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She is very fragile and extremely paranoid and frightened that she will fall. I'm not able to lift her myself and the family doesn't want to use the hoyer lift yet. Do you have an pointers/suggestions for me so I can get her to stand so I can at least put her into a chair or on the commode? I have a bad back due to an injury many years ago.

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She has been blessed by your care. I am happy that you are realizing that she needs care beyond what you can provide, leaving is a beautiful gift you are giving her and her family, as difficult as it is for you.

I sent you a private message.

I hope you stick around, 30 years in the medical field would be a beneficial addition to the forum.
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nonicat Jun 7, 2019
Thank you so much! That means the world to me! I do love doing what I do and have always loved the elderly and kids, and animals and you get the picture...😊
Have a wonderful rest of your day!
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First of all, thank you all for your input! I truly appreciate it, but the problem has been solved. To clarify a few things up for you....1. I am a private caregiver NOT with an agency. 2. I have known this lady and her family my whole life, so she's more like family to me not 'just a job' or 'just a client'. I have to honor the family's wishes, and do what's in the best interest for their mom whom I love dearly. They do have Hospice coming and another agency to cover when I'm not there, who happen to be wonderful and trained to do what they do WITHOUT the assistance of a Hoyer lift which btw, is not always the best solution especially on carpet. 3. I have made the decision to step away from this job and let the 'professionals' take over as it's not only difficult for me emotionally & physically, but it's what's best for Clara! It's not just about giving her the most TLC I can, which btw, I have and then some! It's about making sure she's getting the 'proper care' that she needs in her end stages of this horrible disease. I will still be very much a part of her's and her family's life, just not as her caregiver. Her family has been absolutely wonderful and they are by NO means in denial whatsoever! They have been with her every step of the way throughout this transition. None of them live close, but they are always there for her physically, emotionally and spiritually. They are a very close knit family! Clara not only has Alzheimer's but she has severe Osteoporosis so I'm pretty sure the Hoyer lift would NOT be good for her!

Again, thank you for all your input.....but you really shouldn't pass judgement if you don't know the whole story......
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This is ridiculous - !

If you are not confident using the Hoyer lift, and the family has some deep-seated but unspecified objection to it but no alternative suggestions to make, I recommend you call in an occupational therapist to *show* you how to operate the lift safely and with minimum stress to your patient. You watch, then you do while the OT guides you. It is fiddly - at first - and it requires care and concentration, but it is neither rocket science nor rally driving.

There simply is no safer way to move her, not for her or for you.
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Grandma1954 Jun 6, 2019
nonicat does not indicate that she is not confident using a Hoyer Lift just that the family does not want to use one yet. (My guess is they are in denial about the decline)
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I understand what the family wants but you have to make a decision to preserve your well being too.
A back injury can potentially end your career. Will the family support you?
At times as paid caregivers (such as myself, a RN) we may want to do it all ourselves but maturity is knowing your limits in doing something that may harm you.
I think what they are asking is unreasonable. Obviously a hoyer lift is in that house to assist with transfer, so the family are aware there is an issue with getting out of bed.
If you have reservations, call your agency and inform them of this situation. But don’t donate your well being - you’ve got to stay healthy to take care of you.
Good luck.
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nonicat Jun 7, 2019
The family is well aware of the fact that their mom can no longer get out of bed on her own and they totally support me and are not asking me to lift their mom. In fact it's just the opposite! They have always been concerned for my safety as well as their mom's. I couldn't ask for better employers! I don't even think of them that way. They're family! I don't work for an agency, I'm a Private caregiver and I'm 61 years old so this is really not my profession so to speak. I have been in healthcare well over 30 years and was semi retired and took this job to help out the family whom I've known my whole life. I have been with her 2 1/2 years and they have always known I couldn't lift. It's never been an issue until now.....This week is the 1st time she has not been ambulatory.......
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This is a safety issue!
Both your safety as well as the person you are caring for.
If you are a paid caregiver you can tell the family that you are no longer willing to place their mother, aunt, grandma whatever at risk trying to transfer her.
If she is frightened that is even more of a challenge because you do not know if she will start flailing or trying to grab at a the bed or grabbing onto you when you are trying to position her.

I used a Sit to Stand with my Husband for quite a while and I was resistant to changing to a Hoyer Lift. I think in my mind it was just another decline and that by holding off...
well I was convinced by the CNA that it really would be easier with the Hoyer Lift. And as usual she was right! Much easier for him, easier for me, safer for him, safer for me. Even though the Sit to Stand was good, and I felt secure and safe the Hoyer was better.
It is possible that the family feels the way I did that it is another decline and declines are difficult to accept. They may also be afraid and fearful on how to use it if they have to transfer if you are not there. The "learning curve" for the Hoyer Lift can be challenging but doable. You are there to help and YouTube is great when it comes to things like this.
I would stress the safety issue ,yours and hers, with the family.
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Here’s how I moved mom from the bed to the wheelchair. It was taught to me by her PT.
Positioned the wheelchair parallel to the bed, next to the headboard, facing the foot of the bed.
Got the bed raised to wheelchair height & raised the back up.
Had her sit up, helped swing her legs over and put feet on the floor.
Adjusted the chair so it was as close to her knees as possible.
Had her lean forward, put my arms under her armpits and told her to give me a hug. She would attempt to grasp my arms.
Bent my knees and pulled her up and pivoted her into the chair. It was less than a 90 degree move.

At first she was able to help a little but eventually was a dead weight, but it still worked. But Mom was 95 lbs and my back is good.
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Martha007 Jun 19, 2019
Rocketjcat,
Great idea, thank you! My husband has lewy body dementia. I can see the time is coming, that one day I will need to lift him from the bed. He has fallen many times in the house. I really struggle to lift him. I am small person. He weights around 135. But, when I try too lift him. It seems like 200 lbs.
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I am sorry that they don't want to use the lift. Obviously someone at some point knew this would be required and that is why the lift is there.

I hope for Clara's sake that the family comes to realize that her needs have changed. Loosing a loving caregiver is not their cleverest move.

I hope it works out for you. Hugs!
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I'm sorry the family is being so inflexible. It may be true that other caregivers are willing to transfer her without the lift, but having gone through all that with my own mother I can tell you that the lift is safer for everyone, not just the caregiver.
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I think you are going to have to let the family know that you cannot lift her and it is time to have a therapist come in and train all of you on how to safely move her.

Take care of that back of yours, you don't get another one.
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nonicat Jun 4, 2019
Thank you all for your great input, the problem here is that the family is adamant about not using the hoyer lift at all. It's not up to me to make that call unfortunately but it is what it is....she's in a hospital bed so I'm able to sit her up, just not get her up. I'm turning her and when my shift is up the next caregiver actually can get her up. I may have to walk away and let the 'professionals' take over because that's what is best for my sweet little lady and my aching back. I've known the family my whole life so what I've been able to give her is love and compassion and the family peace of knowing she's well cared for. My heart is breaking for them all especially my sweet sweet Clara....
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Nonicat,

Please take cwillie’s suggestion about getting training on the Hoyer from a therapist - perhaps her doctor or whoever was the medical official who ordered the Hoyer in the first place could set it up. It takes some training, but all five of my siblings learned how to use it, and it does not take two people to do so. It’s an amazing invention that enabled us to take care of my father in his home years after he had already qualified for a nursing home.

Take baby steps with your patient, similar to how you would teach a fearful child how to swim. The Hoyer will solve the getting in and out of bed problem, but not the bathroom. I think that needs a whole other apparatus. We did not have to deal with putting my father on a commode because he was completely incontinent. We just used the Hoyer to put him back in bed to change his Depends. Again, a physical or occupational therapist should be able to come to the house to train you and the family.
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cwillie Jun 4, 2019
Treeartist there are slings made especially for toileting that leave the backside exposed - don't know if the OP has one of those though.
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If you need a lift to keep from lifting yourself, then get a lift.
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Try using a stand up hoyer lift or a transfer board.
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It might sound a little silly, but how about something under the top end of her mattress that you can blow up to raise her to, almost full sitting? Then slowly maneuver her legs off side?

Good luck
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cwillie Jun 4, 2019
Ah, but then how does she get from the bed to the chair or commode? That's the part that would require heavy lifting!
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What reason has the family given for not wanting the Hoyer used? If the lady can’t even stand on her own, it’s much more safe to use the Hoyer than for you to try to move her with your own strength. One caregiver legally can use a Hoyer, at least here in GA. My mom weighs too much to move without using a Hoyer. I know it did take a bit of time for both her & her caregivers to not be nervous using it.
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Nonicat, ask for an OT or PT to come to the home and give everyone some training in using the lift. I can sympathize with not wanting to take that step but lifts really are the only option unless they plan to hire musclebound bodybuilder, it's safer for her as well.
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none
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Can she bear weight at all? If she can't then I think it is an impossible task, any transfer that she isn't able to at least assist with is going to take some brute strength.

If she can help then grab bars like these
https://www.agingcare.com/products/bedcane-136322.htm
https://www.agingcare.com/products/tension-mounted-transfer-pole-grab-bar-445149.htm

and repositioning sheets like this
https://www.agingcare.com/products/positioning-transfer-sheet-448301.htm

And search YouTube for helpful videos on transfer techniques.
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nonicat Jun 4, 2019
cwillie, no unfortunately she can't stand. She has forgotten how to and is very fearful of falling as well. We have a hoyer lift here in her room, but her familyreally doesn't want to use that just yet, which is fine with me as I really don't feel comfortable using it and was told you really should have 2 people doing it. I'm just physically unable to lift her due to my back. Ughhh....I was hoping there was some magic way of getting her to stand for me so I can get her in the wheel chair to go for a walk, etc.....I've been with her 2 1/2 years and it breaks my heart to see her decline so rapidly. She was able to stand and walk just a week ago.

My mom also has this horrible disease. Luckily she's still in stage 2, but I see the decline more and more.....
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