My dad had a stroke on 9/28/17 and again on 12/28/17. He is 85 years old and a happy guy. However, we are in the continuum of hospital to rehab and back again. In Sep I moved he and mom to assisted living but but due to his strokes, pneumonia and the flu, he has spent more time in rehab and the hospital then there. Most recently he has started to fall, all because they won’t push their button for help. Mom tried to help instead and resents help. Did I mention dad has dementia and mom has ALZ. Also dad forgot how to swallow and is on thickened liquids and purée diet. So he fell again this weekend and I let them admit him. Last weekend I did not because we spent both days in the emerg room and they just wanted to observe him. We have had 3 911 calls just this week due to falls and 3 others they did not call on. All because they won’t push the button. I don’t want dad to go to a nursing home as I want to keep them together. He is a disabled vet and the VA helps through pension. Thank God! I am considering hiring a sitter instead of taking him to the nursing home. Just so concerned we cannot keep this cycle of hospital/ rehab to stop. Also that the $ will run out before they take their last breath. I appreciate any help!

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Thank you all for your kind and encouraging words! Today I got dad back out of the hospital, hired a caregiver that started today and hired another nursing facility that will come in and help take vitals, etc. Now I am on an Intl business trip and feel a little a piece. At least I think they will be safer while I am gone. It is just heart breaking seeing your parents decline! I never knew it would be so hard! Hugs to you all!
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Hiring a c/g sounds like it would greatly help their situation.

I agree with Countrymouse, people with dementia can't connect all the steps of what to do.
Also, older people can be quite stubborn, wanting to be independent, not realizing that they are unable to be.

Don't be surprised if they don't take to having a c/g in the Assisted Living. It takes away some of their independence and they resent the intrusion. But it would be better than a Nursing Home.

However, just because there is a c/g present, there's no guarantee that your folks won't fall. A fall can happen even when you have a hold on them. But at least there would be another pair of eyes on them.
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Country mouse is right. There is a processing problem. They can’t associate the red button with help. Not only that, but falls happen so fast we are left dealing with only the aftermath. My husband fell in rehab with THREE aides right there! It’s time for a re-evaluation. I feel so, so bad for you. This absolutely sucks. I know all of us wish we could give you big hugs and a pat on the back. Hang in there!
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You are really in a stressful situation, I am so sorry. I admire your goal of keeping your parents together. With them both having a form of dementia, it is going to be challenging.
The cycle of hospital to rehab and back again is a common one. And, unfortunately, research shows that it typically contributes to the process of worsening dementia and increased falls. You are also at a risk of having more and different medications prescribed with each hospitalization increasing the chances of complications from the meds.
I think your idea of getting additional help is a good one. Someone that is with them so that they do not have to remember to push a button for assistance may help to prevent falls. I would also encourage you to speak to the assisted living staff about a "Do Not Hospitalize" order. This is to alert them that you prefer that your father Not be sent automatically to the ER with each fall. Going to the hospital frequently is disorienting to people with dementia, it exposes them to infection and likely will not contribute to a return to health in many cases. You can ask that you be called so that you can assess the situation.
I am hoping that you have a health care power of attorney for both your parents (if your dad worsens, it is likely your mom's health will also decline). And another option is to ask for a palliative care consult for your dad. They have access to resources that may help. They also will be able to help with ensuring your dad's medications are not contributing to his decline.
I hope you are able to get a sitter or aide for them to ease your worry.
Best of luck.
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Perhaps it's time to have Hospice evaluate him?
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Oh sweetie - your parents *can't* use their call button. Not won't. Can't.

And I can't tell you how much I wish, wish, wish that someone had pushed me into a chair and explained that to me years before I got round to understanding what was going on in my mother's brain.

That doesn't help with the falls, of course. But it might make it less frustrating for you, to see that your parents aren't being stubborn - their brains are no longer up to the process of thinking...

I want to get up
I need help to stand and walk safely
I must push the button
Then wait for a person to help me

To you and me? Couldn't be simpler. To a frail, sick, elderly brain? - WAYYYY too much. Far too many links in the chain of the complete thought process. Not a hope they'll manage it.

Who are you talking to about their continuing care plan? Do you have any advice or support with it?
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