The Fall

Bo fell today. Jon was with him so he was able to break his fall and he wasn’t hurt, but the fall is a sign of his condition this week. He has had another serious decline.  It may be an infection.  Maybe not.

The hospice nurse thinks he may have a urinary tract infection, a true enemy of the elderly, so we began antibiotics yesterday and Bo has shown some signs of improvement, but it will take a while to return even close to where he was a week ago. And as we all know, when an Alzheimer’s patient declines,  the recovery is never fully back to where it began.

Jon was away this week, so on Tuesday afternoon it was Caregiver Michele who awoke him.  Bo had no idea how to move his legs to walk or come down the steps. He became less communicative, his head drooped onto his chest, and he slept almost all the time, even when eating.  We had to feed him, to brush his teeth and shave him. We even used the wheel chair the two days that we did manage to get him downstairs. Emma stayed by his side.

IMG_1692

Now Jon’s back and today he has been able to walk Bo  around without the wheelchair but supporting him fully.  I couldn’t do it.

Food is  becoming more of an issue. Hospice explains that he will begin to “pocket” his food in his cheeks. He plays with his food, smashing it, moving it around, arranging the beans in different places, the fish on the side.  Often now we have to feed him, but sometimes he will refuse to open his mouth or just open it a little.  Then when we least expect it, he will pick up the spoon and eat his fruit by himself.

We’re sure he is having loss of depth perception or perhaps perception. For instance, I was trying to walk him to the powder room and when he stepped from the carpet onto the hardwood floor, he raised his leg high and took a step as if he needed to step down  (or was it up?) One thing in all of this that helps me is that he is now sleeping through the night.  I’m there beside him but I can go to sleep.

All of these changes make him more and more dependent on us, and  I know that if Jon weren’t here with us,  I couldn’t do this.  I would have had to find a residence for Bo, and my heart would be broken.

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8 Responses to The Fall

  1. Dear friends- wish I could be there and help you.
    Sending you much love and energy.
    hugs across the World
    /anna

  2. dianne says:

    After the fall……wow Nancy, there are so many stages to this horrible disease……I am so sorry for you, Jon and of course for dear, dear beloved Bo……God bless Emma, aka Shadow, the way she watches over him……Love and hugs from the left coast….dianne

  3. Scarlett79 says:

    I ❤ you. Your are truly a special individual to take such good care of the ones you love. Hang in there. I talk with my angel's all the time, and they say there are a lot of unemployed angels so I'm going to send a couple to you to make your load lighter. Have a good Monday… 🙂

  4. frangipani says:

    I’m so glad you have Jon and the others too. We need lots of help, so don’t be afraid to get more. Sending you, and Bo, hugs. I think he is aware that he is home and he is loved, whatever his abilities may be.

  5. Thom Sweeney says:

    You’re right about what a urinary tract infection can do. Helen had one last week, and at the same time she was dehydrated AND she had the Shingles! My daughter in law (MY Jon) diagnosed them before the hospital did! Talk about a triple whammy. But she’s making a SLOW come back.
    PS Nancy, I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have your blog running parallel universes with me! The picture of Emma brought a tear to my eye.

  6. Mary Smith says:

    I’m sorry to learn about the downturn in Bo’s condition. What you are writing about now is almost exactly how things were with dad a year ago. When his mobility problems increased and neither I nor my sister could support him, even from bed to wheelchair we were able to get a thing we call a ‘stand-aid’. It may have a different name in America. It’s electronic and supports the weight of the person so tranfers are done without anyone risking straining their back. Dad actually quite enjoyed it. We’d tell him to get hold of his handle bars as it was a motorbike!
    Infections hit him with increasing frequency – UTIs, gout, shingles, pneumonia – and each time he fought back even if he never quite got back to where he was before.
    Take as much help as you can to help you keep Bo at home for both your sakes. Sending loving thoughts.

  7. Paula Kaye says:

    You are very lucky to have Jon. I couldn’t have kept Richard at home with my grandchildren. God Blessed me with them when I needed them most!

  8. My thoughts are with you. Your words bring back so many memories of how daily life with my Mom was….she forgot how to swallow and she too would take the “big” step….medications were difficult to give except crushed and stirred into her beloved ice cream…..that you are there for him and support him with so much love and caring is such a blessing for you all. Always remember the very most important thing is that he knows, even when he can’t respond, he knows how much he is loved…..my heart goes out to you…..

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