Help with falls with a single carer

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi, I'm new here, so please make allowances for me jumping in on this topic. My wife has MS and is literally on the floor right now waiting for an ambulance.

This will be the first time I've called an ambulance to get her off the floor as she has possibly injured her shoulder getting there.

My question really is how often can you expect an ambulance to come and sort out a situation like this?

My wife's record is fourteen unintended visits to the floor in one day, (that was a particularly bad day when she got her meds wrong) yesterday it was only five which is not unusual, these are rarely actual falls, she just slides off chairs or anything else it's possible to slide off of.

I can't continue to lift her off the floor this much, I'm retired now but have done reasonably physical work all of my life (carpenter) and I know when my back has had enough and that is now, it takes longer for those little tell-tale niggles to disappear these days.

I just can't believe that an ambulance is going to come multiple times in one day.
Maybe it's time for an Occupational Therapist to visit and advise, so that there are no unauthorised falling incidents? My mum had a spinal condition, her spine compressed round the nerves to her legs and they would give way without warning. She found that a "riser reclining" chair was very, very comfortable, when she wanted to stand, she just pushed the button and it stood her up very gently. (Whenever I saw this happen it always reminded me of the song "I'm a little teapot..."). It had wings for her head support and good side arms, and the fabric was normal upholstery fabric which wasn't slippery. She loved that chair, when she needed to go to a nursing home it went with her, and she said it was more comfortable than her bed, the day before she died.
Alexander_18021 wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:46 am

I just can't believe that an ambulance is going to come multiple times in one day.
Hello Alexander - in theory they should come out as often as necessary; in reality that may not be the case due to cut backs and an over extended ambulance service. In the past I've always found the paramedics to be very helpful in situations like yours.

If your wife falls and you don't think she has 'damaged' herself in any way perhaps investing in a 'lifting cushion' might be useful (unfortunately they are rather pricey but would save your back). As they are expensive it could be worthwhile checking with your local Occupational Therapy Department to see if this something they would be able to supple on 'free' loan ?

What I would suggest though, is asking your wife's GP for a referral to your local falls clinic for advice and support.
Thanks for the replies, the ambulance eventually arrived about twenty minutes after the estimated time, (two hours) they've taken her to hospital as they suspect she may have broken her hip, I think it's unlikely but it'll be too long winded to explain why.

With over a two hour response time there wouldn't be enough hours in the day to cover one of her bad days, but it may be what I have to do in future just to try and to make some progress in the right direction - it goes against the grain though, I don't want to have to do that.

She has someone coming (from the NHS) one day next week to discuss a riser recliner chair, not sure I can see the point as she can't stand up once the chair has risen, but the recline feature may stop her from falling out, although she finds it painful to lie down. so maybe not.

We are also awaiting a visit from an OT to discuss methods of lifting her if she has fallen, but no appointment has been scheduled yet. It all takes so long even as a "Number 1 priority" She must have been on the floor at least twenty more times since we started that process.

She also has an appointment booked with her GP for next week to try and sort out several things.

I'll look into the Falls clinic, that's not something I've heard of up to now.
Alexander while you wait for the OT I would recommend asking your GP whether there is an emergency/urgent care team locally with the right equipment which would come out on those occasions when all you need is help lifting after a fall (plainly you must dial 999 if you know or even suspect there are other problems).
Thanks Crispy, We may not have to wait for the OT, she's supposed to have seen one this afternoon at the hospital, it may not have happened yet, I don't know. She's still at the hospital and is staying the night. I'm guessing it will still need a home visit though, but it does seem to be moving in the right direction

I'll add *Emergency care team* to the list of questions for the GP, (and I'll apologise now to whoever has the appointment after the wife, it's going to be a long wait).
Telecare provides a certain number of call-outs per month if you sign up to their service - it's only about 8, but that only costs around 2.50 a month. They told me they can do more, but the price/number of visits will have to be agreed with them. It's all a local response team, wherever you are.

However, if you're likely to be present, would a hoist work? And how can you tell whether she's injured? Are you both going by whether she's in pain?
Thanks Hamsterwheel, I'll look into Telecare, although my wife could easily blow 8 call-outs in a couple of days.

I'm not sure myself if a hoist will be the best option and desperately need to discuss that with a knowledgeable person. We have a request for that lodged with HCC and are apparently a "No.1 priority", but no date has yet been set.
What did the hospital OT say? Has she seen one yet?
hamsterwheel wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:11 am
What did the hospital OT say? Has she seen one yet?
No, that never happened.

We still have the "Number 1 priority status" request (that's Hants. CC's own status flag, not ours) with HCC for an assessment, but have heard nothing new in over a week now and no date yet set.