Monday, January 24, 2011

And then she fell

Mom fell on January 10th. I found out when her apartment manager called me at 6:38am to let me know about it. She had called him thinking he was right down the hall. By the time I arrived at 7am I found her propped against the wall next to her apartment door. She had dragged herself across the apartment to remove the security bar she puts on her door every night.

I knew that I could not life her by myself, so I came up with a strategy to get her to move to the bathroom toilet just a few feet away. Once there, I had her grab onto the bathtub handle I had installed. While she was doing that I lifted her to the toilet seat. She sat there for awhile and rested while I figured out what to do next. I finally got her back to her comfortable chair in the living room. I made her some breakfast and got some fresh coffee brewing.

I knew I had to get to work so I called and left a message for my brother to stop by if he had time. I sat at work agonizing over the fragile state Mom was in when I left. I finally made arrangements to take my computer and work from her apartment. While driving there my brother called and said she as fine, that he had prepared some lunch for her and there was no need for me to return. I asked him if she was dressed...meaning out of her nightgown and he said she was dressed. Knowing how little interest my brother has in Mom I thought it best to go spend some time with her.

When I arrived, she was using her walker to move slowly around the apartment. She was still wearing the nightgown I found her in that morning only now it was stained with her lunch. I got her to change nightgowns and had her put her robe on top of it. Next I did her laundry and did the dishes. Sensing that she was pretty scared by her morning I just sat with her and let her tell me exactly what happened in more detail. I finally fixed her dinner and turned down her bed before I left for the day.

She continued to complain of aches and pains over the next week, but that has slowly subsided. Luckily, it doesn't appear that she has broken any bones. Even if she had, she refused to go to the hospital or any doctor for a checkup.

This experience shook her up in a more profound way than any of her other falls. She is getting frailer all the time. I just hope I can be of help when the next incident happens.