1. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,526
    Essex
    It was two years ago when dad had a series of falls and which we found was a result of low blood pressure because of medication. If a doctor says that a PWD has low blood pressure then please ask them to check medication. Dad had his Felodopine removed but mysteriously it came back on his prescription again!

    MaNaAk
     
  2. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    240
    Male
    South Northwest
    #22 Andrew_McP, Dec 13, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
    My forum feng sui will not be at peace unless I cross the T's on this. Mum came out of hospital yesterday after almost exactly three weeks. I think her leg was sound after a week and the rest was sitting around waiting for physio to materialise.

    To be fair, Mum's not naturally cooperative, which is why I made a nuisance of myself between about 10am and 9pm daily. It began to feel like I was going to work, and somehow that made it a bit easier to deal with than the stop/start caring rhythm of a 'normal' day at home. It's also a lot easier to be a good carer when you've got an audience.

    Not that I had an audience much of the time. I think I was in charge of the wardlet sometimes, it's just they forgot to tell me and give me a pay rise.

    Anyway, the only thing I miss about hospital (apart from having folk to talk to, abandoned souls to sooth, and the wonderful Jean Dean in the bed opposite Mum for the last few days) is the long corridor to do circuits of with Mum. Wobbling round the small bungalow with her trying to wave the walking fram around is... well, challenging! I've started walking backwards holding her hands instead, which is clearly an accident waiting to happen, but fingers crossed she'll fall on me if the inevitable happens. Then she can come and look after me which I'm in hospital, hiding my pills in jelly babies, cleaning me up when I spit liquid paracetamol everywhere, sticking up for me when I appear to be invisible, and reminding me there's life beyond those blank, lifeless walls and overworked staff.

    A hospital bed was delivered today, and although we're not really ready for that yet, there's no doubt that getting Mum up for a wee or for meals was a darned sight easier in hospital. And my back's knackered after leaning over a bed trying to get food and drink (and poxy pills!) in for hours on end, which is daft because I knew I could raise the hospital bed, I just kept forgetting! Idiot. Hopefully I'll get used to that now. I raised ours all the way up to put the sheets on and it was so much easier.

    Which is why I've put Mum's mattress on top of mine. My bed's now not quite high enough that I get a nose bleed when I get in, but it's not far off. I imagine that my trampoline bed will do my back approximately no good whatsoever though, despite feeling great, so I think I'll have to sacrifice easy bed making on my bed before long. Whether the conservatory will appreciate even more landfill-in-waiting is a different matter.

    I think I'll save my extended thoughts on hospitals and dementia care for another time, but I have plenty to say on just how broken hospitals are. Broken by complex cases, bed blocking, and absentee family care (recovery is a partnership!) not simply by budget restrictions and constant political dabbling.

    Here endeth the mini-lesson.

    PS. You remember that advert with the bloke suspended from a helicopter by his overalls and wallpaper paste? I swear hospital brand liquid paracetamol is sweet and sticky enough to do even better!

    PPS. I like an explanation, and I think I know how Mum managed to break her leg with a relatively straight forward fall. There's a round wooden 'tub' made of some really strong old wood Mum bought yonks ago and I use it to put in front of the bin to stop either her or the dog raiding the bin. But it sticks out (or at least, used to!) beyond the work surface by a couple of inches and has a pretty "sharp" lip. Looking at it and where Mum was lying when I found her, I think there's a strong chance she fell onto that, so her upper body weight was acting as a lever on her temporarily trapped hip.

    Freak accident? Maybe. Or maybe I'm just clutching at straws trying to convince myself she'll bounce better next time. Whatever gets us through the day, I guess. You can't see disaster round every corner... even though it is. :)
     
  3. Lirene

    Lirene Registered User

    Sep 15, 2019
    167
    I now knight you da, da, da, da, da, da, DA
    Arise Sir Andrew McP...........
    ‘night’ of the Hospital Ward
    honorary member of the NHS
    entertainer to the ‘elderly’ star patients
    Well deserved - and your medal is -
    Ah, well you remember the famous ‘Cocoa Tin Lid’ as worn by Granville !
    Pleased all went well and you and mum are nicely tucked up again at home. All the hard work and fun begins again!
    Now your Majesty - what about a New Years Honour ? xx
     
  4. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    240
    Male
    South Northwest
    While Her Royal Lizness and I do probably share an overdeveloped sense of duty, I'm not sure there's an Order of Blowing Your Own Trumpet she could award me.

    If there was, Tony Blair would already have been awarded it. :-D
     
  5. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    240
    Male
    South Northwest
    2am: Mum restless. I notice via camera she's fiddling down the side of the new (to us) hospital bed.

    2:30am: no camera picture. I go into her room and find she's managed to reach the plug socket and switch the power to the camera off. I take her to the loo and while she's there I unplug bed and camera from the wall, plug an extension in instead so the bed can fit snug up to the wall, and then...

    Now the bed's plugged in again it doesn't want to lower at the head end. It'll go higher, but not lower!

    3:30am: Mum finally back in bed, but only via lowering one end all the way to get in, then put it all the way up to match the head end. So I have to move heavy drawers alongside to stop her falling out. Feels like an OK temporary solution but I can't sleep for fretting about it.

    5:00am: Mum still restless; sleep still elusive, me increasingly wondering about ringing the hospital and asking if they'd like her back. :) One more loo visit and... I decide maybe it's the mattress unsettling her. It's new, so a bit firmer than the ones she's been on for the last 3 weeks.

    5:40am: Divan back from garage, mattress back off my bed, bedding swapped, there's just room in Mum's room for it all and she's in bed again!

    6:07am: Me typing, because... er, I'm stupid. Mum snoring!

    This may not be about falls any more, but it's certainly a cautionary tale about the chaos falls can cause! Time for sleep, I think.
     
  6. Lirene

    Lirene Registered User

    Sep 15, 2019
    167
    Sleepless Andrew, how I feel for you, and I certainly am almost an expert on the chaos falls can inflict on carers!!
    Is it possible you can find out what sort of mattress mum had at the hospital and see if OT’s can get you the same for home.
    Sleep when mum sleeps today, if you can xx
     
  7. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    753
    Oh Andrew what a night hope you manage to catch up on your sleep. I’ve been following your hospital posts with interest. My brother is in hospital long term and so many of the other patients I’ve seen come and go could do with someone like you to ensure they get what they need. My brother has become very good at managing his own care but it is obvious that is beyond many of the others.
     
  8. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    240
    Male
    South Northwest
    #28 Andrew_McP, Dec 14, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
    I must admit that I was genuinely disappointed that there aren't more volunteers or even folk a step down from Healthcare Assistants whose role is simply to be with folk in need.

    Of course the last thing wards need -- a somewhat sceptical casual observer writes! -- is more compartmentalised roles, but if the nurses are there 'just' for a non-stop circuit of medication, dressings, and core medical needs, and the HCAs are there for washing, checking, toileting, dishing out and collecting meals, making sure folk eat and drink, etc, and there are multiple mini-wards each individual's responsible for (especially at night) then... it's impossible. The wards my mother was on would have needed at least five full time extra 'companions', and that might be an underestimate because wards are huge, disguised by the wardlet side rooms.

    Ultimately there is simply no amount of money and job roles and best practice guidelines and good intentions that can replace family stepping up. I know society has become complicated, and everyone 'needs' to work to pay for what passes for 'living' these days, and having families later in life means a miserable, impossible clash of potential multiple care roles, but...

    But something's got to change (not least of which the number of times I use the word 'and' in the average sentence). After a week I found myself muttering "there's no social care crisis, just a family care crisis" and the many, many Filipinos working in our local hospital seem quietly perplexed by the way UK society works. We're so much better off than they are, back home. But we're also far worse off where it matters.

    I know it's easy for a semi-professional recluse like me to sit back and prognosticate on the state of modern family life. What would Billy No Mates know about such things? But... I dunno. Hospital is where rich, poor, close families, lonely souls, newborns and those at their last ebb all gather. The NHS is sometimes described as our national religion. If it is, then our hospitals are the Cathedrals... awesome and unbelievable to behold from a distance, but often crumbling and fundamentally flawed the closer you get.

    But so are people. So's everything. I think the NHS is wonderful. I'm just not sure the British people deserve it these days... especially the bed blocker next to my mother for a while and the lady with a huge, close family that visited her daily, treated the staff like it was a hotel, and spent most of her day on the phone to distant relatives.

    I think I'm done here. We had snow for a while this morning. Christmas is here! Now it's sunny. Mum is up and dressed and has had some of her medication and life is temporarily OK. I cannot fix society. I can't even fix me. But one evening I left Mum's ward at about 10pm after a tricky evening and there was a bloke sat near the cardiac ward all on his own, looking like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.

    "Lonely places sometimes, hospitals," I offered as I passed. We ended up chatting for ten minutes about his poorly father, my worries about my mother's needs and overstretched staff, and the fact that family illness at least helped us forget the election!

    We parted a little happier, as only passing strangers can. He thanked me for stopping to chat and I went off feeling I'd done something useful with my day beyond festering like an over-ripe tomato in Mum's ward all day. Life may be what happens while you're making other plans, but society is perhaps what happens when we reach out to strangers.

    Here endeth the slightly longer second lesson. I haven't edited it for pomposity and typos.

    I'm pretty sure it's exactly the same type, but it's not been round the block a few times. But then Mum didn't sleep much in hospital either, in one go. I thought it was just hospital, but it might have been the mattress too. I certainly find it a bit on the firm side (and supportive, obviously) and Mum's always liked something on the soft side. Maybe too soft. I can probably use hers on the hospital bed, but I'll see what the OT says when she comes on Monday. Mum's leak-proof at the moment and she's not bedbound, so... we'll see. First I've got to get the hospital bed sorted out. I might wait til Monday though to report it because Mum slept most of the morning uninterrupted in her bed.
     
  9. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    380
    Male
    Hi @Andrew_McP, your post reminded me of New Years Day two years ago when Mum was in hospital, it was truly horrendous. There were two staff trying to manage a ward with four wings. Mum's area had eight beds, and three of those patients obviously had dementia. One had a catheter inserted but kept trying to get up to walk (bag attached to bed) - I repeatedly had to prevent her from doing so. As well as helping my own Mum I was having to help others with their meals - not by choice they were asking me as they had rung the bedside alarms for attention, none was forthcoming. One lady with dementia kept trying to walk without her walking frame, staggering from bed to bed - again I had to intervene - in the end she staggered out of the ward whilst I was busy attending to my own Mum. One lovely lady opposite (who didn't have dementia) urgently needed the toilet, I went and tracked down a nurse who said she would get there when she could - by the time she arrived (half an hour later) unsurprisingly this poor lady had already had an accident, it was totally humiliating for her. It was disgraceful that patients with dementia (and without I guess) could be left in serious safeguarding situations. I made a formal complaint via the Patient Liaison Service, however I never heard back and to be honest by this time I had more pressing concerns of my own with my Mum's discharge and increased care needs. Rant over!

    It is quite possible that your Mum's sleeping pattern has changed since she was in hospital? I do hope you can get some form of 'normality' with your nights - it must be incredibly exhausting. All the best.
     
  10. Lirene

    Lirene Registered User

    Sep 15, 2019
    167
    Hi @Andrew_McP
    After visiting the hospital again this afternoon, nearly 5 months now but that’s another story, there seem to be two types of mattress used up here. The one my husband has is blue, sort of a wipe clean surface and quite squishy. He’s has advanced Parkinson’s, 2nd broken hips in 6 months, same hip, plus dementia and other assorted mind problems. He is 80, spends hours in bed and finds it comfortable except for the times he thinks he can still walk and he thinks he can get out of bed unaided it takes 2 and an ETAC, and the times he managed to actually get out - alarms ringing and patients shouting ‘don’t move’ and the excellent NHS staff -Angels in disguise, rushing in and saving him once again. A good number of times he’s tried to audition for the ‘Escape Artist of the Year Award’.
    Then there’s the mattress mum has, 11 years in a care home, dementia, needs hoisting, hardly eats, no weight to speak of, cannot string two words together - no idea who I am but at 96 still going, sort of a pump machine attached that seems to ‘refloat’ it automatically.
    Hope from this info you can sort something for your mum so she can ‘sleep on a cloud’, and you on your ‘bed of nails’ us carers seem to get punished with.
    Sweet Dreams tonight you pair xx
     
  11. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    240
    Male
    South Northwest
    I was fairly 'pleased' to see that my mother's habit of being awake (usually for the loo) repeatedly at night continued, despite a catheter and despite the hospital's attempts to get her into a routine that suited staffing levels. It made me feel less incapable to know it's not just me.

    However I did hope that the catheter would allow her to settle more and give us a fighting chance at some regular sleep when she got back. She did sleep ok the first night, and wasn't incontinent, so I'm inclined to think it was the new mattress that's to blame for the second night.

    Who knows though; she's probably just knackered, and it'll be a while before conclusions can be drawn. And thanks for your comments about your hospital experience. I think it's fair to say that dementia and its complications are a huge drag on hospital performance.

    I had enough trouble keeping up momentum for three weeks. I'd certainly never have been able to keep up the 8-10 hours a day thing for that long... I'd have gone mad, the house would have gone to pot, and the dog would have left home. Long haul visiting must be an emotional minefield, so you have my greatest respect.

    In the post-surgical ward Mum was on one of the puffy air ones that vary support/pressure areas (which were a real ****** to sit on when there was a chair shortage at visiting times!) but the one she has at home now seems identical to the memory foam one on her bed for the last ten days in hospital. I'm sure it's fine, but it always takes a while to retrain your expectations on a new mattress. We'll get there!
     
  12. Lirene

    Lirene Registered User

    Sep 15, 2019
    167
    Ooh naughty sitting on the bed - absolutely would not have been tolerated by Matron years ago but all seems to have gone to pot now!
    You will get there, just breathe and don’t grind your teeth
    Yes, still going, mum looked dreadful said ‘I’m still young’ when I asked how old she replied 200 !! Husband well, that’s another story, if I had strength for staying out all night, having affairs etc,.he even said one of the patients wives had said her husband fancied me ??
    Late 60’s, grey and permanently knackered and sleep deprived is not a good look but, hey ho it’s Christmas-as Noddy would shout xx
     
  13. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    240
    Male
    South Northwest
    Every story needs an ending, so just dropping back to this thread to say that today I risked taking Mum out for our first proper dog walk today. We've made a few sorties out on our own, without the dog to complicate things, but only back and forth along the nearby path to build up... well, my confidence more than Mum's stamina!

    Anyway, so that's about 38 days from fall to 'normal'. Kind of. Mum does still limp a bit when she first gets up, but it eases off, and it's not like we were walking miles before.

    We might have got back to a proper walk a few days earlier, but since leaving hospital sundowning has become a big part of our lives again, and there's a lot of down-sun to slog through, so... So back to playing stress ping-pong. I'm tempted to say I preferred it when Mum was incapacitated and not in constant danger of getting up and wandering off in to trouble, but...

    I have to be careful saying things like that. Last time I did that, earlier in this thread, the next day things went badly wrong. Good job I'm not superstitiously irrational.

    Now, what did I do with that industrial sized roll of bubble wrap Santa brought me? Mum... come here! ;-)
     
  14. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    405
    I can't believe that I only started this thread on falls just 5-6 weeks ago as it certainly feels like dad has had falls for some time.
    Early this morning, he had a serious fall down steps that he would normally navigate himself. An ambulance was called, and although he groaned a little when getting up, we (including the paramedics) felt like he was ok-ish as he was able to walk aided but took him to hospital for a thorough check.

    It turns out that he's fractured a bone in his neck and the fall may be down to something to do with his heart. I very much doubt the latter but after going for scans and waiting about over 9 hours today, we had to leave him to do be admitted with a question mark over whether he'll be taken to another hospital to sort out the fracture or let it heal without intervention. I think it's the first he's been away from home since his diagnosis.

    I know he's in the best place for him right now, there was nothing more we could do at that point but I hated leaving him there. Fingers cross there's some progress tomorrow as to a plan of action. I had no plans as to how to bring in the New Year but I could think of many better ways than that!
     
  15. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,635
    Nottinghamshire
    Oh no! I hope your dad's soon on the mend @myss . Not a good start to the year!
     
  16. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    405
    Thank you! I'm just hoping he is not still in A&E without the one-to-one healthcare assistant we were promised and has actually been admitted under care of nurses with knowledge of dementia symptoms.... as we were promised...... Happy New Year!
     
  17. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,570
    Merseyside

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