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My mother fell the other day. at the time, she said that she didn't hit her head. She complained of slight shoulder pain and had no visible sign of injury. I am pretty sure that the fall was not related to a UTI because she has just recently had a recheck by the urologist and has no other symptoms. She just happened to grab the towel bar for support instead of the grab bar. The towel bar pulled away from the wall and she went down.


The reason I ask is because I overheard her on the phone with my brother (who used to live with her) and she told him that she fell and he was surprised (and unhappy) that I didn't take her to the hospital.


Am I under-reacting or is he over-reacting? What is the norm? (I confess, I do have a tendency to underreact)

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Mom2mom, thanks for clearing that up about the "tot he". lol I wasn't quite sure. I see it now. Makes sense. I suppose that I'm a little sensitive, old fashioned, etc. with regard to respect for elders. It was not what I thought. thanks.
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Reference the suggestion of calling 911 to help pick her up... it wasn't needed. My son and I got her up easily but I wanted to point out the irony in the fact that my son was watching her (the Wed caregiver had asked for the day off and the kids are out of school) and he was the one who called me on my cell to come home.

So, the ironic part... I was in the 911 center when my son called.
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Good job Stacey! He does sound very ill. May you find the strength to keep going, prayers for you, and all my firiends on here. Lifted up as we travel to see a family member now.

Must go now.
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My FIL has fallen 4 time in the last week, it is a struggle for my husband and I to lify 16t#'s of dead weight, especially when they don't help to position their legs and feet properly.

My husband's back is now hurting him, from lifting him, and soon we will need to call the paramedics to do this or risk injury to his primary caregivers!

We had him in the Dr's office this morning, to evaluate his Cough and Chest Congestion, and to look for any specific reason why these more frequent and recent falling episodes.

The Dr checked him out, noticedthe bandages from the scrapes on his arms, and did a Urinalysis to determine if he has a UTI. His urine does show White Cells, indicating infection, so off for a Culture it goes. Dr did treat for Bronchitis, and the Rx will cover UTI infection too. No evidence of stroke!

Its getting old, we're all getting old! We discussed Palliative care as well, not and he recommended I call the Home health team, for the avaluation, and he will sign off on anything we need to make that happen. Thank God for a good Dr, who listens and understands the needs of the caregivers too!

He agreed, we should call the Paramedics for assistance! Hopefully, they won't cart him off to the hospital each and every time, as he averages 2 fall per month! I believe these recent falls, are part of any small infection he has brewing, that and he has Diabetic Neuropathy in his feet, and can't feel them, to lift them, but he does use his Rollator religiously, or he'd be on the floor every day!
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Personally, I am hoping there will come a time when it just won't matter at all what siblings say on the phone anymore-they weren't there, you were.
There must be some unwritten law to appease their own guilt, they get to pass judgment on the way you care for Mom.

If Mom has lost function, is in great pain, complains of a specific area, take her to her PCP. Hope she feels better, and your mind will be put at ease after seeing a doctor. Talking about her fall is a good way for her to cope-don't doubt yourself because of that Mom2Mom. Laid-back personality styles make for good caregivers, imo. (laidback=under-react).
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Oh, BTW, when I broke my ankle, went to the doctor for x-rays the next day, it took another week to discover my collarbone was also broken-shoulder/arm pain was bad-it really hurt.
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Well, back when my son was a tot......I never took him to the hospital when he fell.

When hubs fell off his bike mid-November, the hospital and PCP did not help, his hand still needs care.

My elderly uncle falls and refuses to go to the hospital.

Last year, when I fell and broke my ankle, as I lay there wondering how to get up,
my husband brought the neighbor over. She asked: "Can we help you get up?",
but I was still in a sort of shocked state and said, "Well, it will be dark soon and I will be able to see the stars come out if I just stay here awhile more."

When our elderly tot falls, and you cannot safely get them up, call 911 for an assessment, or at least to help get them up. Use your best judgment, each time.

If the elderly may need placement, and you can no longer care for them, going to the hospital can put the best care plan in place putting the onus on the medical care team and not you personally.
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I think this will be my new term... Elderly Tot. I know that my mother is far more work than my toddlers ever were.
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Freudian typo?? Love it!
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"I am curious as to the term elderly tot. Is there any particular insuation about that?"

Freudian slip? No, when I type fast, "to the" comes out as "tot he" and I didn't notice it to fix it.
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With my late Dad if I had to take him to the ER we would be there every other day. Dad just naturally would tumble if he bent down to do something, like tying his shoe, or pulling weeds in the yard. Eventually he would get himself up.

The only time I call 911 for a fall for example would be when Dad had a huge goose egg on the top of his head and was wobbly on his feet. Another time when he was on blood thinners he fell in his garage, I called 911 because he couldn't stop his nose bleed, turned out he had a broken nose.

I think for falls where the patient complains of minor pain, go to an Urgent Care type of facility, they have x-ray machines there. That is where my boss took me when I had fallen in his parking lot and was in a lot of shoulder pain.
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If she's cognitively alert and normally able to report injuries, pain, dizziness, how it happened etc., then, I would rely on what she reports as to what medical attention I would request.

I am curious as to the term elderly tot. Is there any particular insuation about that?
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My mother has fallen numerous times. She went to the hospital only twice - once when she hit her head and her eyesight started acting up (turned out she detached a retina) and once when she opened the skin on her elbow and the wound would not stop bleeding. I agree with Churchmouse. It isn't necessary to rush to the hospital unless there's an obvious injury that appears serious. Other than that, I adopt a "wait and see" approach. Ice packs, bandaids, antibiotic ointment on any little nicks or scratches. If something continues to bother her, we get it checked out.
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Good question. I deal with my elder parents long distance. Moms mind is good but her body is failing and she has the occasional fall, about one per month. I've learned not to nag at her about nor using her walker and other stuff. My nagging won't change anything but just cause her to button her lip, so I remain calm and caring and she usually tells me when she's had a fall.

She's dodged the bullit so many times but I know eventually a fall will probably end her continued living at home. We've talked about this, she understands but still forgets to use her walker or push the lift button on her assist chair.

When she tells me she's had a fall I have to stay very calm and and gently go through my checklist of questions. The ER trips are almost worse than the falls. If I can tell there's no broken bones, bleeding, she can move all her fingers and toes, and still has basic mobility I will keep calling and checking on her, make sure she's eating and doing her meds and getting by.

I also have a home care service on standby. For about $75 I can have RN stop by and check her out.
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I have only called an ambulance out when Dad had a few strokes and he had other things going on but yet they always say there is nothing wrong with him, It is very very sad. They say he is just weak and it has to be something life threatening to admit him and that is the breaker right there because that admittance would be a way to get him into a facility where at least Medicare would pay if only just for a little while and hopefully help him with all of his problems. Dad has fallen several times and the paramedics would come pick him up off the ground or floor and leave. Why waste my time getting him to go to the hospital because they just send him back home to me after 5 hours or so and I am back to square one. The worst part now is I wouldn't be able to get him back home from the hospital if I had to because there is no way he would be able to get in my car because it is small and low on the ground plus I wouldn't be able to get him back in the house because he would be too weak to hold himself up.
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Thanks CM, I needed to hear that.

After talking to my brother, my mother questioned me about going to the hospital and I tried to remind her what and ER visit was like (she was just there a few weeks ago), They stick you with an IV, they leave you sitting around for hours with no information, they do and MRI or CAT scan. You wait a few more hours. And, then they send you home with a Tylenol.

When he had her, he would call an ambulance for everything (from a slide to the ground to a crashing fall) because he was unable to get her up off the ground without assistance. I don't know if he had her transported for every fall because I wasn't there.
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Time for a vote of confidence in your judgement! :)

Hospitals are not good places for little old ladies to be, and you are right to avoid them unless she really needs to be there.

After falls, which became depressingly frequent, I had roughly three options:

1. Actual blood or other serious concern, straight to hospital - by ambulance in case of injury, by car in case of illness.
2. Suspicion of possible serious concern, call for advice and ask paramedics to attend if still in doubt.
3. Anything more than a mere stumble or a fall onto a cushioned surface, take to GP for a quick look over within the next few days - partly to be on the safe side, partly to have the incident on record.

In this case, where the reason for the fall is perfectly obvious and you know exactly what happened and your mother is showing no sign of any injury beyond what you would expect in any person who'd done the same thing... you did exactly the right thing. Ice or ibuprofen gel on the shoulder if it's still sore, get it checked out if it isn't getting better. I would add, keep an eye on her - except God knows you're doing that day in, day out anyway.

Reassure brother, don't criticise him for being anxious. You may also need to enlighten him about the potential dangers of leaving her lying around in ER for hours on end in the 'flu, D&V and general disgusting ailment season. And feel free to throw in an eye-roll while you're about it! Hugs.
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