How to prevent removal of personal alarm and undoing wheelchair seatbelt

Hi there! I’m new to this site so apologies if I’m posting incorrectly!!

My Dad suffered from a stroke in June and finally returned home last Wednesday. It was incredibly rushed - just two weeks from the day that my parents’ home was assessed - and everything that could go wrong seems to have done so. My Mum, 80 years of age, has a heart condition and I’m worried that all this stress won’t be doing her any good. I won’t go into all the problems as I took a day off work last Friday and started to make some progress at getting things on track, but the main area of concern at the moment is that Dad is being difficult and keeps taking off his wrist alarm and undoing the seatbelt on his wheelchair. He suffers from ‘trunk control’ issues which means that he keeps slipping down.

The first time it happened Mum had to call an ambulance out to sort him out as he’d got himself stuck in the chair. Last night it happened while Mum was preparing dinner in the kitchen and he slipped onto the floor. Mum hadn’t wanted to be a nuisance so instead of calling the emergency services she asked her neighbours to help! My sister and I have tried to drill it into her that the emergency services are trained and paid for this…her neighbours aren’t…plus it’ll get logged and Dad will get checked which is important.

In addition, Dad keeps removing the personal alarm around his wrist. This will be of no use to him if it’s on the table and he’s slipped onto the floor.

If anyone has any suggestions on how we might be able to tackle either of these issues, it would be much appreciated.

@TreesG welcome to the forum. Sorry to hearvof your dad’s stroke.

J don’t really have any advice on your specific circumstances but wonder whether a personal alarm that goes around the neck might be better? Not sure of your dad’s deficits so don’t know if that’d work or whether he’d just remove that too.

Is it because he’s agitated? Could he have some meds for agitation?

Is there a way of moving the fastening on the wheelchair strap so it’s not within easy reach?

I would get someone to do a reassessment too.

Just some thoughts as never had 1st hand experience.

Best wishes.

Ann

Thanks, Ann, for the welcome and your quick response.

He started with the alarm around his neck on Day 1 but screamed the house down the next morning as it had slipped round and was digging painfully into his back. Mum thought he was having another stroke. Not a good start to Day 2!

Interesting thought about agitation. He is very demanding at the moment, which is wearing my Mum out. Someone suggested today that he’s probably got used to a lot of attention in hospital and is expecting it to continue!!

We’ll take another look at the wheelchair strap to see what can be done and will request a reassessment if it continues. He sat in a wheelchair in hospital, strapped in, and this didn’t seem to be a problem. Maybe he’s just playing up to get attention!! The trouble is he’s putting them both at risk and if it continues he won’t be able to stay at home…where he so desperately wanted to be.

Many thanks,

Theresa

@TreesG hi welcome to our forum and I’m sorry for both your parents it must be draining for you.

I’m with @Mrs5K i cannot help but I’m here to listen lots of luck and someone might have some advice on this forum for you. Best wishes Loraine

Hi @TreesG welcome, though sorry about your dad’s stroke.

Is your dad’s alarm connected to a care call company? If yes, your mum can press the button and the care call company will attend to put your dad back in the chair, that’s the service your parents will be paying for, (if that’s what they have). That said if your mum feels he needs medical assistance, then she should of course call for an ambulance, though they can, in some instances, wait hours for the paramedics to arrive.

Speak to your father, if he is able to understand, and stress that the alarm is for his safety and he should leave it on, mention that your mum will not be able to lift him back into the chair and the belt will stop him from slipping.

You don’t mention if he can understand what is going on. It could be that he feels he doesn’t need this now he is back at home but if he understands stress the importance of him ‘playing his part’ in keeping himself safe so he can stay at home.

If he has carers, ask for their advice on how to handle this as he may respond to one of them reinforcing what you are saying to him.

Best wishes to you all.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

Your comments on the alarm are really helpful as no one actually explained this to us…although perhaps they did to Mum, but I think she’s felt so overwhelmed that she’s not necessarily following everything or passing the info on to my sister and me! It is connected to a care call company and I’d actually told Mum the opposite as I thought the button was just for Dad if he was on his own or if Mum hadn’t heard him having issues. Oops! I sit corrected. There is so much of this that we have no idea about and we are very much feeling our way through.

I think Dad understands, but the hospital did warn us that his retention has been impacted by his stroke and he may not remember what he learnt the day before. We’ll try to reinforce the message from different people and see if this helps.

Thanks again,

Theresa

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Morning @TreesG. Hello and welcome. What a stressful time you have described, certainly overwhelming for you and your mum. This is a transitional time and hopefully your dad will settle with repeated instruction and reassurance. Everyone assumes that being able to return home must be great but it is a big change and demanding on several levels. Sorry I can’t offer any specific advice but wishing and hoping your Dad adjusts to his new situation and you and you mum get some rest, Julia x

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Well, tonight Dad managed to do it again, undoing his seatbelt and ended up slipping down onto the floor. His carers arrived and were unable to lift him so we had to call 999. This is the third night in a row that we’ve had to call them out. The previous two nights he’s been complaining of extreme pain in his legs intermittently. This time the ambulance has taken him to a local hospital, particularly as he was talking gibberish and had lashed out at Mum when she’d tried to redo his seatbelt to prevent him falling onto the floor. We’ve been trying to make this work for 2 weeks now and we’re all exhausted. I am reaching the conclusion that we have no choice but to look at Plan B, and get him into a care home…something that none of us wanted.

So sorry to hear this @TreesG plan B, which I know isn’t what you want, might be a good idea for now. It doesn’t have to be permanent though as if he improves enough you could try again. Yours & your mums wellbeing are important too & if you aren’t worried the whole time you will get to enjoy the time with your dad more.
Sending you hugs & love.
Best wishes

Ann x

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That is so sad to hear. It is amazing what our brain stops us doing in normal circumstances but a stroke wrecks the brain in many areas. I guess there is no forecasting what will happen for each one who suffers a stroke as they have different areas of the brain attacked. My husband has several areas affected but not like your father. I can but sympathise and trust that you will find strength in finding a nearby, caring, residential home. Health priorities for most of the family is probably necessary. At least try a trial period with an idea of how it would be in using a residential home for your father. Do check the places out though as I had my husband in one for 2 nights while we moved into a bungalow and he refuses to contemplate any such place again. It was our carers’ base -community and residential care in one but the place was so poorly managed I will never inflict it on him. On the other hand we visited some friends in their new residential home and it was beautiful, so clean and fresh and like a hotel! Obviously finance plays a big part in decisions. May you have God’s grace and strength in this journey. That’s how I’ve got through so far. best wishes. Anne

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Oh dear @TreesG so sorry to hear this.

Sometimes, though you don’t want to do it and it’ll hurt like crazy, his safety and that of your mum will have to come first.

There are some amazing care homes around with caring staff to look after your dad.

Best wishes to you all, hope your dad is ok and the talking gibberish and pains in his legs isn’t an indication of anything too bad has happened.

Take care and get some rest, big hugs :hugs:

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