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Old 08-25-2015, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,861 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 56969

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I appreciate any advice that anyone can give me, but I'm basically venting - I admit it!

I just got yet another call from my mother in law's memory care facility, the second in two days, telling me that she has fallen once again. It's their policy to call every time there is a fall.

My mother in law cannot walk. She has advanced Alzheimer's as well as Parkinson's, and she has been in a wheelchair for at least a year now and it's been very difficult for her to walk for two years at least.

My mother in law is very short and very small, and they keep her bed very low to the ground and have mats on either side. She regularly falls out of the bed - not from rolling out, but from removing the pillows that are around her, shimmying past the foam raised edges, swinging her legs over the side, and then falling out as she tries to get up. This can be at any time of the day or night.

She also tries to get up out of her wheelchair constantly. She will also lean forward, forward, forward till she suddenly topples out of the wheelchair. For the life of me I can't figure out this behavior, but of course with Alzheimer's, behaviors often don't make sense.

When I am visiting and try to tell her, "_____, please don't try to get up - you are going to fall!" she will sometimes look right at me and say, clear as a bell (as opposed to most of her other talk), "I am tired of everyone telling me what to do." Then she will continue to try to push herself up or apparently try to fall out of her chair.

I think she is very frustrated and that in spite of the excellent facility and care, she is bored and depressed and confused. I think she can't remember that she can't walk and just suddenly wants to get up and go do something - yesterday she told me that she needed to let the chickens out because when you isolate chickens, they lose their minds. She was insistent for a few minutes about the chickens and then she moved on to some other idea - she began trying to pick up something that wasn't there on the floor, and then said, "Don't we have to go pick up the baby?'

Today when I visited her, they had just put her in bed for her nap, and she was constantly moving and trying to get up. I went and told them and I said, "She's going to fall again today - she's determined to get up." Sure enough, even though they went and got her and sat her in the main room, she suddenly lunged forward and fell out of her chair, right there in front of them. OMG. I don't know how she isn't breaking bones doing this!

It's just so frustrating and sad. I feel like any minute we are going to get the call that she's broken a hip or a leg or arm, or knocked herself completely out.

This is no quality of life. I hate Alzheimer's.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
18,836 posts, read 12,465,112 times
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This is a hard time for you and her. This phase might pass however. But it won't get better, unfortunately. I sympathize.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:12 PM
 
Location: San Diego
32,798 posts, read 30,025,534 times
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I feel so sorry for you. We just went through this with Dad and he eventually did break his hip. It's one of the worst diseases.

The best thing you can do is try to mentally prepare yourself for it happening as most don't live long if they do break something. Try and enjoy the time you have though I know the anger and sadness you are going through.

Good luck and God bless.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:24 PM
 
3,750 posts, read 10,201,548 times
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I think you're right that she likely doesn't realize that she can't walk/stand up. How horrible. Not just that alzheimers is robbing her mental acuity, but that her physical abilities don't match to what her brain is telling her.

I wonder if they "tired her out" (like when you have a little kid and they run themselves ragged and then they pass out) if that would help .. but I have no idea how you accomplish that with a person who is in a wheelchair and suffering from alzheimers..

truly sorry for her, and for your family. A scourge, one I hope we make some progress on in our lifetimes.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,861 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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Thanks for your kind responses. I'm just so frustrated and sad for her. And even worse, she's moved past the sweet stage she was in a few weeks ago - confused but still sweet natured. Now she seems a lot less happy, and she seems fixated on GETTING UP and is occasionally combative when we try to soothe her or try to convince her to sit down or stay in the bed for a nap. She has begun hitting people. She has no strength so it's not like she can hurt anyone, but it's just absolutely pathetic to watch.

She also doesn't seem to recognize any of us anymore. We knew this was coming but it's still hard. I feel so sorry for my husband - it breaks his heart, and then he feels guilty on top of it because he gets frustrated with her.

I don't guess there's any sort of easy answer for this. I sure know that it is a terrible way to live.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,861 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 56969
If you are the praying or "thinking of you" types, I would really appreciate prayers and kind thoughts for her right about now. Thank you so much.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Stephenville, Texas
909 posts, read 1,356,100 times
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Oh Kathryn, I just want to reach out and hug you and your family when I read your posts. I know you and your husband going through so much, and I know how difficult it can be. I will be praying for you and your family.

Your posts are always informative and have meant a lot to me. I am glad that you share so much of your life with us. I know if your posts help others like they have me, you are making a difference!
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,861 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backintheville2 View Post
Oh Kathryn, I just want to reach out and hug you and your family when I read your posts. I know you and your husband going through so much, and I know how difficult it can be. I will be praying for you and your family.

Your posts are always informative and have meant a lot to me. I am glad that you share so much of your life with us. I know if your posts help others like they have me, you are making a difference!
Wow, thank you! I feel like I do a lot of whining in this particular section of the forum, but the people who come to this section are usually so helpful and supportive. It means a lot to me to be able to talk things through here - I know my family doesn't want to hear this all the time, and my poor husband surely doesn't want to mull it over - the visits (we go nearly every day) are bad enough.

I don't see how she continues to go on. Don't get me wrong - it's not like I want her to die. I want her to LIVE though - and she's not living. She's suffering. She's confused. She's miserable. And there's just no help for her. I feel like all we do is watch the disease just overtake her and consume her and there's nothing, nothing, nothing we can do. She doesn't even seem comfortable. You know - we always say, "We don't want her to suffer. We want her to have some peace. We want her to be comfortable." And I don't see any of that. I just wonder how long she will have to suffer like this.

You know what - I haven't even given 1/64th of the details of the hell our family has gone through this past year. I am normally a really upbeat person and so is my husband but I have to admit that this past year has been pretty awful, especially the past six months. Without going into sensitive details, let's just say that when my father in law took a turn for the worse about four months ago, lots of predators came out of the woodwork, after his - MY MOTHER IN LAW'S - money. She is helpless to defend herself and she needs every penny of their retirement funds, with her monthly bills coming to about $7000 a month. On top of dealing with my dying father in law, then his death, and my mother in law's quickly advancing Alzheimer's and moving her to a better facility, we had to take legal action in order to protect her estate.

It's been terrible.

But I do learn helpful things on this forum and also, the emotional support is so helpful. I realize when I come here that we're not alone in this.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:43 PM
 
139 posts, read 102,583 times
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Is there any way she could be strapped into the wheelchair? Would she fight it? For her bed can they use the rails on the side that hospitals use? Although she might climb over that too. Certainly the staff has encountered other patients who do these things. But you never know, maybe she would become combative with those restraints. I certainly hope a way is found to keep her safe and comfortable. Best wishes to your family.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,861 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 56969
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petite Jean View Post
Is there any way she could be strapped into the wheelchair? Would she fight it? For her bed can they use the rails on the side that hospitals use? Although she might climb over that too. Certainly the staff has encountered other patients who do these things. But you never know, maybe she would become combative with those restraints. I certainly hope a way is found to keep her safe and comfortable. Best wishes to your family.
Thank you!

They have a policy against restraints - which I agree with. They do have a bed alarm as well as a seat alarm, so the minute she does manage to get up the alarms go off, but she's pretty quick, once she's managed to lift up. By quick, I really just mean quick to fall. She can't remain standing or even sitting without support for more than a second or two.

She has soft sides on her bed. With the hard sides, she was just getting around them and actually bruising herself on them - and still falling.

Apparently this is very common.
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