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My dad has had 2 falls getting out of bed in the last week, both while getting up to use the bathroom. He used his alert button both times to have family come get him picked up as he’s completely unable to get up on his own. This has him a bit more spooked than usual about living alone. We’re very aware that him living alone is questionable but he’s been insistent about it and is mentally sound, leaving no real way to force the issue. He’s very attached to his rollator for getting around and we’ve done all manner of adapting his environment to make life easier for him, but his walking is a slow shuffle, very laborious and lagging. He’s had PT for it before, minimally cooperative and resistant to trying it again. He’s in near constant pain from bad arthritis, and has a plethora of other chronic physical conditions. He’s terribly lonely and often states he’s ready to leave this world, and that’s despite the attention of family and friends, he’s just tired. So several questions have come up in the last few days and I’d like input...He’s a distance from a VA assisted living home he’d be eligible for, the appeal is the lower cost, the con is the distance would make him unlikely to have many visitors. Anyone have experience with a VA assisted living home good or bad?


Anything to add to his bed at home to lessen the chance of falling? He has a bedside step stool with a long handle but wondering about something that goes between boxspring and mattress and has a handle for stability? Or something else?


Anyone try stopping medications, not like euthanasia or suicide, but as no longer prolonging a life he’s so weary of? This would be discussed with doctor prior to any attempt and we know there are meds for comfort and meds for keeping him here both, he takes a load of meds daily but he’s thinking about stopping, has talked to fellow seniors who’ve done it and say they actually feel better.


As POA and most involved of his adult children, am I nuts or have I lost perspective that I haven’t tried to force him to move from his beloved home? I get calls from relatives, usually the ones that only want to contribute an opinion and not any help, saying I need to “make him move” He’s most content where he is, we have the assisted living conversation at least twice a month, and each time he tells me “not yet” He pays his bills, balances his checkbook, makes his meals (painstakingly slowly) watches sports, and talks on the phone. He undeniably can be rude, but when I’ve discussed that with his doctors they’ve said there is no dementia, that it’s an old age “loss of filters” He can also be very kind, he called my daughter last night to remind her that her tire pressure light in her car might come on with the change in fall temperatures.


Oops, didn’t mean to type a novel, but input on any question above appreciated

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Read “Being Mortal, Medicine and what matters in the end” by Atul Gawande. It will help you support your dad’s decisions on how to live out his life.
Consider a urinal bottle for your dad so he doesn’t have to get up at night. Or a bedside commode.
Also consider an electric hospital bed with rails. My mom used one and she was on Lasix and had to get up 3 or 4 times a night. His dr would have to write a prescription for it. Medicare will pay for it.
My dad really didn’t want to do the PT until a cute girl therapist showed up and she really charmed him. And my aunt loves her cute guy therapist. Funny how that can sometimes work.
Your dad sounds like a sweetheart. Let us know how things are going.
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Thanks for replying. I’m familiar with Being Mortal, wish I could get dad to read it but he’s not a reader, reading much at all has always made him fall asleep (not a senior issue, he did that when I was a child) He keeps a urinal on his nightstand so he’s not making the walk to the bathroom but he still has to get up to use it. He can’t make it work without standing up (wow, the ways you never knew you’d be discussing your dad!) We’ve had the cute girl PT, he spent the time flirting with her, distracting her, and really got out of accomplishing much at all. Then he tells he PT doesn’t really benefit him, ugh!! The hospital bed may be doable, will look into it and the rails suggested above
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It could be that his BP is dipping when he goes from lying flat to standing up, making him wobbly. Maybe suggest he try getting up more slowly and not trying to walk right away. Have him sit up for a few minutes, then sit with his legs hanging off the bed, then stand up, then try to walk. If it is a BP issues, this might give his body a little time to catch up with his brain.
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I so understand, my mom is 90 and although she enjoys getting out she just had a mild stroke. Then, a week later got through my security (I do live with her) and wandered outside at 5:30 am, fell and broke her dominant arm (a break they don’t cast). Now in a rehab where she really can’t be left Alone. She Also suffers from Parkinson’s, macular degeneration, end stage kidney disease and sun downing (much worse in rehab). She often says it’s time to go, no one left for her and now the pain from the arm is quite unbearable. Not even sure she will recover completely. No real answer for u, I’m sorry, but I do truly understand. Good luck and many prayers! Since he is still engaged, how about an adult daycare situation where he can socialize??
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I had a 5in boxspring for Mom. She also has a low mattress. Mom also had a bedrail to help her after a back procedure.

https://goo.gl/images/2DWRfK

It fits under the mattress and has a belt that hooks onto the frame on the opposite side for stability. Its about 18 in wide. It gives them something to help them up and steady them. It also helps to keep them from falling out of bed.
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We had troubles with MIL falling in the night when getting up to toilet, and fixed it (for a while) with a touch lamp. She didn't need to find a switch, and better visibility helped.

If he is mentally sound and wants to stop the meds, I'd say it's his call.
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The bed assist rails that attach to the bed are much sturdier than what you have now, there are many, many different styles but look for something that is firmly anchored, not just held in place by the mattress. If he needs the step stool because the bed is too high then lower it - you can try a low profile box spring if you can't or won't cut down the legs.
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Thanks for your answer. Just got the low profile box springs and mattress a few weeks ago. I don’t think he’s stepping up on the step stool, more using the handle on it for stability. Looks like we need a bed rail that’s stable but not so long as to trap him in the bed
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