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Help re: long v. uncomfortable hospital stay due to bad back - Carers UK Forum

Help re: long v. uncomfortable hospital stay due to bad back

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi. Can anyone give me some advice? My father is not at all comfortable in the hospital chair. He has lost his limited mobility during this 2 wk stay so can't even get out of the chair to stretch. His back is v. rounded due to old injury and bricklaying job. He is sitting on the plastic chair set with an absorbent pad under him and, not surprisingly, he keeps slipping down the seat. He is so uncomfortable and now uncharacteristically miserable. I can't get the nurses to see the problem or offer a way round it. It's breaking my heart that I can't seem to find anyone to help him or to help him myself.

The hospital is addressing one problem well, heart failure, but ignoring the whole person. He isn't thriving there.

Can anyone offer some help?

I'm having a similar problem with mum, who has very severe curvature of the spine. She has a wonderful recliner with what is called a "waterfall" back. Three horizontal cushions which overlap each other, stuffed with wadding, each cushion has a zip at the end, so we took out virtually all the stuffing in the middle cushion, so the top and bottom of her spine are well supported. It's a "rise and recline" chair too. She has now been in hospital almost 3 months, and will now be a wheelchair user for the rest of her life. Yesterday I went in to see her, fortunately mum has been transferred to the hospital just a mile away. She was sat in a useless wheelchair which was obviously dreadfully uncomfortable, yet the physio has done a home assessment and seen mum's lovely chair. I don't have the makers name, but can give it to you presently. The hospital's League of Friends has the reputation of being one of the best in the whole country, they will buy some chairs like mum's; the physio's would like them; they are available off the shelf, but six weeks later no sign of them. Of course mum can't have her own in hospital due to "infection control". So rather than be snug and comfortable, she looks anything but!
Only thing I can suggest is ask the ward manager if he has been seen by an OT...if not, ask if this can be arranged. There may be some mileage in this. Even a basic foot stall might be useful??

Of course it will be important for him to be sat up (rather than lying prone) for other medical conditions.

I understand it must be very hard on you too to see him uncomfy.PS I meant foot STOOL, sorry. iPad on lap and not typing well tonight.
thanks for your replies. I'm still getting used to the forum interface so apologies for loosing track of our names.

I had a feeling it is probably a fairly common problem. Being uncomfortable for so long is no way to aid recovery. I'd be happy to hire a better chair for him for his stay but clearly they only have the one type of chair. Even tying a non-slip pad to the seat may help but, at the moment, the staff really don't want to address this part of his care. perhaps when he's moved to the rehab ward they may be able to work something out though I suspect an uncomfortable wheelchair experience is coming next for him.

Hope things improve soon for your Mum and, to the other responder, thanks for the OT tip, I will ask tomorrow and also footstool idea. (I'm also using ipad and really unrstand the Keybard issue...I make sooo many mistakes...you made me chuckle:-). He wants to be up and walking about, not least 'cos he knows how to ease his own back problems and the horrid restless leg twitches he gets.

thanks both

If your father has his own wheelchair that is comfortable for him to sit in then perhaps you could suggest that you bring it in for him.
Other than that ask for an OT to see him and see the ward matron, not the nurses.
Dad has a rise and recline chair at home.

During his recent stay in hospital he was sitting beside the bed with his legs dangling as they didn`t reach the floor when he sat right back. He always has his feet elevated at home due to heart failure and fluid retention, so why not in hospital. I went in search of a footstool, but couldn`t find one.xx
The hospital where mum is know that there is a problem, the League of Friends has said they will buy something suitable, but the OT's and Physios haven't managed to sort anything out in the time mum has been there, soon it will be two months. Such a shame when all they have to do is decide what they want!