People have always said that there is no such thing as a stupid question… I disagree... My husband asks them all the time. 😊… With that being said, this one is probably a stupid question, but I am going to ask it anyway because I have never been through this before.
When do you know that someone should be bedridden? Is it when the person, themselves, makes the decision to not get out of bed anymore? Or is it when the person can no longer walk without major assistance and the caregiver/healthcare provider decides?
Mom has needed assistance walking for several months now. She refuses to use a walker, which really wouldn’t help anyway because her balance is so bad. Plus, she can’t get it in the bathroom (and refuses to use the bedside commode).
Up until now, I have been able to handle supporting her when she walks. At times, I have had to forcibly walk her to where I wanted her to go. She is pretty headstrong, though. If she didn’t want to go wherever that was, she would put her breaks on and you could not move her. Or she would grab hold of a door frame and you could not pry her hands off. (Even my brothers have experienced that.) Too bad her leg strength is not as good as her hand strength… Plus, when you want her to do something that she doesn’t want to do, she will “cry.”
The past few days have been hard. She can hardly walk, even with major assistance. We do have a transport wheelchair; but even when transferring her to and from that is hard. She is dead weight. (Again, the wheelchair won’t fit in the bathroom, so someone would have to walk her in and out of there, which has become increasingly difficult.)
Yesterday, my brother brought her to my house for a visit. (I got a short break from caregiving.) She was insistent on going inside. (I was outside painting.) It took two of us with a lot of physical effort to help her up and down the stairs.
When I got her home at 5:30 last night, I had to forcibly walk her to her bed, where I had to leave her all night. That was before she was insistent on going to the bathroom, where I had a hard time getting her off the toilet and to her room. Then, she started to cry (no tears). I felt bad about putting her in bed so early, but I was afraid she would get in her chair and I would not be able to get her out. She slept all night.
This morning, I changed her and fed her breakfast, but left her in bed because she didn’t seem too anxious to get out. She can’t tell me she wants to get out, but she will put her legs over the rails, which indicates to me that she does. (She is not strong enough to do any more than that, so I am not worried about her falling.)
I hate the thought of her being bedridden, but I am getting to the point where I physically cannot handle her (even though she has lost weight). Who makes the determination that the person should be confined to bed? How do you tell someone that they have to stay in bed because they can no longer walk, but their cognitive state is such that they cannot be reasoned with?