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Old 06-10-2014, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,682,513 times
Reputation: 10965

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I don't know if this is in the correct forum but I'm comfortable posting it here because I 'know' you guys. I have a real dilemma on my hands right now.

As most of you know, my mom is now 87, owns her own home, etc. and lives alone. She wasn't living alone till about a month ago when she kicked my nephew and his wife out. That sounds awful but it's basically what happened. After three years the resentments were huge, on both sides. Hers because they are 'kids' and didn't want to take advice, etc. and theirs because everything...to them...was criticism. They lived there three years, rent free, didn't contribute to the utilities or anything but did buy most of their own food. And my nephew did soooo much of the maintenance and care around here it was great. However, that old thing about "two women in the kitchen" was true...they didn't get along very well. Anyway, it ended up with her walking on eggs shells and them just being resentful so she threw them out. They could have moved out LONG ago had they managed their money right. They also had a baby while living there. Anyway...

All that to explain why Mom is now living alone...

I think I've mentioned how often she's been falling the last six months or so. I thought she was tripping on things and now, come to find out, it's her left side that's the problem. She simply loses ALL control, can't move her left side and falls down. Sunday morning she was in the bathroom, getting ready for church, decided to put a towel on the side of the tub and sit down because she was tired. Well, she fell backwards into the tub and could NOT get up! She hit her head hard on the other side of the tub and wall and has a big bruise on her shoulder. She tried and tried to get up but couldn't. This happened about 10 AM, I was at work, and she stayed there till I got home at 3:30! I don't always stop in to see her when I get home but did that day. The door was locked, which is strange, and I couldn't get an answer. I went to my house, dropped off all my stuff and went back. (My nephew has my house key so have to get that back!). Second time I hear a banging on the inside of the bathroom wall and Mom finally yelled to tell me where the spare key was. (It had been moved) I got in and found her in the tub. I couldn't get her out and didn't even THINK about 911 but called my brother and he came. We got her out and settled in, making sure she was cognizant and 'okay'. The night went okay and I didn't see her before I left for work the next morning.

Yesterday I came home at lunch to check on her and then stopped in when I got off. She was doing okay but just sitting in her recliner all day. I was helping her to the bathroom, with the walker, when her left side gave out again and down she went. This time I called 911! The ambulance came and they took her to the ER. We were there for 4 hours, till midnight, and they ran all kinds of tests. They were concerned about a stroke but the CT scan was fine. They had her hooked/trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey! They did blood and urine tests and found a bladder infection but that's really all. We were told that in older people a bladder infection can affect them in different way and one is a 'loss' like this. I was worried about getting her home, in the house and into bed because what if she fell again??? She outweighs me by 50 pounds and I can, no way, lift her.

Okay...whew, and thanks for reading all this! Today has gone 'okay'...so far. She stayed in bed late but finally got up, ate a little and is in her recliner now. I went out to run some errands, got back in time to dress her for her 2 PM doctors appointment and she said "Today is Monday. My appointment is tomorrow". I said "This is Tuesday and it's in one hour!". She argued and argued. I finally got my cell phone and showed her...date and time. She says "That's what THAT says!". Aaaargh! I even got her to admit that I am NEVER home on Monday and that Tuesday is my day off so how can it be Monday? So, we have missed an appointment.

I am convinced that my mom needs a LOT of supervision now. She gets mixed up when talking about things sometimes but is mostly "together" mentally. I worried about her at work all day yesterday and I can't be doing that every day. It's nerve wracking. I can't afford to have help come in. Nobody in the family is available/able to help out. I am going to start contacting Senior Care services to see what I can do. They usually only send someone four hours a day and I feel like she needs more than that, especially till we figure out how to manage her 'falling spells'. I can't afford to quit my job and stay home, unfortunately. We ARE getting her a Life Alert and she can get if free here. It's been applied for but haven't heard anything yet.

This has been a pretty stressful couple of days but I see more of them in our future. I know I'll be able to cope because I always do. I might 'fall apart' later but I'm good for the long run. It's just that I'm worried about what to do and how to get help the fastest way. I was looking forward to this doctors visit today because I was going to go in with her and talk to him myself. He is also my doctor.

I dunno...maybe this is partly a 'letting off steam ' and partly an "I'm really worried" post. Not looking for a lot of advice but will take if given. You guys are pretty smart and this is a first for me. Thanks for reading!
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,786 posts, read 7,704,486 times
Reputation: 15074
I'd get a neurological exam, but not until the infection clears up. Those things can really mess up the old ladies. There's no doubt she needs someone checking on her every day. You also might check how her nutrition is. Some of those old folks don't eat right when they live alone. Meals on Wheels might be a good idea for her. Good luck. Lots of folks on here should have some experience to help. Just remember, don't begrudge her the help she needs. She took care of you and your siblings for years. She deserves the care in return. Not only that, but you set a good example for your own children. If you set a bad example, your children can learn from that too.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:07 PM
 
Location: land of ahhhs
277 posts, read 298,324 times
Reputation: 489
Sounds like she's had a stroke sometime in the past--about when her left side got weak. You may not even know when that was. Agree--needs to see her PCP, get a CT, maybe an MRI. She needs preventive maintenance! Maybe aspirin, or one of those blasted novel anticoagulants. No need for immediate neurology consult--takes too long.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
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Even if senior care services can only send someone four hours a day, I would jump on that immediately as a temporary partial solution because four hours a day is better than zero while you are at work. Sure, you will need to work out something better, but go ahead with the "half-way" measure faute de mieux for the time being.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,682,513 times
Reputation: 10965
Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
I'd get a neurological exam, but not until the infection clears up. Those things can really mess up the old ladies. There's no doubt she needs someone checking on her every day. You also might check how her nutrition is. Some of those old folks don't eat right when they live alone. Meals on Wheels might be a good idea for her. Good luck. Lots of folks on here should have some experience to help. Just remember, don't begrudge her the help she needs. She took care of you and your siblings for years. She deserves the care in return. Not only that, but you set a good example for your own children. If you set a bad example, your children can learn from that too.
Firstly, I would never "begrudge" my mom anything. The main reason I moved into her guest house five years ago was to be here for her. I have been and will continue to be. She deserves everything I can do for her. Period. As for my kids...they are all in their 50s if they don't know, by now, the difference between a good and bad example...well, I just don't know what to say. lol

Mom actually eats pretty well. Small meals, fairly often, but a good variety. Right now we have some chicken in the crockpot. Meals on Wheels would be okay but between me and her she doesn't need it. I also share most of what I cook with her so I know what she's eating.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,682,513 times
Reputation: 10965
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastequila View Post
Sounds like she's had a stroke sometime in the past--about when her left side got weak. You may not even know when that was. Agree--needs to see her PCP, get a CT, maybe an MRI. She needs preventive maintenance! Maybe aspirin, or one of those blasted novel anticoagulants. No need for immediate neurology consult--takes too long.
A stroke was a huge concern and that's why they did the CT scan last night. Everything was normal and good there.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:42 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,232,688 times
Reputation: 14870
Pretty sure you've already found this, but ...

Arizona Division of Aging and Adult Services


Her doctor would have to say she was functionally impaired and unable to perform activities of daily living.
"Costs: There are no required fees, but voluntary contributions help sustain services."

And don't forget your Verde Valley Senior Center - they may have a list of information.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,682,513 times
Reputation: 10965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Even if senior care services can only send someone four hours a day, I would jump on that immediately as a temporary partial solution because four hours a day is better than zero while you are at work. Sure, you will need to work out something better, but go ahead with the "half-way" measure faute de mieux for the time being.
Yes, you're right. I just have to find the right agency to take care of it. I used to work for an in home health care service so I know how much it would cost if I had to pay it myself. I really can't afford it so am hoping there are other options. I agree that "half way" is better than "no way".

After I got some chores done at my house I went to see if she wanted lunch. She had fallen again. A guy and his wife from church had brought her a food box and when she heard them she tried to get up. Mistake! Thank heavens the husband is a big strong guy. Got her up fairly easy. She had JUST fallen when I got there but I almost cried thinking "What if...?". Anyway, I got her some lunch, started her laundry and got dishes in the dishwasher. I told her I am going to duct tape her to that recliner!!

I also called the doctors office and explained why she missed today's appointment. They rescheduled for her. She is STILL insisting today is Monday.
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,682,513 times
Reputation: 10965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
Pretty sure you've already found this, but ...

Arizona Division of Aging and Adult Services


Her doctor would have to say she was functionally impaired and unable to perform activities of daily living.
"Costs: There are no required fees, but voluntary contributions help sustain services."

And don't forget your Verde Valley Senior Center - they may have a list of information.
Thanks, hon. Both of those are on my list. Today is so busy just trying to do the normal 'stuff' that's been put off all week but tomorrow I'll get busy on things for Mom. In the meantime I think I've developed a few more gray hairs!

When I got my work schedule for the next two weeks I was upset! I hate the 7 AM to 3 PM shift but only because I hate getting up so early and having to get busy. The good thing is that it seems to go by fast. After thinking about it I'm thinking it's a good thing right now. Mom rarely gets out of bed before 10:30 anymore and I usually get lunch about 11 AM on that shift so easy to run home and check on her. Then 3:00 is only 4 hours after lunch and I can get home fairly early and have the rest of the day to take care of her. If it works out really well I just might go in and tweak my availability to keep as close as possible to those hours. I can just learn to go to bed earlier so I KNOW I'll get my rest. I ain't no spring chicken myself so have to work at it sometimes.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,786 posts, read 7,704,486 times
Reputation: 15074
Sounds like your doing a great job looking after your mom. Good for you.
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