- Friday night, Dad fell.
- Saturday morning, he refused to either get out of bed (too much pain) or go to the hospital (“never mind, I’m fine”). When Sis visited, he said he just wanted to sleep, so she said OK, fine to sleep in on a Saturday, but if he’s not better by Sunday, he should be seen.
- Sunday morning he agreed to go to the hospital. Seemed like probably broken ribs, but x-rays showed nothing broken; however, he does have a “nasty UTI.”
He’s on IV antibiotics now. They’re planning to keep him for a couple of days. Of course I’m greatly relieved the problem is not what I feared (broken hip); that in fact it’s easily fixable (the UTI anyway; the soreness will just take time).
But I have questions for his AL facility, going forward:
- What can they do to prevent future UTI’s? Their default is to shower residents 3x/week; shortly after Dad arrived I insisted on daily showers, but they might’ve fallen back to a 3x/week schedule since then. He goes through enough Depends that I think they’re changing him often enough. Or are the elderly so susceptible to UTI’s that it will just happen sometimes regardless?
- What can they do to detect UTI’s in the early stages? I’m a little disturbed that it takes a visit to the ER for something else to discover a UTI. Given that UTI’s are common in the elderly, I think the AL place should just be checking routinely.
I also, of course, have questions about fall prevention. Dad’s problem is that when nature calls, he jumps up to answer, totally forgetting that he can’t stand or walk, and then down he goes. (He’s OK peeing in the Depends, doesn’t even feel it, but he does sometimes feel an impending poop.) He has never used the call button, and never will. This has been an issue all along, and it seems that the bottom line is that the only foolproof solution is restraints, which would be worse than the risk of falls.
On Saturday I emailed the administrator to ask about a bed with rails, and he’s going to look into that today, but Sis pointed out that Dad might try to climb over the railing and make things worse, so I’m not sure if a bed with pull-up rails would be a good idea after all. Meanwhile, I hope Dad’s not getting out of bed at the hospital; possibly the silver lining of his feeling sore is he doesn’t move much.
It’s frustrating. Falls & UTI’s are common enough that there should be some solutions by now. Dad’s certainly not the first or only one with these issues.