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 Dr Appointment 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:29 am
Posts: 69
Location: uk
Post Dr Appointment
Hi all
We're having a pretty rough time at the moment keeping Mum safe...we're waiting on an appointment with her Dr July 25th and are desparate to keep her home until then but...she had 3 falls last week. She just seems so unsteady right now.
1 of the falls was at home and the life line notified my sil that she was in trouble, when she attended Mum she found her face down on the floor!! It was horrific for her, the paramedics were called and Mum seemed not to have any serious injury (old wound opened on her knee and a graze to her face). She wasn't hospitalized thanfully as every time she goes to hospital she comes out worse.
We've tried to encourage her to use her walker which she is quite steady with, but every time is like the first. Mum just can't seem to remember how or which way....its so sad.
25th July is 2 1/2 weeks away but we're quite positive about this appointment and know that if she's in hospital her app will be cancelled...I know you all won't have any answers as it s different here in the UK, I just wanted to write.
~Dawn
ps just before the falls we suspected an infection so had the dr prescibe antibiotics


Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:32 am
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Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:39 am
Posts: 87
Location: Lucca, Italy
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Hi Dawn, I can imagine how stressed you are to keep your mother in one piece for that appointment on the 25th. Does she have someone with her during the day? If not, you may want to arrange a permanent sitter so that you can avoid further falls. Good luck and I hope you can keep her safe until then. Let us know how your appt goes. Irene in Italy

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Irene in Italy


Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:52 am
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Hi Dawn ,
So sorry that your Mom is going through this but it is happening for a reason and until you can find the reason I do also think she shouldn't be alone, it may not prevent all the falls but will prevent many, good luck on the 25th and please let us know, we all care! :)


Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:24 am

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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Sounds like you need round-the-clock monitoring of your mother. Get a bed alarm and a chair alarm so that the caregiver will know when your mother gets up and can escort her and the walker to where ever she wants to go.


Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:38 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:29 am
Posts: 69
Location: uk
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Thanks everyone
Its a really difficult time...but we just want to get to the 25th! Mum lives alone, which is her choice, but we have care workers 4 times a day morning, noon and night. She also has a falls belt, pendant and bed alarm attached to a life line. Her mobility is such now that she doesn't often attempt to get up alone.
One of her falls over the weekend she was with another SIL for the day, she just toppled over. And every evening one of the siblings is there to assist her into bed. To our knowledge she hasn't left the bed unassisted in months.
Again many thanks, just for being there for us
Kind regards
~Dawn


Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:17 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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When you say "falls belt," is this the same thing as a gait belt?

Does the SIL who was present when your mother fell say that she was not escorting your mother closely enough? Was she using the gait belt?

How did your mother fall the other time when paramedics had to be called? Did she get up from a chair on her own? Is there a chair alarm?

Sometimes people get too heavy or too unsteady to be assisted by one person and, at that point, they should be in a wheelchair for everyone's safety.


Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:50 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:29 am
Posts: 69
Location: uk
Post 
Robin
I don't know what a gait belt is but a falls belt is worn around the waist and should it be laid on its side (for example) it sets off a sensor linked to a call centre, they can then speak through an intercom to establish Mum's needs and call paramedics, family etc to attend her. Its part of the lifeline system.
I'm not sure what happened when she fell with my SIL we have been unable to establish the facts, but luckily she wasn't hurt.

Mum was reaching for something from her chair when the paramedics were called...I'm guessing because of her depth/distance perception being what it is....
We know something has to be done sooner rather than later but she still has really good days and are hoping for a good appointment with her dr regarding medication. The NHS being what it is we cannot get the app moved...
To reassure you we are monitoring the situation very closely. Does it sound as though we're not?
~Dawn


Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:07 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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A gait belt is worn around the waist or chest. The caregiver keeps one hand on the belt and can completely control the person's trunk by using the belt.

I know of no medication that will prevent these sorts of falls. And falls are very dangerous.

Right or wrong, I consider every fall a failure on the part of the caregiver.


Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:16 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:43 am
Posts: 215
Location: Seattle, WA
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We have a gait belt handy too - but not for use during normal ambulation.

Cal has ended up on the floor a few times when he wasn't awake/aware enough to engage in self-rescue. . . it's something we've worked on with the PT and OT and his rehab doctor, and they haven't been happening nearly so often since he got on the stimulants, but once in awhile he trips on his feet or something and ends up "sitting down hard" - they are *VERY* low-energy falls - he hasn't injured a darn thing doing them, but he just sits there, which is astonishingly annoying to someone of normal cognition - for the love of god, old man, *DO SOMETHING*....

<deep cleansing breath>

A point of background - I'm roughly the size of a college outside linebacker - Jon is the size of a center....so we're not little guys. Cal is about 5'10, pushing 190...so he's no little guy either.

Trying to get him up off the floor without yanking on an extremity is tough; doing it when he can't understand things like "put your knees together" is nigh on impossible. Until we discovered the gait belt. We just fasten it tight around the pecs - really tight - and lift, either from the front (to get him on his hands and knees, and then have him reach/push up) or the back (like being snatched by the scruff of the neck, and being deposited into a chair.) This $10 device has saved our bacon three times now - if you have an LO at home, even part-time/visiting, you need a gait belt. With a gait belt, even the smallest woman can safely exert surprising leverage onto someone who has fallen.

Eric

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Cal is not the real name of a real 84 year old with DLB. I don't speak for LBDA, nor do I have clever initials behind my name, so information is provided without warranty. Caveat everybody. I blog at http://PragmaticCaregiver.blogspot.com


Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:36 pm
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