyday. While you two are walking anywhere have your hand hanging onto to the belt in the back (just grip the belt lightly, you don't want to throw off her balance). If she starts to go down you can hang onto the belt while you get your mom rebalanced.

My dad fell all the time. It's what got him into the nursing home. He had fallen while I was at work (I only worked 8 hours a week) and was unable to get up. He laid on the floor until I got home. I called the paramedics frequently as well because my dad couldn't get himself back up and I couldn't lift him. He continued to keep falling. I told him he must bounce because he never suffered a broken bone although I waited for that to happen everyday. I knew his luck would run out. His last fall was shortly before his death and he suffered the meanest black eye and bruising I'd ever seen. It was pitiful.

Your mom would be considered a high fall risk. I think most of our elderly loved ones are. Change her shoes, rip up the carpets, put a gait belt on her, do all the stuff physical therapists would recommend but she's still going to be a high fall risk.

(We had hardwood floors. The PT's told me to take up all my rugs so my dad wouldn't trip over them. I understood where they were coming from but I wasn't going to strip my home down to bare bones and take away all of the warmth of a home lovingly decorated. Maybe that was selfish but my dad never tripped over the rugs. Not once. He always fell in his bedroom where there was carpet.)
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Can you remove the rugs?
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They sell pants for the elderly with built-in padding on both sides of the pants. They sell them in shorts also, for the summer. You can do a Google search for the names of the companies that sell them.
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After my mother fell a couple of times, she had to go to the hospital by ambulance. She had broken ribs and a broken clavicle. She lived alone and was taken to re-hab and then, AL and now NH. She has not fallen since. In fact, this all started in Feb. and people tell me that she is the best she has been in months.

I am guessing, that you don't have a belt around her. You really need to do that.

Remember what we say, about taking care of yourself. I know that none of us are as young as we used to be. But, don't think that NH are 100% bad. My Mother would not have survived much longer, at home.
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swiila, I have seen Keds that have velcro instead of laces. They tend to have not much tread.

I giggled a bit on your post (and I'm sorry) as my mom wants traction on carpet. It's so much so as she has me superglue sandpaper on the bottom of her Keds as my dad used to do. Ha! That must mean they're slippery shoes.

Not trying to make light, but Keds must not stick. Hope that helps.
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You and your mom are in a tough spot. It's one that's not going to change, so realistically there's nothing you can do. I hate that helpless feeling and experience the dread every day of my life.

My mom's in AL now, pretty much in a wheelchair. The aides lift her up out of her chair to use a walker to get to the bathroom. I do it by myself when I visit her every other day. I clench my teeth every time and she's getting harder for me to lift by the back of her pants. Scares the crap out of me every time.

Her knee broke three times just walking when my dad was still alive, and thankfully, I was there to witness times one and three and help out. Just heard a loud snap and down she went.

After my father died from brain cancer, mom's care fell on me. We moved her into our home and it did not work out. She continued to have falls and I just couldn't get her up off the floor on my own. She hated me for a period of time after going to the AL but it's "okay" now.

Sorry to say, but it's time to look at the big picture now, because her walking skills will not improve. I wish I could wave a big magic wand around for all of us in this situation. I truly do, because it is so hard and stressful for them and us.

It's time to think about care around the clock. Gritting my teeth again because I know how hard that is to do.

Hugs to you and keep us posted. Been there, and still doing that!
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Can anyone suggest a brand and style of shoe (be specific) that might reduce tripping and stumbling on carpet. Shoes with tread are not the answer as they catch in the carpet and cause mom to stumble and lose balance. She can't tie shoes and mary jane straps cause swelling. It would have to be a slip on.
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