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Might well becoming a regular on this forum so thought I would say hi.

Phelippe

New member
Dec 21, 2018
6
Hi Max. What a roller coaster ride you’ve had! I’ve read through all your posts from the beginning and found them helpful - and scary! My wife (71) is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, memory loss and some disorientation. She’s had both brain scan and lumbar puncture (though hospital record keeping is extraordinarily poor!) She’s also on anti-depressants, which have certainly helped, also with anxiety.
I see that I first wrote in the Forum in (I think) Feb 2016, so it’s been quite a while getting to a more definite diagnosis.
We have three children, who are aware of what is happening and will help where they can but since Friday when we saw the neurologist (who will be ringing me on Tuesday) I have been worrying quite a bit. I’ve just been diagnosed myself with the earliest stages of prostate cancer (I’m 77) and it’s all a lot to take in.
Quite possibly, like you, making use of the Forum will be very helpful.
 

Max68

Registered User
Aug 21, 2018
81
Sussex
Phelippe, My thoughts with you all in these tough times. The people here are fabulous and are kind and generous with their help, support and advice and at times "tell it as it is" which we all need to hear from time to time!!

It's been a rough ride, and will almost certainly get rougher but it does help having a place like this to throw down your thoughts and vent if you need to, and I am more than happy for anyone to vent on my thread if they wish!!!

We have seen a little light at the end of the tunnel. It's still tough seeing mum but my sister has now seen her on two days when she has been in pretty good form with no tears or frustration in her new home. I have seen a few good moments along with a quick change to sadder ones but the good thing is there are good moments now whereas in hospital there weren't any so you take the good times. Can't fault the home they are superb and at least I am sleeping now knowing mum is being cared for and safe.
 

CarlW

Registered User
Apr 10, 2019
11
Hi Max, it certainly is a rough ride. I'm pleased to hear that you are happy with the home and that you have had some good days.
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,742
Phelippe, My thoughts with you all in these tough times. The people here are fabulous and are kind and generous with their help, support and advice and at times "tell it as it is" which we all need to hear from time to time!!

It's been a rough ride, and will almost certainly get rougher but it does help having a place like this to throw down your thoughts and vent if you need to, and I am more than happy for anyone to vent on my thread if they wish!!!

We have seen a little light at the end of the tunnel. It's still tough seeing mum but my sister has now seen her on two days when she has been in pretty good form with no tears or frustration in her new home. I have seen a few good moments along with a quick change to sadder ones but the good thing is there are good moments now whereas in hospital there weren't any so you take the good times. Can't fault the home they are superb and at least I am sleeping now knowing mum is being cared for and safe.
Dad went into CH in November 2018, he has been on several day trips out with staff & other residents- he’s off to the beach this week. I take Dad out once a month on average & time our return with a meal to get him back into the CH routine. I will be honest it’s exhausting as I’m afraid he will fall, have incontinence or just break into a sprint & disappear -which is highly unlikely!
But he’s safe & cared for by lovely people who have become the care home family.
I ask for advice & support in what’s best for Dad as these folks have the experience to make life for family easier.
Residents settle it just takes time
Try not to worry
X
 

Max68

Registered User
Aug 21, 2018
81
Sussex
Yep thank you it seems mum has settled a lot more and seems happy and content with less tears so it's a lot less rough for her now and that's a relief, unfortunately rough times ahead for the rest of us as per my other thread in the Finance section. Dementia destroys so many lives in more ways than one.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,393
Yep thank you it seems mum has settled a lot more and seems happy and content with less tears so it's a lot less rough for her now and that's a relief, unfortunately rough times ahead for the rest of us as per my other thread in the Finance section. Dementia destroys so many lives in more ways than one.
I'm pleased things have worked out for your mum in the care home. Stay strong
 

Max68

Registered User
Aug 21, 2018
81
Sussex
Hi all need some advice if that's ok. Mum was doing ok in the care home but a couple of weeks ago she became really tearful and upset which was difficult for all. Then last week she became very confused, almost paranoid, but seemed happy enough so to be honest that was better than the tears!! Then Sunday afternoon I received a call from the care home saying mum had suffered a fall but all was ok, she was not injured and they would just keep an eye on her. Then around 8pm I received another call saying mum had suffered another "three" falls and had banged her head and a Paramedic were on their way. Not sure how bad these falls were for instance from an upright position falling backwards or slipping off a chair.

We headed to the home and mum was in bed in a terrible state with a big bump on her head. She didn't seem in pain but was shivering big time and was obviously very cold and you couldn't really understand her. Their was some talk from the night nurse of a UTI which of course could have been the cause of the confusion. The Paramedics arrived and took her to A and E where her BP was very high but an ECG was clear.

She is still in hospital. Her electrolytes are apparently imbalanced so she has very low potassium (always has I think) and magnesium. Head scan showed all clear which is good because she is on blood thinners and they are still awaiting results of the UTI test although apparently they had her on antibiotics but had to change them because she suffered D and V with them. Today she was on more fluids and having another ECG. She is unbelievably confused and can barely get the words out. She didn't know who I was for the first time although she is not distressed just looks a bit like a rabbit caught in headlights!! I guess they don't really know why she fell although once they balance the electrolytes it may become clearer if it was that, the UTI or if her vascular dementia has taken another significant drop.

Thing is we do sympathise with the care home. At weekends it is very much a skeleton staff and mum much prefers her room to the lounge so we understand she isn't going to be under a 24 hour watch but after the first fall to have another three in a handful of hours is a concern. My sister said the nurse there seemed edgy when we went to collect some stuff yesterday, almost embarrassed, but whilst we don't want to make a big deal about it as these things happen, at the same time I am wondering if four falls within a small amount of time is too many whatever the circumstances. Obviously we hope she will leave hospital at some stage and go back but we would want to know what sort of new care plan will be put in place.

Just wondering how others may approach this as we don't want to accuse anyone but at the same time obviously want mum safe. Thoughts appreciated.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,936
Nottinghamshire
Hello @Max68

I’m sorry to read that your mum is so poorly at the moment. I hope she makes a quick recovery.

My dad wasn’t in a carehome for long so I’m sure others will have more experience than me in dealing with this sort of situation. I know falls are common in older people, but my first thought is that your mum had so many in such a short space of time because of the infection and, hopefully, once that has cleared she will be steadier on her feet again.

If it was me I’d tell the manager how worried I was about my loved one falling so often and ask what is normally put in place to help reduce the risk of falling. I know it’s very difficult to manage as my mum was one who was always trying to get up (she couldn’t stand) and falling over.
 

Max68

Registered User
Aug 21, 2018
81
Sussex
Thanks Bunpoots. I think the problem is with dementia you are either better off totally mobile or hardly mobile at all. When at the home Sunday night I asked if they would place the barrier on the bed up but they said they wouldn't do that in a room because residents have been known to try and climb over them, which as a non medical or care person you don't think about. In a hospital ward it's different as they always (or should do) have people keeping an eye. It's a difficult one but I still think 4 is a lot unless she kept toppling after the second one,.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,936
Nottinghamshire
If they can't put a barrier up on the bed could they put a mat or a quilt on the floor for a softer landing? And make sure the bed is against the wall so she can only fall out one side.
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,820
cornwall
You can get hospital beds which go to the floor.Also you can get special floor mattresses and an alarm mat.So if she rolls out of bed she will land on the mat .The carers will know she is then out of bed.She would need to be assessed for the bed
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,889
South coast
Hi @Max68 , good to see you again.

Does the care home know what she was doing when she fell?

My mum used to fall when she was trying to stand to get out of bed, so the care home put the bed down low (so she didnt fall far), put crash mats next to the bed (to cushion the fall) and got an alarm to alert them when she tried to get up.
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,742
Hi all need some advice if that's ok. Mum was doing ok in the care home but a couple of weeks ago she became really tearful and upset which was difficult for all. Then last week she became very confused, almost paranoid, but seemed happy enough so to be honest that was better than the tears!! Then Sunday afternoon I received a call from the care home saying mum had suffered a fall but all was ok, she was not injured and they would just keep an eye on her. Then around 8pm I received another call saying mum had suffered another "three" falls and had banged her head and a Paramedic were on their way. Not sure how bad these falls were for instance from an upright position falling backwards or slipping off a chair.

We headed to the home and mum was in bed in a terrible state with a big bump on her head. She didn't seem in pain but was shivering big time and was obviously very cold and you couldn't really understand her. Their was some talk from the night nurse of a UTI which of course could have been the cause of the confusion. The Paramedics arrived and took her to A and E where her BP was very high but an ECG was clear.

She is still in hospital. Her electrolytes are apparently imbalanced so she has very low potassium (always has I think) and magnesium. Head scan showed all clear which is good because she is on blood thinners and they are still awaiting results of the UTI test although apparently they had her on antibiotics but had to change them because she suffered D and V with them. Today she was on more fluids and having another ECG. She is unbelievably confused and can barely get the words out. She didn't know who I was for the first time although she is not distressed just looks a bit like a rabbit caught in headlights!! I guess they don't really know why she fell although once they balance the electrolytes it may become clearer if it was that, the UTI or if her vascular dementia has taken another significant drop.

Thing is we do sympathise with the care home. At weekends it is very much a skeleton staff and mum much prefers her room to the lounge so we understand she isn't going to be under a 24 hour watch but after the first fall to have another three in a handful of hours is a concern. My sister said the nurse there seemed edgy when we went to collect some stuff yesterday, almost embarrassed, but whilst we don't want to make a big deal about it as these things happen, at the same time I am wondering if four falls within a small amount of time is too many whatever the circumstances. Obviously we hope she will leave hospital at some stage and go back but we would want to know what sort of new care plan will be put in place.

Just wondering how others may approach this as we don't want to accuse anyone but at the same time obviously want mum safe. Thoughts appreciated.
I’m sorry I know it’s such a worry, but honestly I have had to accept that the falls are part of the progress of dementia. Each Dementia affects people differently but loss of balance is a common issue.
In care homes they aren’t able to provide the same level of care a hospitals, as you are aware.
My Dad has had falls in the care home, the first time I was shocked & alarmed, but it’s a balance issue that can fluctuate & the home have acted on the issues relating to that. Yes I felt awkward speaking to them about it but since that conversation Dad hasn’t fallen.
My Mum is constantly falling & UTIs seem to be a large factor; infact they seem constant now. Mum is frequently off her legs when a UTI is present. Falls are alarming but Mum doesn’t remember them mostly. Stubbornness on Mums part doesn’t help she doesn’t accept help or direction well. When in hospital Mums delirium’s & hallucinations were off the scale. Sadly each UTI takes a little more of her away. Sometimes the falls are a symptom of the type of dementia, also it’s a progressive phase in some cases.
My Mum has fallen infront of nurses in hospital, as well as myself; she just crumples & there is nothing I or anyone else could do to stop that happening. She stubbornly refuses to ask for help or use walking aides. Sadly this is dementia & it’s difficult to accept this reality
Not much help I know
((( hugs))))
 

Max68

Registered User
Aug 21, 2018
81
Sussex
Hi all good to see you and thanks for your help. Canary, no haven't been into detail as yet with how mum fell. It might be part of the conversation when she hopefully returns but as you all quite rightly say sadly it's all part of it. She fell twice at home, once I caught her on the stairs and the second she managed to ring me for help so you have to be thankful this time it was in a home as they will find her eventually. An alarm mat sounds a good idea and I might look into protective padded borders for chests of draws and tables in her room if there is such a thing. I joked with the nurse that we maybe should turn mum's room into a soft play area and ask her to wear a cyclists helmet!!!

One thing it seems many parents never lose despite the dementia is stubbornness and it's tough for the home. I saw a lady fall there and was the only one to see it and it was awful as you can't react quick enough and I had to tell the workers who couldn't do a thing really as unless you are holding on to them at all times there is always a risk.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
749
I concur with DesperateofDevon here, falls are incredibly hard to prevent. My Mum (late stage, in a care home) is now not able to move around and honestly, she is safer than when she was trying to walk. The Catch 22 of alzheimer's is that many need walking aids, but of course they dont remember to use them. Staff at my Mum's home spend ages putting frames in front of people who then ignore them. It is very frustrating.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,393
Hi all good to see you and thanks for your help. Canary, no haven't been into detail as yet with how mum fell. It might be part of the conversation when she hopefully returns but as you all quite rightly say sadly it's all part of it. She fell twice at home, once I caught her on the stairs and the second she managed to ring me for help so you have to be thankful this time it was in a home as they will find her eventually. An alarm mat sounds a good idea and I might look into protective padded borders for chests of draws and tables in her room if there is such a thing. I joked with the nurse that we maybe should turn mum's room into a soft play area and ask her to wear a cyclists helmet!!!

One thing it seems many parents never lose despite the dementia is stubbornness and it's tough for the home. I saw a lady fall there and was the only one to see it and it was awful as you can't react quick enough and I had to tell the workers who couldn't do a thing really as unless you are holding on to them at all times there is always a risk.
My mother-in-law fell three times over 48 hours in her care home. The home had mats,sensors, you name it she had them all . She just couldn't remember she couldn't stand properly and according to her, the carers took too long to get to her. I never believed that anyway. She was a high falls risk in her own home, one of the reasons she went into care. Overall, she was still safer in the care home. Eventually the carers wouldn't let her stay in her room, they always brought her out into the lounge, otherwise she couldn't be supervised
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,742
Hi all good to see you and thanks for your help. Canary, no haven't been into detail as yet with how mum fell. It might be part of the conversation when she hopefully returns but as you all quite rightly say sadly it's all part of it. She fell twice at home, once I caught her on the stairs and the second she managed to ring me for help so you have to be thankful this time it was in a home as they will find her eventually. An alarm mat sounds a good idea and I might look into protective padded borders for chests of draws and tables in her room if there is such a thing. I joked with the nurse that we maybe should turn mum's room into a soft play area and ask her to wear a cyclists helmet!!!

One thing it seems many parents never lose despite the dementia is stubbornness and it's tough for the home. I saw a lady fall there and was the only one to see it and it was awful as you can't react quick enough and I had to tell the workers who couldn't do a thing really as unless you are holding on to them at all times there is always a risk.
Don’t be surprised if you put protective borders on & she picks them off!
This phase doesn’t last forever, it’s like a toddler in reverse.
 

Max68

Registered User
Aug 21, 2018
81
Sussex
Don’t be surprised if you put protective borders on & she picks them off!
This phase doesn’t last forever, it’s like a toddler in reverse.
She will probably put them in her handbag along with three books, an alarm clock and everything else from her room and take them with her on evenings out when they either go by coach (they don't) or when she borrows the homes company car (obviously she doesn't) She in her head is probably having the time of her life!!!

Beginning to wonder if they are the sane ones as logical minds just can't get our head around some of the stuff that goes on. Flipping heart-breaking but at least the tears have stopped!!
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,742
She will probably put them in her handbag along with three books, an alarm clock and everything else from her room and take them with her on evenings out when they either go by coach (they don't) or when she borrows the homes company car (obviously she doesn't) She in her head is probably having the time of her life!!!

Beginning to wonder if they are the sane ones as logical minds just can't get our head around some of the stuff that goes on. Flipping heart-breaking but at least the tears have stopped!!
Pleased the tears have stopped, yours or hers by the way?
My Dads favourite tune - always look on the bright side of life.
I’m rubbish at whistling but attempt it anyway. The words are very apt ....