This past week my Dad fell twice. Both falls occurred during the wee hours of the morning and thankfully my Dad did not suffer any injuries… but of course that does not mean that I wasn’t worried about him. Immediately I began wondering what was causing him to fall and what could be done to prevent him from falling in the future.
When I asked Dad what he thought was going on, he really didn’t know. That might also be a part of the problem. When Dad awakes, he “thinks” he is fine and so he tries to get up (maybe before he is really awake or before his body is ready) and then tumbles to the floor. To make matters worse, Dad chooses not to call the med-tech on duty because he “doesn’t want to bother” anyone and so he remains on the floor for an hour or more.
Fortunately I found that I was not alone in my concern. A few days ago I received a call from the staff nurse at the facility where my Dad is staying and she asked if we could talk. Since I was about to bring my Dad back to the facility, I agreed to meet with her. When Dad and I sat with Kathleen I was impressed with the caring way that she spoke to my Dad and how she shared real concern for his safety. She was able to do so in such a way that captured his attention in ways that I as his daughter cannot.
We agreed to ask Dad’s doctor to look into adjusting Dad’s medications and also encouraged Dad to consider calling for help before he gets up in the night… at least for a week or two. When I finally left the facility to go back home, I felt a great sense of relief because I had found an ally on this journey. This is not to say that the rest of the staff is lacking; that is not true at all. But after talking with Kathleen I felt that someone understood my Dad, had a connection with him, and was looking out for him. That means a lot to me and so yesterday afternoon I stopped by Kathleen’s office with an Apple Pie to thank her. It’s so very nice to know that I have her on my team.
“It is not how much you do but how much love you put in the doing.” Mother Teresa