Sunday, January 31, 2021

Status Report: Mom

We just passed the 4 week mark since Mom's hard fall. She continues to heal well. Her ribs are almost back to normal and her left arm is much better. Traci & I are taking turns staying by her side 24/7. We are shadowing her like Secret Service Agents. Over the last 30 days we've counted 15 falls that we caught her from hitting the ground. So that's about 1 every 2 days which feels somewhat rare when you're next to someone 16 hours during the daytime and in the next room for another 8 hours at nighttime. We have bells on her bed rails so that we wake up when she tries to get up at night to go to the bathroom. Every few days she sleeps through the night, but most nights she has to go to the bathroom at midnight, 3am, & 6am. Dad is always up with her too when she gets up for her bathroom runs. So we all meet in the bathroom to have a party in the potty LOL! Although Dad has his own ailments and isn't able to hold her up or react fast enough when she stumbles he is always chipper in the morning to help elevate the moral and then spends the morning making hot tea for Mom as well as breakfast, lunch, & dinner the rest of the day for all of us. Staying by her side 24/7 has been our short term fall prevention plan. It's very hard on our personal schedules and responsibilities. Traci & I basically sprint from our parent's house back to our own house and try to get our own work done before we turn around and come back to the folks. We are experimenting with the time frames. Right now we are switching out with each other every 48 hours. Next week we are trying every 24 hours. We are trying to figure out a sustainable long term plan. With Mom's Alzheimer's it makes it impossible to change or modify behavior (such as getting her to use a walker, etc) because she immediately forgets anything that she needs to adjust in order to prevent a fall. She pretty much lives according to the habits she has developed over a lifetime. It's a very interesting and fascinating aspect to this part of our journey. Her short term memory is down to about 30 seconds and you don't realize how crucial short term memory is to functionality until it's gone. So sitting down and having a discussion about making slight changes or adjustments is immediately forgotten within 1 minute. She doesn't remember that she fell 4 weeks ago so she doesn't understand why we are giving her so much attention. But she does laugh a lot and make light of all the special attention she is receiving. It's a total team effort and we are doing the best we can to try to prevent the ripple effect that often happens when elderly people fall (broken hip then hospitalization then pneumonia then funeral). She turns 90 in 6 weeks! She would kill me for sharing that (or any of this), but we think she looks fantastic and she has stayed so healthy for so many years from all of her walking & vegetarian diet... I just have to brag on her a little bit. She's an awesome Mom! Thanks for lifting her & us up in prayer whenever you think of it. We have so much to celebrate in Jesus!