Advanced Age

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Let me start by saying I never wish to live into my 90's. Never. Maybe not even the 80's, but since I know many elderly who still have a pretty high quality of life in their 80's....I'll set the bar at 90. (like I'm gonna make it anywhere near that lol)

    mother in law at 94 is deteriorating at an alarming rate, most especially from the family's point of view. Those of us with experience in's not surprising, however it is hitting other family members, most especially the sons really hard.

    Having spent alot of my childhood hanging out in nursing homes and being raised by my grandmother......the issues of the elderly do not phase me. Add in that I worked in nursing homes as a young adult which gave me the medical view of the same issues. I can walk into a nursing home and greet each patient as if I've known them my entire life. It bothers husband because actually this is what I automatically do to any paitent I encounter to and from mother in law's room. It makes husband uncomfortable enough just to visit his mother, let alone have me standing in the hall making chit chat with residents we don't even know. But that's the way I am, and have always been.

    So, I find myself forgetting how difficult this is on husband. For me it's a normal progression of life. For him......well, let's just say he hasn't been fun to live with lately.

    mother in law has been moved to her 3rd room in 24 hrs in the nursing home. She is a very high fall risk. This last move is to a room directly across from the nurses' station. New laws prevent the nursing home from restraining her to prevent her getting out of bed or the wheelchair in her cofused state. I've decided our country and it's laws are taking a nose dive off the deep end. I can't possibly count the number of nursing homes I've spent huge amounts of time in over the course of my life. They ranged from bad to supreme in patient care. And not once, not a single time did I ever see a patient restrained when it was NOT necessary for the patient's safety.:mad: Granted to outsiders some of the restraint devices appear to be harsh. But they were designed for patient comfort, so the patient couldn't remove them, and to protect the patient. They were not designed to make a fashion statement.

    The first thing I noticed was there were no guard rails on mother in law's bed when she arrived at the nursing home via ambulance. Medic was as disgusted with that as I was. Evidently it's perfectly fine for a confused patient to fall, but having bed rails to prevent them getting out of the bed is considered entrapment. Nursing home had to get special orders from dr ego to move mother in law to a room where the bed had gaurd rails. They have what reminds me of a tumbling pad on the floor next to her bed in case she should get up and fall to help keep injury to a minimum. They had to call me this morning for special permission to move her to yet another room directly across from the nurses station because she won't stop trying to get out of bed or the wheelchair. This is so they can keep a close eye on her.........because retaining her to either bed or wheelchair is considered entrapment. They can't even give her a seat belt for the wheelchair until she falls.

    I'm sorry. But these laws.........are wrong in so many different ways. I am having trouble believing that someone managed to get them passed.

    It doesn't matter that I've given the nursing home permission to restrain mother in law as needed because I understand the need to do so is there.

    This is ridiculous. Hospitals can have guard rails on their beds and it is not considered entrapment. It's standard safety. easy child told me they are allowed to restrain with their own judgement up to 24 hours without a doctor order, after that they need a written order. Yet that is not entrapment.

    I think the world has gone crazy.:faint::mad:

    mother in law is still not eating/drinking. I did managed to get her to eat a bite of cookie yesterday. I'll try again today when we go to sign paperwork. I had to cut our visit short yesterday because mother in law would not stop trying to go from bed to wheelchair.....and she wasn't waiting for anyone to help her. husband and I parked the wheelchair across the room in hopes she wouldn't attempt to walk that far to get to it. But evidently, they were still having issues after we left.

    Watching his mother in this condition is killing husband. Having to face and accept the fact that she is willing herself to die....... He's never had to deal with anything like this before. He gets mad at me because I behave as if it is nothing out of the ordinary, and while it makes me sad, I also have seen it before and can accept it. I'm sure I seem like a cold fish to him right now. Nothing I can do to change it.

    Sister in law is bumping up her visit to arrive on saturday. We'll be emptying the house as well as her apartment at assisted living. mother in law won't be leaving the nursing home. In truth, she's stated to me repeatedly that she doesn't want to leave. Sister in law has informed her husband and son that they are to be available to fly up here on a moments notice should mother in law's condition warrent it. She is not going to have her husband feeling miserable for the rest of his life because he didn't try to see his mother before she passed.

    So now........I've got to kill myself cleaning again. Not just because sister in law and neice are coming, but because I've got to have room for mother in law's furniture ect that is coming here. And thanks to the past week, my house is trashed again. Nichole can't help because she's working 10 hr days. Just my luck of course.

    Nope. I don't want to live to be 90. I don't want to hang around once my quality of life deteriorates to basically nothing. Any family heirlooms will be passed on to who they're going to long before I reach that point, so nothing will really have to be sorted thru after I'm gone. Just chuck what they don't want in the trash.

    Two weeks, and the worst of it, emptying the house, should be over. I'm counting the days. It's not going to be easy by a long shot. And sister in law is also hoping to give me a break from mother in law during that time. I think she forgets just how much stuff mother in law has. lol But I'll gladly take the break.

    I may have to drag husband back to the doctor to get back on the trazadone soon. The man is driving me nuts. While he's being good about helping me with his Mom..........he's being vicious with everyone else.:faint:
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. I can understand where your husband is coming from too. It's HIS mother and there's just so much emotion involved that he can't see the logic. My husband is the same way. His mother is in not so great physical health (can't clean properly and her apartment is not in the best of shape) and her mental health is questionable on good days even with her medications. I think she needs to be in an assisted living facility and even though husband agrees....the emotional part of it for him keeps getting in the way. In our situation, it wouldn't be a problem for me or one of my sister in law's to go clean for mother in law but none of us will do it while she's there. She would either get in the way or just be ugly depending on which one of us was there. On the flip side though, we can't do it when she's gone because she's NEVER gone. The only time she leaves her apartment is to go to the doctor and that only happens every couple of months. Plus the appointments never last long enough for us to do any good.

    You really aren't THAT far away and I would offer to come help you but it's such a personal and emotional time that I know it would just put more pressure on you.

    Here's hoping things go as smoothly as possible during the next couple of weeks, husband eases up (or gets to the doctor) and you get through with the minium of stress. Hugs.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lisa, I know what you mean.

    Now I am surprised that they dont put the seat belt on her in the wheelchair because that was standard OP for me in the rehab because I was a fall risk from the get go. Does her bed have that alarm on it so if she even moves wrong it goes off? Mine did. Boy did that get I didnt believe I was a fall risk and tried my best to get out of bed too and fell several times.

    At the rehab they would put up 3 parts of the bed rails but couldnt legally put up the 4th because they said it was confinement. I waited till they were gone and figured out how to put it up myself or when I was to out of it, had Tony put it up. I didnt feel safe without all rails up. With ME or my family putting them up it was fine. We were doing the confinement not the hospital or center.

    I stayed on fall risk for most of my time in rehab so I got to know many ways to get around Eventually once I could stand they removed the bed alarm.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet she does have the bed and wheelchair alarms. They are LOUD and annoying. I know we tripped them many times during her last stay. And now we know how to shut them off. lol

    mother in law was a bit more alert today. Not sure this is a good or bad thing. She still doesn't "get" that she just can't get up and down on her own. Although she was able to hold a small conversation. That doesn't mean she'll remember it tomorrow though. She's still not eating or drinking except sips.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Will they put in an IV to hydrate her? Just wondering if that might make her more rational.

    I think no seatbelt in the wheelchair or restraints in the bed are ridiculous. It is harsh, but if they let her fall once, will they then be allowed to use restraints? I would be tempted to have them let her fall the one time, if it meant that then they could keep her safe.

    It is hard on those who have never spent time with the elderly. I was blessed with grandparents who had me visit with-o my parents - every year! Even at 16 and 19 I was still excited to go visit them. I had my own apartment in hte assisted living place! And Gma's friends were a riot! I still crack up about being sent into the hall so they could read the xrated fortune cookies!!

    I also was there when my other Gma was very ill, including a visit the last time she went into the hospital. She died less than 48 hours later. Same for my great Gma. She was taken to a nursing home at age 96 when she could no longer function in her own home alone. It was more of an assisted living place, but it horrified her. She still remembered when single teachers lived with a family or an elderly person and cared for them. That is what she wanted. She told us good-bye because she was ready to die. All but 2 of her kids died before her. She die less than 2 days after she went into the home.

    Your husband NEEDS to be back on the medications. This is causing his brain not to process properly. Depression is nothing but a chemical problem in the brain. The trazodone will fix that. It also may help him sleep. If he won't go to the doctor then you should call the doctor and explain the situation. Maybe he can give a month or two of medications and then see husband somewhere in that time frame.

    Do what you need to in order to get by. This is a tough time, but it is also a normal part of the life cycle. sister in law is right to insist her husband and son fly in at a moment's notice. And the airlines have special rates if you are flying for a medical emergency. They sometimes give you the discounted rates even if you don't book in advance, or else they cut the rate to close to that.

    I am glad you are getting help to clean out mother in law's home. At least you don't have that burden alone. You need to insist easy child and Nichole help out some. Even if they are working. You have done some of this stuff when working, we all do. You still must squeeze in a couple of hours. It won't help the kids if you shield them from this. In the long run it will make it harder to handle when you are elderly.

    I am hoping this draws to a close soon. NOT that I wish mother in law dead, but I wish her suffering to end soon.

    The laws do seem strange for nursing homes. I know a friend of mine fought for 2 years after her Gma died to have some things changed here. She had a lawsuit against the nursing home because her gma was sent to the hospital for a "fall" and there were footprints in bruises all over her - head, front, back, even legs had some. They found out that the night staff hadn't had background checks and some had violent felonies on record!!!! Even serious jail time on record!!! SHE found this out with a simple check of the county records - and it didn't cost her a penny to find out.

    So the nursing homes here now have to check backgrounds, and they ended up paying a lot in a wrongful death suit because her Gma died from the beating.

    But also she fought for restraints because her Gma did fall a lot. They used bed rails, but there was a 5 inch gap between the mattress and the rails and she would get stuck in it, sometimes for hours. The staff argued that if they used restraints then they had to go in too often to give her drinks and take her to the bathroom!! Or to help her eat. But they had to help with those things anyway because she couldn't do them!

    Here, when our neighbor (adopted Gpa) was in the nursing home the staff rarely even knew if visitors came. He didn't remember either. He was put on a mattress on the floor because he screamed non-stop in restraints.. And he couldn't even stand alone. It was NOT what his wife wanted, she was furious, but eventually she saw that it was for his safety. He had the mind of a 2yo, if that. Very very sad because he was BRILLIANT, but old age is not kind.

    I hope they can make mother in law comfortable until she dies. And that you can get husband some much needed medications.