My mom is losing so much mobility because she canât be bothered to get up and move around anymore. Her knees buckled in the bathroom the other night and we had to call an ambulance to come and help as my Dad and I couldnât lift her. She has no strength in her legs. Then last night, she couldnât get out of her chair to go to bed, and I found out later to my horror that she just sat there all night! Dad sat up with her and neither of them got a wink of sleep. Then, this morning, when she tried to get up, she just crumpled to the floor because her knees were locked from sitting so long. So Dad had to call the ambulance again.
Obviously, this canât go on. Mom is 80 and Dad is 85 and they just canât cope on their own anymore. Mom is in the latter stages of cirrhosis and Dad has problems with his spine and hips and tires easily. They refuse to consider a nursing home, since theyâve lived in their house for 50 years, and a move at this stage would probably finish them offâ¦but I donât know what other option we have. They need daily care, and we canât afford to hire a full-time caregiver. Community care only sends someone in a few days a week and that just isnât good enough. We need someone to come in morning and night to get Mom out of bed and back into bed, and partway through the day to get her up out of her chair to go to the bathroom and walking around a bit. She can use a walker once sheâs up â yesterday at the hospital she walked from her room to the doors by herself with a nurse by her side -- but itâs getting up from a sitting position thatâs the big problem, and if she falls, itâs impossible to get her up without professional help. We thought of getting a wheelchair, but it wonât fit through the bathroom door, and there is still the problem of getting her from the wheelchair to the toilet or to her bed without her folding up and falling. Ideally, Iâd like a live-in caregiver for them, but thereâs no possible way we could afford that.
I donât know what to do, and itâs really worrying me and stressing me out. My appetite is poor and I find it hard to sleep at night. And I have a full time job to attend to as well. Whenever I try to talk to someone at the hospital about it, I just get passed on to someone else who has no answers either. I really donât think they care. I don't know where to turn. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Hi Amberlight1961 and welcome to ehealth: I did a post to you, but then deleted it...Instead of the post I am going to get a thead together and post it here at this Forum...In it I will detail some things that may help you with your parents...It will also be beneficial to those in pain and having a difficult time moving around...Until you reach the older ages in life you really never know what lies ahead...It creeps up on you....I will try to have it on by the first of next week...Take care...
Amberlight1961, you have my sympathies. It almost sounded like you were talking about my mom who has been living alone since my dad passed away 10 years ago. One thing that helped her a lot was a lift recliner. It comes with an attached remote which lifts and lowers the chair and even has heat and massage. Also, if your mother is under a certain weight limit (I believe 200lbs. is the standard limit) you can purchase portable lifts that you can carry from one room to another. You can also do research and see if Social Security will assist with the price of the chair or a bed lift. You would be surprised at the resources out there. It seems like my mom only paid a couple of hundred for the upholstery on her chair.
I'm a caretaker for a elderly woman (80) with congestive heart failure and other health problems.
Luckily, she can afford 24 hour a day help-but we are dealing with similar problems you state.
The getting up and down from her chair is hard. But, if she doesn't continue to try, she will become unable to stand at all. We have a daily exercise routine of easy to do exercises that keep her knees, hips, wrists and arms strong. These can be done from her easy chair and even in her wheelchair.
What is the oddest thing though--when her own daughters are staying with her she absolutely will not cooperate...she feigns total weakness! One of the girls watched me as I helped my client to and from the toilet; they were completely shocked at how easily their mother was able to stand and assist.
I think they weren't believing me when I commented on how strong she really is! Well, they saw it with their own eyes.
As to getting some help, is there any college age girls in the area who'd like to earn a little extra $ ? It sounds like your mom only needs assistance a few hours a day.
Also, a portable commode set up in the bedroom next to her bed would make nighttime bathroom needs much easier. They are quite sturdy.
Also, the lifting recliners are a great help! Look on Craigslist.com for secondhand ones for sale. They also are available for rent.
Also, a GAIT BELT (just google it) is a huge assist in lifting or assisting in walking. I am able to lift my client off the floor unassisted if she were to fall if she is wearing a gait belt.
Amber Light your struggles are ones shared with thousands of people everyday here in North America. Our very homes we have grown to love are not set up to make growing old so easy and in many cases can do us added harm.
In Canada we have a few programs designed for those wanting to stay in their own home but need basic improvements to make this happen. Have you looked into any Government Grants.
Widening a doorway and installing some grab bars can make the trip to a bathroom that much safer for your Mom and Dad both. I would suggest you call your local government office - you might be surprised the resources your parents might qualify for. This upgrades can often be done with limited budgets and I'm sure you have a local medical supply store with a handful of qualified renovators.
When planning new grab bars and such consider how they will be used and if more may be necessary to aid a care giver (You, your Dad or a Nurse) in gaining a strong hold in sometimes hard to navigate areas.
I wish you the best.
I hope you find a quick solution to your struggles...