Follow
Share

She has fallen in the past and has neuropathy. She is particularly afraid of showers, prefers baths. Currently living in a assisted living home. She has become weak and is seems to be giving up.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Do the rehab with her. Sometimes just walking down the hall is therapy. Or sitting in a chair. Folding towels. Combing her own hair. It depends on her physical status. Don't call it rehab, don't ask. Assume that she will do it and help her up and as others said, once she gets started, it will be easier. Get her dressed. Check to see if she does better with you there or with you out of the room Also make sure the therapist is checking her vitals. That she is eating. That she's hydrated. In other words she might not be well. Out parents do get tired. They are old. Sometimes they just don't want to do it anymore. If she seems depressed try having a nice visit with her and then ask her to walk with you. Give her a hug.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My mom just started her rehab last week after a fall in mid-February. Up til now she was bedridden while waiting for her bones to heal, which they now have. While I was there visiting her over Easter weekend we talked about starting phys therapy and she seemed to have kind of a defeatist attitude about it. I assured her that she could build up her muscles and walk again, but she kept saying, I don't know if I can. I said I was sure she could but it would take some hard work. She said, "...welI I don't know...maybe I've lived long enough, don't you think?" I said "...not at all" and I reminded her that she was in pretty darn good shape before the fall, and with a month or two of rehab she could well be back up and around, enjoying life again. So last time I talked to her - the other day - she had started in rehab, was very tired, but I think the challenge and focusing on a goal uplifted her spirits a little. She is no longer just lying in bed all day, she has a schedule for phys therapy and it gives her something to work toward. Sometimes the hardest part of getting someone, including ourselves, to do something challenging is just getting them (us) to start. Once we start and realize it's not so bad after all, it gets to be routine, and gradually gets easier. Sometimes we can even enjoy it!! So do all you can to help your elderly person to just TRY rehab and I bet she will take it from there. One good motivator I didn't think about, but that stacyb mentioned, is tell the elder person that they will have to do their PT if they want to get back to where they lived before the fall and back to a normal life. That would be a great motivator I think - no one wants to be stuck in a hospital or nursing home if they can get back on their feet. Best of luck to you, BigSister!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Just reread your post again. What can you do to reward her for participating in rehab? If you can think of something she enjoys, and make it a habit, it might be an encouragement to get through rehab to get her reward.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

In addition to the good suggestions in each of the 3 preceding posts, I would suggest focusing on the issues you mentioned:

1. She's fallen and probably has fear of doing so again. Make sure she has a good wheelchair, walker or rollator, and is always accompanied by someone who can provide reassurance (as much as is reasonable) to her.

When you visit, take her for rides or walks (if you feel you can do it safely), but make it a very special occasion. If the AL has a garden, taken her there on nice days. If there's another special place, take her there. Perhaps take time for a chat about family, friends; have a discussion about positive things, show photos....make it an occasion for her to look forward to, so she begins to WANT to get out and around.

2. She has neuropathy; is she diabetic? If not, is there a B vitamin deficiency that's causing the neuropathy? Despite being diagnosed with it by a good, reliable neurologist, I discovered accidentally that it was cured with a B-50 supplement and more emphasis on foods with B vitamins.

Is she taking Neurontin or any other med for the neuropathy? How serious or debilitating is it - is it painful for her to walk? Have her doctors addressed the issue and is there any relief for it?

3. She's afraid of showers; prefers baths. So make arrangements for her to either just have baths, safely supported by a slide-over bath chair, or just go with the no rinse products, perhaps alternating between baths and no-rinse cleansing.

4. When did the apathy begin? After moving to AL, after falling? Try to go back to when she felt better, analyze what happened and focus on those events, trying to compensate, address, or turn them into something positive.

5. What did she enjoying doing before she began to lose interest in life? Resurrect those activities if you can. And take her to music sessions, and especially art sessions. If there aren't any, create your own. If you need suggestions on either, just post again.

When my father was in a chemically induced coma, in a state of severe "debilitation", I brought a hymnal his church uses and sang songs for him (I used to sing in a college chorus) and also brought a portable CD player and played his favorite CDs while I was there, then leaving one on for him as I left so that my departure wouldn't seem so abrupt.

I watched the monitor reflecting brain activity; the nurse commented that his brain activity was reflecting that "he was responding" to my music and singing.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My FIL lives with us, and those magical words were: you must get stronger or else we won't be able to manage you at home, so Will end up in a Nursing home! He is currently working very hard, with at Home Health PT! ☺
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Ah, the magic words to motivate someone. Don't we all want those? (I wouldn't mind a set of words to motivate myself, sometimes.)

What kind of rehab services are available right in the ALF? Do they have a rehab room and either someone on staff or visiting therapists who use that room? Perhaps their words would be more magical than yours.

My daughter works in an ALF. Her job is to walk with residents who have signed up for it. On nice days they walk outside. She has a stationery bike in her office and some can do that instead of/in addition to walking. Does your mom's place have any kind of service like that?

Are there walk-in tubs in your mom's ALF, and a service available to assist with that?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

As we age mobility becomes more and more difficult. And if the person wasn't one for hiking, going to the gym, riding a bike in their younger years then that person won't want to be motivated to do any type of rehab.

Is the physical therapy being done at her Assisted Living place? My Dad is in Independent/Assisted Living and he likes the fact he doesn't have to get all bundled up, stroll out to a car and get to a rehab center.... the rehab center comes to him... and he enjoys the attention.

Oh, another thing I noticed with Dad, if the therapist is a cute young thing, Dad would do his exercises even more trying to impress her :) Same with my late Mom, her therapist years ago was a very nice young fellow and she would follow every word he said, and 20 years later she was still doing those very same exercises at home every day :)

Elders have a fear of falling in the shower... I solved that by getting my Dad a shower chair, thus Dad is much more cooperative when it comes to bathing.... he does have caregiving help when showering. Another thing, elders sometimes get claustrophobic in a shower [I have that issue myself] so I keep the doors open a bit which helps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.