Facing Frustrating Odds

Posted by rjireland @rjireland, Tue, Jan 22 11:03pm

I am a 33 male taking care of my mother. She is a bariatric geriatric at 64. I have her permission to post here for advice. Her troubles stem from degenerative arthritis in her right hip and spinal stenosis. She also has COPD and is morbidly obese. She is on Nutrisystem, but we are completely lost as to how to exercise as she cannot walk. She can’t even stand up or lay flat on her back. Is there anyone who has faced these frustrations. The goal is 30 pounds just to get the ball rolling. We fear that there is no exercise she can do to help her lose weight. I am open to ideas. We do stretching and ahe does pivot into a wheelchair. This the limitation. Ideas please. Blessings and grace to you all.

@rjireland, perhaps check to see Chair Yoga is offered in your area. Chair Yoga can help with weight, mobility, balance, strengthening, etc. Also ask your mom’s doctor for suggestions AND assistance. If you have a local Community Center or Senior Center, contact them and see what options they can offer or suggest. Good luck, and God bless you for caring about your mother’s welfare.

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@rjireland chair yoga is a great idea and there are also other exercises that can be done in a chair. Look for YouTube videos and also talk to her doctor for ideas. Perhaps she can do some physical therapy to help? Another idea would be some type of water exercise as that would keep the weight off her joints.
Blessings,
JoDee

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Hi @rjireland and welcome to Connect. You may have noticed that I moved your post to the Caregivers group so that you can connect with others who are also caring for loved ones. Simply click VIEW AND REPLY in your email notification to be brought to your post.

I wanted to thank @capausz for responding to you, and also introduce you to @IndianaScott @rmftucker @harriethodgson1 and @jodeej as they can provide support as you continue to care for your mother.

In addition, here is a great discussion introducing other caregivers: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/meet-fellow-caregivers-introduce-yourself/

Back to your mother, has your doctor suggested anything?

Also, how are you @rjireland doing and feeling while taking care of your mother?

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@rjireland Good for you and your mother in trying to live your best lives. Since it seems your mother can sit, I suggest beginning with deep breathing exercises, correct posturing, consciously contracting and releasing muscles below the waist (isometric), and completing movements for upper body mobility and strength. This would include raising arms from lap to overhead while inhaling/lowering arms while exhaling. This movement alone can be repeated with the arms beginning at the sides. Perform arm curls (bend arm at the elbow bringing fist to shoulder) again with breathing. Exhale when constricting/inhale when extending. And then begin with hands at shoulders and press up as if lifting a bar (again include the breathing). These can be done in sets of 10 (or as many as possible) several times during the day. Once these movements become comfortable you may begin adding light weights (a can of peas or the broom stick). But please check with her physicians before beginning any exercise program. If at all possible I recommend Physical Therapy, as they will assess her abilities, needs and goals in cooperation with her doctor. You will need a referral from your doctor, but I have found it well worth the time and effort. Good luck.

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Welcome to Mayo Connect, @rjireland

Thanks for your efforts to help your mom at this difficult time of life. As @jodeej and others have suggested try a YouTube search for "seated exercises for seniors." Here is a link with several programs on YouTube,
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=seated+exercises+for+seniors
Here is another link for "wheelchair exercises."
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=exercises+done+in+a+wheelchair
There are several varieties of different types of exercise programs that can be done seated. They are usually short videos and your mom can stop when she begins to feel tired.

Will you post again and let us know how you and she are doing?

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I have been a widower for a year and look back on all the "good and positive" attempts to help. I agree with all the suggestions given here. Just don't fall into the trap of saving the person from the inevitable. My wife did as much as she could, I did more than I should, and in the end what mattered was the love, respect, and recognition of the humanity of that person you love. I drove myself crazy postponing (or so I thought) what came at us. I know there are exceptional cases where the caregiver comes up with real enhancement. I like to believe I stretched out our time together, but who knows? When you can't make something happen or they won't or more likely can't do something it's a red flag for take some time and step back and weigh what the patient really needs vs what you can realistically can offer.

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@jimwills

I have been a widower for a year and look back on all the "good and positive" attempts to help. I agree with all the suggestions given here. Just don't fall into the trap of saving the person from the inevitable. My wife did as much as she could, I did more than I should, and in the end what mattered was the love, respect, and recognition of the humanity of that person you love. I drove myself crazy postponing (or so I thought) what came at us. I know there are exceptional cases where the caregiver comes up with real enhancement. I like to believe I stretched out our time together, but who knows? When you can't make something happen or they won't or more likely can't do something it's a red flag for take some time and step back and weigh what the patient really needs vs what you can realistically can offer.

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@jimwills Welcome to Mayo Connect. Your words of experience sound as though they were hard won. My condolences for your loss. You did the best with what you were faced with, and I don't know if we can ever fully understand the value or hindrances of helping the way you did. What brings you to Mayo Connect?
Ginger

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@gingerw

@jimwills Welcome to Mayo Connect. Your words of experience sound as though they were hard won. My condolences for your loss. You did the best with what you were faced with, and I don't know if we can ever fully understand the value or hindrances of helping the way you did. What brings you to Mayo Connect?
Ginger

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I imagine what brings me here is the same thing that brings everyone. In those quiet moments we realize we are not alone. That there is an army of silent caregivers all around us. Quietly serving or trying to put life together again. When health was present we didn't know this job existed, when it came we slid into it before we knew it. I'm here to more fully join these unwanted, unasked for roles. My awareness of all of us gets larger every day. People who are caregivers are special, giving, unselfish humans. We'd rather not be here, but we are. Who wouldnt want to hang with these kind of people.

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@jimwills

I imagine what brings me here is the same thing that brings everyone. In those quiet moments we realize we are not alone. That there is an army of silent caregivers all around us. Quietly serving or trying to put life together again. When health was present we didn't know this job existed, when it came we slid into it before we knew it. I'm here to more fully join these unwanted, unasked for roles. My awareness of all of us gets larger every day. People who are caregivers are special, giving, unselfish humans. We'd rather not be here, but we are. Who wouldnt want to hang with these kind of people.

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@jimwills We look forward to your continued participation. Feel free to look in to the other caregiver threads! Your wisdom and presence will be welcme!
Ginger

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@jimwills

I imagine what brings me here is the same thing that brings everyone. In those quiet moments we realize we are not alone. That there is an army of silent caregivers all around us. Quietly serving or trying to put life together again. When health was present we didn't know this job existed, when it came we slid into it before we knew it. I'm here to more fully join these unwanted, unasked for roles. My awareness of all of us gets larger every day. People who are caregivers are special, giving, unselfish humans. We'd rather not be here, but we are. Who wouldnt want to hang with these kind of people.

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Right you are, @jimwills Caregivers are definitely a different breed of person! We have had a type of trial by fire that none of us were prepared for, trained for, nor asked for. As a result I believe we are part of a fraternity of sorts. The initiation is tough, but then again as I often said to my wife 'honey, I have the easy part. I just have to take care of you, while you are the one fighting the war!'

I hope your healing continues through the grief of your loss.

Stength, courage, and peace!

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@jimwills

I imagine what brings me here is the same thing that brings everyone. In those quiet moments we realize we are not alone. That there is an army of silent caregivers all around us. Quietly serving or trying to put life together again. When health was present we didn't know this job existed, when it came we slid into it before we knew it. I'm here to more fully join these unwanted, unasked for roles. My awareness of all of us gets larger every day. People who are caregivers are special, giving, unselfish humans. We'd rather not be here, but we are. Who wouldnt want to hang with these kind of people.

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Your words bring me comfort. Thank you.

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Just a word of wisdom?? to those who feel alone or wonder if they are doing the right thing. I cared for him at home about 3 years before my family and I decided I could no longer do it. I am 84 this next week, and he was unable to walk over 6 feet with his walker, and at 80 I was loading his wheelchair in our car every time we left the house.

My church family, DAR sisters, other people who are in organizations that I belonged to and had to set a side while caring for my husband while he was still home with me, were great listeners and givers of support while we have been traveling this journey for about 5 years now. He is now in a wonderful care center in a small town about 45 miles from my home, but I am able to visit every other day, and although he sleeps most of the time I am there, I know he is well cared for. I have been able to go back to meeting with my friends at least once a month for lunch with a couple groups and I try to attend church every week even on the days I visit him. They are great support and gives me a little respite from the cares that could overwhelm me.

I also have always maintained hobbies, sewing, quilting, genealogy, reading, etc. even when I was teaching full time, and when I retired I did visit some places without my husband if he had no interest in them. I'm glad I was able to do that and we both enjoyed may places together. They are always good memories.

He is 89 and has been at the care center for over 2 years now, so I am living a slightly different life, but enjoy each day as it comes.

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Hello everyone. Your words make me smile. They give me hope. My husband has more than a few conditions that can go awry in a split second. And me, well, it's a long story. We take care of each other as life comes at us.

God bless you all.

Mamacita Jane

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@rmftucker

Just a word of wisdom?? to those who feel alone or wonder if they are doing the right thing. I cared for him at home about 3 years before my family and I decided I could no longer do it. I am 84 this next week, and he was unable to walk over 6 feet with his walker, and at 80 I was loading his wheelchair in our car every time we left the house.

My church family, DAR sisters, other people who are in organizations that I belonged to and had to set a side while caring for my husband while he was still home with me, were great listeners and givers of support while we have been traveling this journey for about 5 years now. He is now in a wonderful care center in a small town about 45 miles from my home, but I am able to visit every other day, and although he sleeps most of the time I am there, I know he is well cared for. I have been able to go back to meeting with my friends at least once a month for lunch with a couple groups and I try to attend church every week even on the days I visit him. They are great support and gives me a little respite from the cares that could overwhelm me.

I also have always maintained hobbies, sewing, quilting, genealogy, reading, etc. even when I was teaching full time, and when I retired I did visit some places without my husband if he had no interest in them. I'm glad I was able to do that and we both enjoyed may places together. They are always good memories.

He is 89 and has been at the care center for over 2 years now, so I am living a slightly different life, but enjoy each day as it comes.

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@rmftucker I'm so glad that you shared your experiences in caring for your husband. I'm glad to hear that you kept involved with your own interests and friendships. I'm especially glad that you have good memories to look back on.
Keep "enjoying each day as it comes" I hope you feel fulfilled in what you find to do!

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@rjireland It has been several months since you last posted about caring for your mom. I hope your mom is doing better.
Also, will you share how are you doing?

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