It never stops to prove out the frailty of a few elders! Start listening to your parents, co-workers, neighbors, or friends whenever that they relate a story regarding an elder that’s hospitalized. Last month, my 84yr old, Aunt Louise (in her5th year of dementia) became very sick.
Her daughter, a nurse, took her to run errands that afternoon and to lunch and all looked normal. By 5pm, Aunt Louise had a 104 fiebre and was hardly arousable. My cousin couldn’t even get her to stand for to the car. She needed to call 911 for emergency transportation to the hospital. Well, Aunt Louise was admitted to the hospital with a Urinary Tract Infección–Now imagine this –countless girls get similar infections and do not end up in the ER.
So, what happened to Aunt Louise? When we age and become brittle our sistema inmunológico doesn’t respond to infections as when we were younger and more powerful — The Frail older may become very sick, very quickly as Aunt Louise did. Aunt Louise became very confused from the disease and antibiotics, enough that we couldn’t leave her alone.
Left to herself she’d have attempted to get up from bed to go to the bathroom or get something to eat, etc., as she’s done for 84 years. She wasn’t able to understand what was happening or where she was. So to avoid a collapse, a fracture, sedation or restraints we opted to stay with her round the clock.
¿Y ahora qué?
On day two, Aunt Louise was marginally better, however so weak she couldn’t even stand. We knew if we didn’t get her up and moving that they’d be releasing her and she wouldn’t have the ability to take care of herself. This is what happens daily in hospitals. If you don’t play a very active part in the care of the frail elderly– upon release they are sent into Nursing Homes for rehab. So, we got Aunt Louise ourselves up.
We worked her thighs, really lifting them up, doing knee bends for her, making her move her toes. We did this for twenty minutes every 2 hours during the day. By evening, she had been able to stand with assistance. We stood her for a few seconds, finally getting to a couple of minutes. On day three we asked the nurse to get a walker and we walked and walked. On day four, Aunt Louise was discharged home. Had the hogar not taken an active part, Aunt Louise could have been sent to a nursing facility for many months -just because she wasn’t exercised.