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Elderly parents

86 year old tired all day and other health worries- is this normal?

5 replies

Anothernightofnosleep · 16/04/2023 20:16

Ill try to cut down this story a bit to save you reading a huge post!

my 86 year old grandmother lived in a sheltered flat hundreds of miles away from me. At christmas she was fine, maybe a but slow walking around but nothing unexpected.
we were due to visit for a week in May but 3 weeks ago she called to say she was under the weather but something seemed really off so we travelled down that afternoon. Its about a 5 hour drive so we got there by evening.

when we got there it was shocking. She was lying in bed unable to move covered in vomit the flat was disgusting she was obviously unwell and dehydrated she was vommiting everything she was drinking We have NO idea what happened between christmas and now. She says she doesn’t remember her memory has gone terrible.

Of course we took her to the local a and e but they were useless she say in a wheelchair for 20 hours then got sent home.

we had no choice at that point but to put her in the car and bring her back to our house.

When we got here we took her to our local a and e who immediately admitted her for a chest infection/dehydration etc.

she was in hospital a week and then discharged to our house.

whe she was discharged she seemed s little better she managed to stay awake most if that day! But its been about 4 days now and shes back to struggling to keep her eyes open, shes just wanting to stay in bed a nap all day. She is not able to move around alone because of back pain but she has had every test under the sun and the hospital really couldnt actually find much wrong!

she had an assesment from social services and she was able to walk short distances with a walker so they were happy really.

is this normal for an elderly person? I have no idea my dad (her son) lives abroad so im trying to look after her but im really not sure what im doing!

i have ordered an adjustable bed with a raising head etc to see if that would help the general pain but thats got a few weeks delivery and i have no idea if that will help.

Any advice would be appreciated - i also have 6 children so im just trying to make everyone happy and comfy.

OP posts:
helpfulperson · 16/04/2023 20:32

You need to be pushing this onto social services. I'm not sure what happens now she isn't in her location of residence but they should still help with an assessment. Contact your adult social care dept tomorrow.

In theory although I'm not saying you would do this you could take her home and her local adult social care you had left a vulnerable adult alone in her house, and they would need to take action.

WashAsDelicates · 16/04/2023 21:26

A chest infection could be pneumonia, which can take a long time to recover from even after the infection is cured.

IME with my elderly relative:

Exhaustion, absent-mindedness, emotional frailty are normal in the early weeks of recovery.

They breath better when NOT lying prone. Raise their torso. If you don't have an adjustable bed, then a stack of four or five pillows helps. Do not let them sleep lying flat on their back.

They must alternate between moving around, sitting up and resting in bed. Moving their arms as well as their legs.

Do you have an oxygen monitor? The sort that clips onto a finger. Oxygen needs to be 95% or higher.

Hydration is very important. They may forget to drink. Constantly offer them sips/encourage them to drink from a cup that you refill from a bottle so that you can keep track of their drinking.

I am not an HCP. Your dgm needs an HCP to check her over and monitor her.

Mercury2702 · 16/04/2023 23:01

I’m an elderly nurse and sadly some never recover fully back to baseline as infections can increase their frailty and can cause such an impact on their body. If she’s not able to move herself and is in bed a lot, she will need changing position every few hours to prevent pressures sores. Does she have any sores? Might be worth seeing if you can get any occupational therapy input to help with equipment

SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 17/04/2023 06:51

Like a PP said, some do never get back to how they were unfortunately.

Is the plan to keep her with you or to move her back and try to arrange Carers for her?

I think you'll need to arrange a Social Care Needs Assessment for her on whichever area she's going to be living, which sounds like yours.

Has your DGM given you POA for health & finance? Things are going to be easier to arrange if she has.

Other practical things are registering her at your local GP service and letting them know that your her Carer, getting in touch with your local Carer's Network so that they can tell you what's available locally and help to support you.

If you work, check out the Carer's leave policy and if there's a Carer's Network, I'd join that.

If you work, see if there's a Carer's Network.

anyolddinosaur · 17/04/2023 07:37

That is a terrible failure of her "sheltered" flat, although perhaps she was ashamed of her state and didnt seek their help. I'm afraid deterioration can sometimes be quite sudden and rapid at that age. Personally I think bed wedges are better than adjustable beds and you can get one faster. They are definitely better than pillows. You can get a full length wedge

She's been ill, sleeping a lot is not unusual. She needs to keep hydrated and although you'll need to check against any medication she is on a liquid multivitamin could be helpful. As she was vomiting a lot she's almost certainly deficient in some vitamins or minerals. If she likes yoghurt live yoghurt will help her gut bacteria. Any exercise she can manage is worth doing, even if it just a few stretches.

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