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Old 06-10-2014, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,574 posts, read 12,675,338 times
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Your story sounds very similar to what my husband went through with his mother this past fall and spring. In her case, she DID have a stroke, but after the event, she still kept falling. My husband would visit sometimes and she'd be on the floor. Or she'd reach the phone and call a friend. It was nerve-wracking and could not go on that way! The doctors suspected that it was possibly the medication she was taking to help prevent another stroke. The thought was that it was lowering her blood pressure too much. So they adjusted the medication. Of course the risk with that was that the chances for another stroke were greater and sure enough she had another one. Anyway, just wondering if your mother is on medication that could be causing it.

As to what to do, that's the hard part. We went round and round and nothing seemed just right for her. I know there are home health services which will do a fall risk assessment where they will at least point out places in her home that might trigger a fall - a rug, narrow pathway, etc. I would also make sure you get a button she can press and a daily visitor while you are at work. Also, does she have a good walker that she uses? Ultimately, though, it sounds like she will need much greater care - either in her house or in an assisted living place. I know the situation stinks. It has been very stressful for my husband. Best of luck to you.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:10 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,995,588 times
Reputation: 20076
Quote:
Originally Posted by kharing View Post
As a person that works in healthcare, I would recommend that you only consider a nursing home as a last resort. Bringing someone in your mother's home would be a much better solution.

A private assisted living home would be another option, again if it's impossible to keep her at home where she is comfortable.
I think that you are right.

My 90 yo aunt decided to enter an assisted living situation earlier this year. She decided that she could no longer navigate the steps or drive. She thought that she would hate it BUT she is having the time of her life at a great facility.

Placing people in a nursing home before they are ready is almost a death sentence.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,684,845 times
Reputation: 10965
Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
Basically the nephew and wife with kids were her caretakers and now gone. Likely what you have observed caused the split. Now its up to you and brothers to decide and convince her to go along with decision. Good luck as I have gone thru that but with parents that were much more cooperative.
The nephew and his wife weren't 'caretakers'. They both worked and weren't even there most of the time. She didn't need the level of care she does now. What I have "observed" had nothing to do with the split. That's a whole different thing. Actually, one of her worst falls was caused by my nephew leaving a big box in the middle of the floor and Mom falling over it. That was a bad one and she looked like she'd got the worst end of a fight. The "split" was caused by all parties not being respectful of one another and piled up resentments. I saw both sides. They would come to me to talk and Mom would come to me to talk. I stayed neutral.

I don't know that my mom won't be "cooperative". We haven't discussed anything that might be a negative to her...yet. Who knows? She just might surprise me. But I doubt it. I know her too well.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,684,845 times
Reputation: 10965
Quote:
Originally Posted by kharing View Post
As a person that works in healthcare, I would recommend that you only consider a nursing home as a last resort. Bringing someone in your mother's home would be a much better solution.

A private assisted living home would be another option, again if it's impossible to keep her at home where she is comfortable.
I worked in in-home health care for two years. Taking care of people is no problem or hardship for me. But this is my MOM. I don't want my mom to go to a nursing home. And I agree, bringing someone in is "much better".

Assisted living is "okay" in my book but even if we sold her house to pay for it, it's so far underwater, the money wouldn't last long. I'm not sure, at what point, it would be "impossible to keep her at home". She certainly has no signs of dementia or anything like that and is really sharp most of the time. Well, except for times like today when she's still insisting it's Monday and NOT Tuesday.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,684,845 times
Reputation: 10965
Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
Your story sounds very similar to what my husband went through with his mother this past fall and spring. In her case, she DID have a stroke, but after the event, she still kept falling. My husband would visit sometimes and she'd be on the floor. Or she'd reach the phone and call a friend. It was nerve-wracking and could not go on that way! The doctors suspected that it was possibly the medication she was taking to help prevent another stroke. The thought was that it was lowering her blood pressure too much. So they adjusted the medication. Of course the risk with that was that the chances for another stroke were greater and sure enough she had another one. Anyway, just wondering if your mother is on medication that could be causing it.

As to what to do, that's the hard part. We went round and round and nothing seemed just right for her. I know there are home health services which will do a fall risk assessment where they will at least point out places in her home that might trigger a fall - a rug, narrow pathway, etc. I would also make sure you get a button she can press and a daily visitor while you are at work. Also, does she have a good walker that she uses? Ultimately, though, it sounds like she will need much greater care - either in her house or in an assisted living place. I know the situation stinks. It has been very stressful for my husband. Best of luck to you.
My mom takes very few meds. One for her arrhythmia, which she's had all her life. One for blood pressure and she has a cuff that she checks it at least once a day. Tonight she's perfectly normal. And one for cholesterol. That's it. Nothing serious and she's taken them for a couple of years with no bad affects. I don't think the meds have anything to do with it.

I walked into her living room an hour or so ago and she asked me if I'd just "driven in"...as in coming home from work. I think she had been asleep and was confused. I've been in and out all day long.

We've had a home health assessment for Mom about two months ago. I do believe there's another one coming up though and just waiting to find out when they are coming. All rugs have been gone for a while now. And we are working on getting her the Life Alert. So, some things have been started. Yes, Mom has a very good walker but she's always refused to use it preferring a cane. But she WILL use it now. She was using the walker when she fell last night.

Don't know what the future holds but hope it's not anything 'bad' for her...or what would 'seem bad' to her.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,660 posts, read 1,525,919 times
Reputation: 3640
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
I want to make one point. Many on the RETIREMENT thread don't like the 55+ communities BUT they do have people looking in on their neighbors on a daily basis. One group on our street do 8am and 4pm walks most days. If someone is a "no show", they drop on over to see if all is well.
My 89 year old mom lives in a retirement apartment at Good Sam's. I notice there is one in Prescott. It cost to buy into it but was not that much and you get most of the money back if you leave (but this was 15 years ago and they are all different depending on location). If you are willing to live with her, there are two bedroom apartments available. Sounds like you would have to sell the house first. But the neighbors check in on each other daily and most of the time my mom leaves her front door ajar. There are call buttons in the bedroom and bath and a nurse is always available on the premises. It is more expensive than a regular apartment but there are many amenities that make it worth it (utilities, internet, and cable included; 20 meals a month at dining hall; a couple of hours of housekeeping a week; free washer and dryer on each floor; van service to grocery stores; $5 for transportation to doctor appointment, etc.). It is a cheap alternative to assisted living for those who do not need that level of care.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:30 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,487,261 times
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When you do get your mother to the PCP I would bring up the issue of assisted living safety devices for the home and especially the bathroom. I would also consider getting her a Rollator walker. It has four wheels, hand brakes that can be locked so it won't roll and a seat. It might help minimize the falling incidents. My wife has an extremely bad back coupled with neuropathy and I've been in the caregiver roll for going on a year now. It's quite fatiguing. I have made "her" bathroom quite safe to include putting in a taller toilet and then adding a seat height extension to make it easier to get on and off. It does add up monetarily but you do what you have to do in these cases.

Best of luck to you, AZDesertBrat and to your mother as well. I know it's not fun for either of you.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,539 posts, read 44,018,537 times
Reputation: 15140
Well, around here, many women move to retirement communities with assisted living capabilities. Family friend sold her home a few years ago at the age of 73 and has been in her new 'residence' now for a while. Is very happy, there. She was a nurse and saw a lot - so I'm sure accepts reality and is planning ahead. Does have some health issues - she and I a few years apart in age - my son says the differences between us are astonishing. She looks and acts old, I don't.

My step-mother starting in mid-80's had in-home care for a while until they began taking advantage - use of phone, running up huge bills - and theft. My sister (her daughter) then moved step-mom into an assisted living facility and sold the house - disposing of a lifetime of stuff - during which process she developed high blood pressure. After a couple of years in AL, step-mom developed pneumonia and died in the hospital at age 90.

I've known a number of single women who moved into more appropriate housing years before it was necessary. I remember one at age 59 saying she saw too many who had waited too long and she didn't want to be one of those. She died at age 74 in her apartment. 72-y/o neighbor across the street is cleaning out the family home where she grew up and has lived for past two years since retired. A huge undertaking. Her 77 y/o brother here to help - two old grey-haired people shuffling in and out of the house. She bought a condo. Judging from the way she moves, she has hip trouble. I would expect she'll last on her own in that condo about ten years. She's a good planner. I'm sure she knows where'll she'll be after that.

I do think proactive moves are wise - unless there are unlimited funds and one can afford round-the-clock care - which I've known people to do, as well.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:40 AM
 
6,316 posts, read 5,058,385 times
Reputation: 12831
Sorry about your mom. This seems so sudden.

My mother had those UTIs and we were told it affected older people in weird ways. Also she was very anemic. She had to have a transfusion the first time she went in by ambulance. We thought she was eating right.

As you know she is in a home, but it is just down the street from us. She gets great care because since this is a small town, we know the people that work there, they know her etc. She rebounded from being on hospice. She did have a fall a few months ago that required one day simple spine surgery, but is back running around in her wheelchair. She had to adjust to her limitations - wanting to walk too fast etc. Trying to do things she had no business doing.

Good luck.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,684,845 times
Reputation: 10965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
When you do get your mother to the PCP I would bring up the issue of assisted living safety devices for the home and especially the bathroom. I would also consider getting her a Rollator walker. It has four wheels, hand brakes that can be locked so it won't roll and a seat. It might help minimize the falling incidents. My wife has an extremely bad back coupled with neuropathy and I've been in the caregiver roll for going on a year now. It's quite fatiguing. I have made "her" bathroom quite safe to include putting in a taller toilet and then adding a seat height extension to make it easier to get on and off. It does add up monetarily but you do what you have to do in these cases.

Best of luck to you, AZDesertBrat and to your mother as well. I know it's not fun for either of you.
Thanks, Curm. Fortunately we already have some of these things in place. Her bathroom has all the requisite bars and she's had a seat extension on the toilet for a long time. She's a short little thing so we don't really need a higher toilet. She even has two of those electric 'get around' things. Some of this is 'leftovers' from my dad that he used. The walker she has is just a regular one so we'll look into another one. We also have a portable toilet that I can move from her bedside to the living room so she doesn't have to traverse that hallway. So far it's worked out well.

I think I just need time to adjust to all these sudden changes and get things figured out that will best for her.
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