My mother fell and broke her arm (just above the elbow) in March. Since then she has been in a "cast" which is made of molded (curved) hard plastic and attaches to the upper and lower arm with Velcro straps. There is a hinge at the elbow that the doctor periodically adjusts to allow more movement.
When she first broke her arm, she was told to keep her hand elevated to avoid all the blood draining down to her hand. In short, she didn't do what the doctor told her to do. Her hand swelled and turned all sorts of colors.
I tried to get my mom to move into a nursing home (short term) but she'd have nothing to do with the idea.
Her doctor set up in-home physical and occupational therapy. The aides called me (I'm her POA) because it was obvious to them that my mom couldn't take care of herself while still living in her apartment. With their help, we finally convinced mom that she needed to have 24 hour care and she reluctantly went into a nursing home where she was able to receive the help she needed plus could get physical and occupational therapy on site.
But, because she had to pay for this herself, she left after 3 weeks and went back to her apartment. She's been there for about a month now and has not had any therapy at all and I doubt that she has been doing the exercises that she'd done while in the nursing home (all of the weights and sponges she'd been given to use have been stuffed into a drawer.)
I also noticed that my mom isn't using that hand at all to grasp things (like the handle of her walker or the handle of a grocery cart). When I mentioned this to her, she said that it hurt to do so and was content to just rest her forearm on the handles.
After about two weeks back at home, she started complaining that her hand hurt, her fingers were numb and she couldn't sleep. We called her bone specialist who made an appointment with a hand specialist and, last week, I took my mother for a nerve test, xrays and a meeting with that doctor. We were told mom now has carpal tunnel syndrome.
She has more exercises she's supposed to do and was given rigid wrist splints that she's to wear at night.
Since she didn't do her exercises before and probably isn't going to do any exercises now, what will happen?
She refuses to listen to me. I've told her that if she doesn't use those muscles, she's going to lose use of them.
She also refuses to take Ibuprofen (which the doctor said she should) or will take 1 pill in the morning and believes that it will be enough for an entire day. She believes that if she takes more she'll become addicted.
P.S. I did get her set up for in-home physical and occupational therapy again, which will start tomorrow.