Mom keeps leaning forward...

Discussion in 'End of life care' started by Ionna, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
    Hi all, I wonder if anyone can help??
    Mom has been leaning forward for about 6 months now. It seemed to be related to an increase in her pain medication (for her cancer tumours). When being toileted she would fold over and almost fall off the loo or commode. She tends to sit correctly in her chair or in bed.
    In the past weeks mum has been leaning forward all the time while on the commode (I stopped taking her to the bathroom 2 months ago as she had become so unsteady on her feet especially after an episode of leaning (hope this makes sense!).
    When I try to seat her upright she deliberately pushes herself down which is really frustrating and must be uncomfortable to be sat with her head over her knees - pressing on her tumour. I don't know what to do next.
    I am really at a loss how to progress from here. Mom is putting so much strain on her body and mine - I 'm not sure how long I can continue to care for her as I am constantly suffering from wrist, shoulder and back pain. If anyone can shed light on the situation I'd be really grateful.

    Many thanks
     
  2. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    My husband has no other health issues but also tends to lean forwards. His consultant advised that changes in the brain owing to the dementia can distort the sense of balance. various other carers who attend our support group have also seen the same thing.
    I would check with your mum's GP as to whether the medication is causing the problem and if anything can be changed to make things easier, but, if like for us, it is just the dementia I think you are stuck with it.
    Tre
     
  3. Acco

    Acco Registered User

    Oct 3, 2011
    228
    If your mum isn't distressed or in pain through some other health cause then I believe it is likely due to her dementia causing problems with muscle control or balance. My wife has times when she bends forward, almost doubled up, and it is difficult or almost impossible to get her sitting back upright. I understand the difficulty you face and the toll it can take upon you in trying to support or improve your mum's position, an experience I have been going through very recently. Fortunately, my wife seems to improve and sit more normally most often, although stooping whilst standing seems almost permanent. It wouldn't surprise me if my wife's bending forward reappears again, as changes seem often to disappear and later resurface. Because of your mum's situation it may be helpful to discuss the situation with her GP.
     
  4. Lizziedalia

    Lizziedalia Registered User

    May 25, 2011
    16
    Greater London
    Hi Ionna,

    My mum is now in a nursing home. She is at the early advance stage of the illness. During a visit end of 2014, I saw my mum bending forward while sitting on a chair with no support for the head or arms and here she was half sleeping. This was the first time and it gave me a fright. There have been several reasons : 1) I found out she was underfed (less than 44 kgs). 2) She needed more adapted physiotherapy sessions. 3) She did not have an adapted chair to sit down. 4) Her medication needed to be changed. Measures were taken rapidly by the medical team. Today my mum has gained 5 kgs. She has regained some strength in the upper body thanks to the physiotherapy sessions and more food. She can walk and sit down again without bending forward. The staff is making sure that she is sitting on a chair with arms and back support. She has a new medication. When I take my mum outside, since she can walk only very short distances, I am taking her in a wheelchair. My mum is using incontinence pads day and night. So I don't know whether this will help you but it can give you some ideas how to alleviate both your physical pain to carry your mum and your mum's discomfort and make her more secure as well as making your life a bit easier while caring for your mum. She might need a soft belt to secure her ? Have you got an adapted chair: your mum might need to lay down most of the time rather than sitting ? You might also need some extra help from a carer for certain cares eg when toileting her? Or you might toileting her in bed if adapted ? I must say that my mum entered the nursing home at the right time as I could not have been able to lift her (eg bath) or carry her (she could not climb the stairs in her home anymore). Lizziedalia-
     
  5. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
    Hi hope you are well. Thanks for responding. The GP did visit on Monday. He's a man of few words and didn't really have much to say on the matter. I have been able to adjust the commode so that the front legs are higher than the back. This seems to have helped and she sit's up right more often. I think you are right...it's probably the dementia :(
     
  6. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
    Good evening Acco, I am beginning to feel that things will not improve in this area - though as you say certain symptoms do come and go. Mums leaning issues had improved for the past 2 days, but today she has been leaning again - but not as much as before. The Palliative Nurse came to visit and did ask about it. They are at a loss if it is related to pain or dementia. I think you may be right though.
    Sorry to hear that you and others have also been living through the same situation. Nothing about this illness is easy...everything is such a battle. Still, tomorrow is another day and we must all press on.

    Take care
     
  7. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
     
  8. Lizziedalia

    Lizziedalia Registered User

    May 25, 2011
    16
    Greater London
     
  9. Ionna

    Ionna Registered User

    Jan 19, 2014
    35
    Surrey
     
  10. WIFE

    WIFE Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    856
    WEST SUSSEX
    "Mom's mental nurse has not contacted me since February" - I would make very strong noises in that direction - it does not seem a satisfactory situation at all especially as you are phoning to check your Mother's medication. Unfortunately its often the one who shouts loudest and longest who is heard these days. Stay strong and good luck.
    WIFE
     

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