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Broken hip, hospital delirium, rehab and exhaustion
Momma S
Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 10:30 PM
Joined: 4/26/2018
Posts: 43

Dad broke his hip on 2/16--fell in memory care unit.  Surgery on 2/18 (had to wait because he takes Eliquis/blood thinner for AFIB).  He's stage 5/6.  He could not be left unattended in the hospital--tried to pull out IV, catheter, get up to go to bathroom.  He moved to rehab facility for therapies (PT, OT, Speech).  Within 24 hours in rehab center, he had fallen 2 times. Long story, short version...we (family--myself, DH and one of our daughters--the other one is in college and cannot help) have been with him 24/7 ever since.  I was able to find someone on to help three days a week.  Can't find evening or overnight help.  I'm the heavy (16 hours a day), but we're all exhausted.  I have only slept in my own bed one night since Dad's fall.

I put a SafeWander (worth every penny) button on him at night, so I can get a bit more sleep (as best as one can in a recliner).  Skilled care facilities in my area will not use bed alarms as they are considered to be restraints.

I'm sure that he's going to need nearly every day of therapy that medicare will provide. I'm not sure that the rest of us (I'm an only child so I don't have family personnel resources) can survive until he's strong enough to return to MC.  If I leave him at night and he falls again, I'm not sure he'd make it.  He's never going to remember that he's broken and that he should use a walker. 

Anyone had a similar experience that can shed some light and share words of wisdom?


Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 5:09 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 1453

I am so sorry your dear dad and family are going through this.

We had a similar situation with one of my aunts who had vascular dementia and had a fall while in AL. At the time of her fall, I would guess she was about stage 5. She broke a hip and wrist. She developed psychosis while in the hospital and required family or a sitter at all times to keep her in bed and to get her to leave her bandages and IVs alone. Family had hoped to return her to AL after she healed, but it quickly became clear the Plan B of a SNF was going to be necessary because she never returned to her stage 5 baseline. She could not remember she couldn't walk or why her arm had a soft cast on it. She did have a bed alarm, but by the time staff got to her room it was too late and she was on the floor. Even with family camping out most of the day and an extra aide most nights, she had repeated falls and passed about 8 weeks after her initial injury.
caregiving daughter
Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 3:02 PM
Joined: 11/27/2012
Posts: 2024

I had to use day and overnight companions at times; however, not due to surgery--more high anxiety and disruptive behavior. Mom broke her hip in mc. She was about the same level as you describe. I was told prior to the surgery that she may never walk again. Disturbing to hear but turned out to be true. She simply was not able to remember how to walk, follow directions provided by pt, and lost likely a lot of muscle tone. Definitely still do the pt. Bodies need to move and there is a bit of social in there too. We were fortunate that mom was able to move right back to mc following a three day stay at the hospital for the hip surgery. Her mc was in a continuing care community and the nursing ratio in her advanced dementia unit allowed her to move back to the same room. Community also has rehab so it was a smooth transition to get her needed clinical care and pt. You might ask if a broda chair could be identified or rented. This is a wheelchair that allows for a slight shift backward. The backward slope makes it super difficult for the user to use their body or gravity to get out of the chair. At night time, my mom's bed was lowered to about 18 inches off the floor and it was routine for padded mats to be placed on each side. I believe their may have also been rails that could be pulled up. It was huge that we returned back to the same caregivers and lead nurses. They knew my mom including what calmed her down and what got her worked up. Perhaps as you move out of the delirium you will encounter more calm and less of a desire to move around at night.
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