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miracleseeker

Best way to lift someone off the floor when you are alone

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miracleseeker    675

My mom has been falling down a lot recently. Some days she is more cooperative and will help me when I lift her up but other times when she's taken her meds and start to get drowsy then I'm on my own and she weighs a ton.

 

What do you guys do in that situation?  Do you use any type of gadgets to get them up?  Like say an inflatable bed?  Will that work?  I saw on you tube about the ELK but I think it costs a great deal of money.  There is also something like a gait belt but looks like it would work better with 2 people.  It still requires lifting and my mom will not budge to help me.  I need something that will pump her up high enough so I can then do the rest.  I've seen videos where someone goes behind the person and lift them up from under the arm.  It never works for me because I'm not big enough. 

 

Getting the person on the side and then on their hands  and knees look easy enough but again my mom would not do as I ask because of her dementia.  What do you do?

Edited by miracleseeker

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old+slow    169

You could try to pick up a used Hoyer lift. It uses a sling and hydraulic hand pump that lifts the person with no effort at all.

I've seen them used for as little as $50.00 .

 

Just a thought

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miracleseeker    675

Thanks for the suggestion but that thing is HUGE.  I don't have the space for this nor could I get my mom in it.  She has dementia and will not follow directions.  I need something that I can do alone and entirely alone.   I wouldn't even know how to get her off the ground and into this thing unless I'm wrong about how this works.

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Rogerstar1    385

Call the EMS specialists to get your Mom off the floor.  Or the fire department or strike a  deal with a strong teenager from the neighborhood.  With the exception of the latter, this is what we pay them to do.

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miracleseeker    675

I know I can always call a neighbor for help but I don't like to bother people which is why I want to do it myself.  There's a belt that seems promising.  Let's hope it's something I can do without anyone's help.  A co-worker suggested I start lifting weight to bulk up and build popeye arms.  Yeah that will work.

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Your most practical suggestion was by Rogerstar1-call the fire department and ask for a non-emergency paramedic team (don't need the fire engine either) to come to your house and lift your mom up.  They are strong and trained for this.  When you call them, be very clear it's a non-emergency call and they will come as soon as is practical.  You need to be trained in how to pick your mom up off the floor-many nurses who have training end up with damaged backs and strained muscles.  You do not want to damage your back by an incorrect lifting technique or position.  Call your mother's health care company and ask if they offer training or ask for a physical therapist referral for your mom.  The physical therapist should be addressing your mom's disabilities and can show you how to correctly help your mom off the ground.  They can also give you training on how to transfer your mother.  It would also help your mom to participate in physical therapy exercises so she has the coordination and strength to stand up from a prone position.  My dad is struggling with his frailty and getting him up from a chair to his walker is a huge struggle for his caregivers.  If he can't get up from his chair he will end up being bed bound! 

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elle    104

Hi miracleseeker,

This issue rules my life.  Only you have it worse since your mother has dementia; is it complete? She cannot participate at all?  As you know I am new here and so do not know all of your/her history so forgive me if what I suggest is inappropriate.

 

My husband has fallen at least forty times in the last 18 months and I too do not like to bother people.  I have used EMS once when I was desperate.  Perhaps if you did have a strong teen you could pay to assist it would be the easiest solution. In our case, I could manage well enough when my dh could get on his knees but now he can't so it is a disaster to me when he falls.  How many times have I heard ER personnel tell me you HAVE GOT to keep him from falling.  I thought that's easy for you to say...I would if I could!!

 

carruthers  has just given you the best advice while I was typing...to get PT in there to train you, asap!  They have saved my life teaching me how to use the gait belt you mention, bed rail, proper techniques for transferring, re-positioning, etc.

 

At one point he harassed everyone in his sight about inventing a lift to get him off the floor. Our PCP had done that very thing but lacked funds when it came to financing it.  A shame!  We all need that and yes a Hoyer lift is too large for the average home. I have never heard of inflating someone but that idea has merit if anybody wants to run with it!!

 

I have not really helped you to get her off the floor have I?  Well the secret is to not let her go down!  My dh may not have complete dementia but he refuses to accept his disability so constantly sneaks out of his chair and falls.  So I have become expert on chair and bed alarms, unplugging his lift chair, wheelchair belts and yes one for bed.  Because this falling just could not go on!  He was endangering himself constantly and once fell on me and broke my foot in three places!

 

I really cannot imagine how you are doing all of this with the dementia!  I don't know if you have to work or have a sitter, respite care, a baby monitor much less a life!  But I feel for you!!  Lifting them up, which we both are doing, is just not acceptable in the long run! I will be watching to see what other advice you get.

Edited by elle

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miracleseeker    675

Thanks Elle.  I work full time and my mom goes to a daycare center and then home with a caretaker until I get off work.  Yes I do not have a life other than work and my mom.  My life has been like this for so long that I'm used to it.  I'm happy if I can get a TV show in between.  That's a good day for me.   Because of her Parkinson's she constantly gets weak in the legs and although I never let her walk unassisted she still manages to slump down and drop.  It really depends on when she falls.  When she's "on"  it only takes a few tries to get her up because she's awake and helping.  When she falls and just took her meds say within a half hour window then I'm toast.  This is when she gets very sleepy and out of it and will not cooperate.  I usually let her sleep it off on the floor until she's awake again.  If she wants to get up then that will work to my advantage because she will try harder then.

 

There is a device that you inflate under them and it lifts them off the ground but it's from England and costs $3K.  I'm planning on getting a gait like belt that they wear in a vest version.  I'll see how that works.  I won't know until I try.   My life would be so much easier if I had another family member in the house but I don't.  Everyone is living their life and do not want to change that even for dear mom. Oh don't get me started...

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elle    104

Been thinking about you and wonder if you still don't want to try PT??  My life only started to improve when I learned so much that they had to suggest.  Also you said you mom is falling when walking?  Maybe it is time for a wheelchair??  You know Medicare pays and that was another turning point in my gaining control of the falling.  Just thought I would suggest....

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Trying hard    232

Amen miracleseeker on family, amen.  Please let us know on the gait belt vest, how it works, I'm looking into the smart lift vest. I always have to call one of two people when my DH goes down, and neither are family.

Edited by Trying hard

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miracleseeker    675

We have a wheelchair for long trips but other wise she's good at walking when I hold on to her arm.  I want to keep her walking on her own.  It's good for her self esteem too and she loves it.  We walk around the block everyday and she points at cars that go too fast and gasps.  It's very funny.

 

Smart lift vest is exactly what I'm getting.  You just reminded me the name.  My sister ordered it yesterday so we will see.  There is nothing really out there for 1 person to handle someone on the ground but I guess I will have to practice using it.  Since the vest is around the upper body I'm hoping it will be easier to get her off the ground then grabbing her hands and pulling her that way.  Fingers crossed.

 

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elle    104

I had no idea she could walk that far!!  That's great! My dh can jut take a few steps, can barely transfer with help.

I will have to look into this lift vest too!

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miracleseeker    675

Lately she hasn't been that flexible but can still manage to walk a good 10 minutes before we have to go inside.   She needs to get those muscles going and loosen up the limbs.  You should watch the video first and see if you can do it because I think the vests are non refundable.   My mom only weighs 117 pounds even though she feels like she's 200 pounds.  Your husband must outweigh you by a lot.

 

My mom falls when she loses her balance while I'm getting her into bed or the bathroom.  It is those few seconds where I let go of her that she slips down.  It's funny how I have the image in my head over and over again for the next day or so wondering how I could have prevented that from happening.

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Thanks for the info on the "smart lift vest."  I've never seen it and looked it up especially the YouTube videos.  I can see where it might be beneficial for a lifting a short person because of the leverage issue but for a taller person I wonder about trying to lift them.  It looks like an awkward angle and pulling them forward/horizontally seems like a challenge.  What is your assessment of this vest?  It looks like trying to return it within 7 days and having to pay an $80 cleaning fee seems excessive.  I don't mind paying the $150 if it's truly a great product and helps with the transferring and lifting issues.  These are such a challenge for caregivers.  Those $20 gait belts only work if the patient is ambulatory and you just need to keep them safe if they have balance issues.  I'm looking for recommendations.  Thanks!

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I also looked up the "gait belt vest" and the "lift vest" came up.  I really liked what I saw on the website and the video of how it works.  It's more expensive but it also allowed a 30 day return-  It seems more suitable for a full adult and gives lots of "handholds" on the individual-front and back.  It allows for lifting a person from a sitting position from a variety of angles and looks so much safer to me.  I really liked this and would seriously consider buying this if my dad once again becomes incapable of standing up-which is only a question of time-he's very frail and refuses to exercise.  He has Alzheimer's so it's just the way it is.  There's a reference to the VA which I haven't read yet but I assume the VA approved of the device also.  Thanks for the reference!

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miracleseeker    675

Isn't the smart lift vest the same as the lift vest?  I keep seeing the same one.   Various places sells it for as much as $495 but the one that's $150 looks the same to me but maybe the material of the vest is not that great but I don't care.  My mom won't be wearing it for more than the time it takes to get her off the floor.   In the video they showed a woman lifting her husband or makes you think it's  a woman because they never showed her face.  Anyhow I'll just try it out and practice on co-workers.  I'm sure they'll have a lot of fun with that.   If you are lifting alone like I will be then the back straps are useless.  If I had another person to help then the vest wouldn't even be necessary so I don't get that part.

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Hmm, thx for the tip on the lift vest. I have a friend whose husband is a police officer and another whose son works for the fire department. After DH took two falls, they were the ones who told me to call 911. They also reminded me that many falls happen in bathrooms and not to be afraid to call if DH was undressed.

 

The words they said to use were "lift assist" and they said that they were happy to know that they could help. It was good to hear from the other side.

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miracleseeker    675

Thanks Rock for the tip.  It's just embarrassing to have the big truck come parked in the driveway and all their work is done in 15 seconds flat.  It brings out the looky loos.  It might just be easier to bug a neighbor.

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miracleseeker    675

I watched the latest episode of  "Mom" yesterday where the mom's back went out when she was in the shower.  Her daughter came home and her mom was on the floor wrapped in the shower curtain.   She pulled the bathroom rug where her mom was laying and took her next to the bed in the bedroom.   She then pulled her mom to sit upright where her mom then reached for the edge of the bed and grabbed hold of it.  The next part was pretty funny and instructional.  She then lifted her mom off the ground by scooping her mom's butt with both hands I believe and flipped her onto the bed.  I wonder how true that would be in the real world to get someone off the ground. In my mom's case where she doesn't know what is happening she may not hold on to the edge of the bed while I flipped her and she might just fall harder.   Still it was neat to watch that scene.

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genden69    178

I really relate to your situation. My husband has dementia as well. I don't like to ask for help when he is down, but I swallow my pride and ask. I know if I injure myself not only is there no one to take care of my husband, but no one to take care of me. I had physical therapy and occupational therapy professionals help me with techniques in helping me move him from place to place, but when he is down and unable to take instructions, I have to call the neighbors. Sometimes he is not mobile at all, then sometimes he gets a spurt of energy and is temporarily very mobile. This past Saturday he got a spurt of energy and bolted past me out the front door at 8:45 p.m.when it was pitch black outside. He went down the sidewalk with me behind him, but I couldn't catch him. We are on a large corner lot and after he turned the corner, he veered off the sidewalk into a large bush which he proceeded to fight and shout to let him in. He swung hard enough at the bush to lose his balance and fall under the bush. He was only dressed in Depends and a shirt and slippers. I didn't know what to do. I didn't 't dare leave him to go for help. Fortunately I heard my neighbor across the street dragging his garbage can out to the street. I called to him for help and he came over and helped me get him into the house. By this time my husband had become nearly immobile and I wouldn't have been able to lift him and get him in the house myself. The point of my story is that people are more than happy to help. It is impossible to do everything alone. I am fiercely independent and it is hard for me to accept help, but I have learned to do it. Bless you for the care you are giving; it is hard.

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miracleseeker    675

I'm so sorry you had to go through that.  However I am impressed that your husband has the mobilty to run pass you at times.   I wish my mom can do that. :)

 

The truth is we cannot do it alone even if we want to and yes a good neighbor always helps.  I always envy  families that live in the same house or closeby .   Problem solved!

Edited by miracleseeker

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