1. Need caregiving tips for uncooperative mom

My 87 yr old mother snapped her femur in half two weeks ago and just got out of hosp/phys rehab today.

She wasn’t home 30 minutes when she tried to remove her leg wrap. My brother couldn’t get her to stop. She smacked him a couple times with open hands and told him and his girlfriend, who tried to help, to “Get out of here. Leave me alone.” Mom isn’t ‘officially’ senile, but has trouble understanding things at times and she is very forgetful. (No weight on the broken leg!!)

She tends to listen to me and when I told her if she didn’t keep the wrap on the doctor would put her back in the hospital. That did the trick…this time.

I’m hoping a calm, firm voice ‘endlessly’ repeating “the doctor will put you back in the hospital” will get her to comply. I have my doubts.

What can I do to get her to comply with the wrap and keep the leg immobile?

Needless to say, I’ll be very grateful for any and all advice.

Thanks.

signed: Sleepless in San Francisco

My 87 yr old mother snapped her femur in half two weeks ago and just got out of hosp/phys rehab today.

She wasn’t home 30 minutes when she tried to remove her leg wrap. My brother couldn’t get her to stop. She smacked him a couple times with open hands and told him and his girlfriend, who tried to help, to “Get out of here. Leave me alone.” Mom isn’t ‘officially’ senile, but has trouble understanding things at times and she is very forgetful. (No weight on the broken leg!!)

We’re getting a baby monitor, but I’m thinking what I need is covert surveillance.

My first glance at spy cams hasn’t uncovered what I hoped to find: a small cam that will send wireless signals to my computer (or TV?) in another room. (I did find cams that will send images via the net.)

What do I need to know about a spy cam that will do the job without costing an arm, a leg and a little finger.

Needless to say, I’ll be very grateful for any and all advice.

Thank you.

signed: Sleepless in San Francisco

Contact her doctor.

[ul]
[li]You may receive better responses if you ask a mod to combine both threads.[/li][li]Does she live in your home or do you live in hers?[/li][li]Does she still have her mental faculties?[/li][/ul]
You may want to research California law with respect to setting up a spy camera. As much as you want to help and avoid an escalation of problems, she is entitled to privacy. According to this site, what you wish is an apparent violation of California law.

D-Link makes a WiFi-enabled webcam that’ll do the job, but hiding it may be tricky. I think it’s $100. Cheaper ones used to be on the market and may still be. I know Creative Labs made one for $60~.

Yes, her doctor can help. My mother went through hell with my father, who had Alzheimer’s, but her doctor and nurse practitioner gave her some useful tips on dealing with him. Not all of their advice worked (my father was a VERY stubborn man), but a lot of it did.

There are also organizations now that help caregivers with this sort of thing.

IANAD, but if your mother broke her leg a mere two weeks ago and has difficulty with understanding/remembering things, shouldn’t she have a cast/splint/whatever that will give her some more protection from herself? Something she can’t remove by herself and that will make it more difficult to put weight on that leg?

Definitely concur about asking the doctor for help here.

The best solution I can see is to tell her physician, who can go over her options with her. Her physician has multiple avenues open at this point, now that she’s openly non-compliant, one of which is firing her as a patient. If she is fired, she will no longer be in that physician’s care and will need to find a new source of treatment.

Or you can place her in a home. You may need to get her declared incompetent to do this without her consent, but if she’s a threat to her own well-being due to senility that should be possible.

Given your description of your mother, it doesn’t sound like she’ll notice a regular baby monitor or understand what it does. A hidden spycam may be unnecessary. Good luck, anyway.

ETA: I agree with the “talk to her doctor” crowd.

I volunteer at a retirement center with a lot of older people. A lot are in their 80s heading for 90 and there’s nothing even wrong with them.

Did you ever try to tell an old person what to do? Good luck :smiley:

My favourite is one lady who was told by her doctor to stop knitting 'cause it aggrevated her arthritis.

“What does he know?”
“Well he knows when you knit your hand swells up.”
“But it’s the only fun, I have”
“You could do other things to have fun”
“What do you know.”

[back to knitting]

If your mum has issues for real, what you need to do is make the recovery process HER idea and fun for her. If you make it so she WANTS to help out, she’ll co-operate a lot more than if she see the injury as somewhat unjust to her.

And NEVER condescend to her. Elderly people hate that and will go out of their way to prove you wrong

I’ve merged both of the threads started by the OP as they really will do better together. Also, the thread is looking for informed opinions, and therefore is moved from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem Moderator, General Questions

Your mom may need to see her doctor about some meds. There is one medication that helps the elderly with memory and staying on task. I take care of one woman that when she forgets to take it becomes confused and a little combative. It is the confusion that scares her.

Having said this I have a Mom who is not senile, 70’s and ruined 2 bladder repairs because she refuses to sit down and follow doctors orders. What makes it even more funny is she was a registered nurse for 42 years! On her last surgery I had her come and stay with me so she would not over do or lift anything. It was a success. It was hard on me but I love my Mother.

Doctors and Nurses are the worst patients. But that is just my opinion.

I would start with her doctor and seeing if she can try some Alzheimer’s meds.

Good luck!

I’d go further than those who suggest you call her doctor, and suggest that you call your local social service agency. They are equipped to make recommendations about care and make referrals.

As hoped your responses have been terrific and each has sparked a line for further thought and research. We have an appointment with the doctor in a few days which will allow me to see how she’s adjusting. (The first few days in the hospital were the worst, but she finally calmed down, even if the frown never left her lips.)

anson2995’s suggestion of a social worker reminded me that Kaiser sent a social worker around last week. I’ll call her and see what is available. (I have been a critic of Kaiser in the past, and for rather good reasons, but I must say the nurses and aids at Kaiser in Hayward couldn’t have done more, been more patient or supportive. The troops in the trenches were stellar.)

Sparked by your suggestions, I found scores of websites concerning caregiving, many with bulletin boards. These looked the most promising.

http://www.caregiving.com/

http://www.caregiving.org/

http://www.familycaregiving101.org
The baby monitor probably won’t catch the sound of velcro being removed–she’s pretty sly when she wants to be, so a cam I can monitor from my home office while she’s in the other room seems best.

Thanks Palooka for the cam lead. DLink looks good and is in the $200 desired price range. I like Panasonic for anything electronic and found one I like sold at Target. I’m near Frys electronics, and I’ll browse their offerings later today.

DCS-1130 Wireless N Network Camera $165, but "availability is “on order.” Must be new, not reviewed on CNET, NewEgg, Nextag, etc.

PanasonicQ-See Outdoor Wireless Camera Kit 2 pk. - $149

Given where the monitor will have to be hidden, getting power to the unit may be problematic…but one step at a time.

I am grateful for each response. Thank you very much.

Is it wrong that my first response was “put a cone around her neck?” :smiley: