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Mom and staying in the hospital bed
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2019 11:37 AM
Joined: 7/11/2012
Posts: 93

Good Lord. Yesterday we had Hospice bring in a hospital bed for Mom. We fought it as we liked her to be in her own bed, however; she continued to slide right out of her bed, which is very low to the floor so no falls. Truthfully, she should pretty much be in her bed most of the day as she is totally unable to walk on her own, and we've been lifting and moving her for about 3 weeks now, and we're getting very tired and sore. So, the hospital bed. It's set up perfectly in her room, she can see right out to the kitchen table and see us moving around, her TV is directly across from the bed, and she has 3 big windows on one wall so she can also see outside. But... she wants out of the bed. To go where she knows not, just, up and out. And she keeps trying! Somehow, she slides down to the end and somehow pulls herself up into a sitting position, but is unable to get any further than that, too weak. She calls out for me all the time. She is tired, says it's hard to breathe, her chest hurts, and now our Hospice physician says she is hearing crackles in her lungs, possibly aspiration. I've given her 2 does of morphine so far this morning, for pain and breathing problems, and hoping to help calm her a bit. If anyone has advice, or just share similar stories, please share 

Mimi S.
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2019 11:43 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7035

I don't blame mom for wanting to get out of bed. Ask about a hoyer lift. To move her from one sitting position to another, there is something called 'lift me up' or something like that. It has arms that slide under her arm pits, lift her up, rotate and then lower her into another chair. How about a wheel chair for mobility during her awake hours.
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2019 1:22 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18369

Also have people spend time in "her space". She may feel now that everything is happening without her.
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2019 2:33 PM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 987

My MIL used to sleep with both legs flung over the side of the bed. Dr said something to do with that alleviating the pain of PAD. She had 24/7 help, so wasn’t going to fall out. The hospital bed only came in when she was nearly bedbound, and the older women carers couldn’t lift her. 

She had both morphine and ativan in the hospice box. She didn’t do well on morphine so we avoided it, but at the last couple of days it was necessary. I think I remember that either one could help her relax enough to actually breathe. 

King Boo
Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2019 2:59 PM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 3233

Does she have as needed orders for a calming medication?  We only had 2 times we needed it, but Ativan helped on a few occasions, prior to needing morphine.  Just anecdotal.  Geriatric Psychiatrist was as helpful in the final days for appropriate medication as they were upon admittance.
Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2019 12:22 AM
Joined: 7/10/2017
Posts: 650


My wife is now in late stage 7, cannot talk, eat, walk or stand without help.  She has a hospital bed she sleeps in, but I sleep next to her on the regular bed, and she can reach out during the night to find my hand.

I pick her up out of bed each morning, change her clothes and do bathroom chores, then take her out to "where it's all happening" in the family room using her wheelchair.  From there, she gets fed, watches tv, and can see out both to the back yard and the front. She sits in a leather recliner that also rocks and can swivel 360 degrees.  She uses her feet to turn the chair around all day to see what's happening around her.  We also put her toys around where she can pick them up and play with them if she wants.

I think getting her up every day is more my own thing than her expressed wishes.  If I had the disease, I would be very bored staying in one place, so it's my attempt to make her life (such that it is) as non-boring as possible.  I also try to get her out of the house a couple of times a week to either have lunch with friends and family, or to get her hair or nails done.  This has become much more difficult since she lost the ability to stand.  Now that the weather's getting nice, I'll probably do wheelchair walks around the neighborhood a couple of times a week, too.

I agree that it is very, very tiring.  When she stopped walking, then stopped standing within a few weeks, I was overwhelmed and exhausted picking her up more than a dozen times a day (she weighs about 130).  But as the weeks went by, I got more efficient in lifting her.  I now use a weightlifting belt when I lift her. I found that she will turn clockwise, but not counterclockwise when i try to move her, so I set everything up so she moves in the direction most comfortable for her.  I found that when helping her in the bathroom, I can hold her up while I'm cleaning her and getting her clothes up, by putting my head in her shirt and holding her that way so my hands are free to pull up her clothes.  There are a lot of things one can do to make things easier, but like everything else in caregiving, there's no instruction book.

Just thought I'd give you my experience, so far.  I recognize your problems very well, and hope you can find some ways to deal with them without going crazy.  I think sitting her in a chair that swivels so she can see what's happening would really help a lot. (And yes, we have pads on the chair so it won't get wet.)


Glorias daughter
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 8:55 AM
Joined: 4/15/2019
Posts: 3

Fidget quilts help with getting out of bed. They help keep our loved ones preoccupied and distracted. We also used a fidget quilt for my sister in law when she would get up out of her wheelchair. She would forget she could not walk. You can find fidget quilts on Amazon and Etsy.
Glorias daughter
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 8:59 AM
Joined: 4/15/2019
Posts: 3

Thanks so much for sharing. I’m sure many of us will find your post helpful. Just curious. What types of toys are useful in keeping her entertained?
Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 1:00 AM
Joined: 7/10/2017
Posts: 650

Brenda's favorite toys are:

  • A teddy bear with loadable electronics inside so when you squeeze the bear's hand, it starts a string of 75 George Strait songs (Brenda's favorites). 
  • A Hasbro "Joy For All" dog that barks, whines, turns his head to look your way if you talk, pants, etc.  She calls it the name of our late poodle. Either the dog or the bear can keep her occupied for quite a while. 
  • We also have a set of "Happy Pills," little stuffed six-inch high cylinders that laugh like a baby when you squeeze them.
  • A set of little figurines that are a replacement set for a manger scene.  She loves to hold these little guys.
  • A set of soft rubber figures that she can chew on, but too big to get into her mouth.
  • A set of small soft fuzzy animals that come packed in an ark. She also likes to take these to bed and rub their soft "fur" against her cheeks.
  • A set of sequined pillows that change color when you run your fingers on them.
  • Three small decorated volleyballs given to her by our granddaughter at her high school volleyball games we attended.


(Now, if I could only find a home version of the "Magic Table")

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