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Author Topic: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum  (Read 4358 times)

Bette

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Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« on: June 22, 2012, 03:55:58 PM »

As some of you will know, my elderly Mum recently had a fall followed by a hip operation. She's been home now for just just over 3 weeks.
She was discharged from hospital with Calichew (sp?!) tablets to build up her bones and also Risedronate Sodium which is a bisphosphonate  designed to help protect her bones if she has another fall. She's meant to take it once a week, first thing in the morning, before food and drink and mustn't lie down for 30 minutes afterwards. The problem is that her memory is not good these days and although she's got carers going in, last week she was up, dressed and breakfasted before they got to her so they couldn't give her the tablet. I've just spoken to a gp at her surgery and explained the situation and after saying the only other option is a monthly tablet (but with the same restrictions), she has suggested that we forget about it as taking it incorrectly could do more harm than good. The Calichew is less of a problem as it's a twice a day dose and we're using a timed pill-box to help with that (and her Warfarin.)
Any feedback would be welcome; I feel a bit uneasy saying that she shouldn't take a drug which the hospital recommended but I suppose it's a case of weighing up the pros and cons. She has fallen a couple of other times over the last 10 years but never had more than bruising, so I'd assumed that her bones were pretty strong for her age.
Bette x
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If you want a thing done well, get a couple of old broads to do it. Bette Davis.

English Rose

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 04:30:19 PM »

Hi Bette
Would it be worth contacting the carers to ask if they could ensure that on a certain day once a week your Mum has her medication before they get her up and give her breakfast - and/or perhaps leave a note for them so that it reminds your Mum and the carers on a certain day of the week that she needs this? I have an elderly relative with bone issues on bisphosphonates and they have really helped strengthen the bones and prevent further fractures.... on the other hand if your GP does not think it's too important then maybe not worth worrying if the carers cannot accommodate this. All the best x
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Bette

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 04:35:58 PM »

Thanks, 63juls.
It was actually the lady in charge of the carers who suggested that I check with the gp if there was a different option. At the moment the plan is to have a carer go in at 9am and 5pm, which all of us, including Mum, think would work well. If she's to be on this medication, we'd need to arrange for a carer to go in at 7am one day a week. I suppose one question is whether the hospital thought that she had bone issues or if this is just standard treatment for anyone who has had a fracture.  :-\
This is certainly something I'll bring up with the care team - I need to feed back what the gp said anyway.
Bette x
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If you want a thing done well, get a couple of old broads to do it. Bette Davis.

JJ

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 06:22:12 PM »

If your mum is happy with a 7 am call one day a week you could try that and see if it works.
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Bette

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2012, 06:46:43 PM »

Yes, that may be a possibility but one of the things which we're hoping will help her with her memory problems is to get her into a set routine. The gp seemed to think that the tablets weren't worth that sort of effort but it wasn't her own gp, just one at the practice who was available to speak to me.
I'll see what the lady in charge of the carers thinks. Also, I've got a phone consultation booked with my own lovely gp next Wed (about my HRT) so may well mention it to her too.
I do find taking responsibility for these decisions quite hard; never having had children, I'm not used to making decisions for others, only for myself and that seems easier, as only I will suffer if I get it wrong IYSWIM.  ???
Bette x
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If you want a thing done well, get a couple of old broads to do it. Bette Davis.

viv

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2012, 07:49:02 PM »

My mum has one calcium tablet that she takes once a day and thats it. Its much easier than any other option. She was also told to eat a banana once a day which is much easier.

I hate to be blunt Bette, but I will be as our mums are much of an age. Neither of them have an advanced case of osteoporosis so its just a case of doing the best we can. My sister takes the calcium supplement that you are talking about but she is 64 and has been on steroids half her life and really needs them.

What are we protecting them from...they have had long and healthy full lives and have been lucky but at this stage is it not a little late too try and protect against bone reduction.

Get her to take the once a day tablet and thats it. Is it worth doing anything else. My mum is going to ask the GP for sleeping tablets. She copes so much better if she sleeps. She is worried about becoming addicted. She is nearly 90 and as my OH says it takes years to become addicted and at 90 quality is the most important thing.

I really hope you take this the way it is meant.

I see it as my job to make my mums last few years comfortable and happy and not to stress the little stuff and from hearing you speak about your mum I am sure she would want you to do the same.
Decision making for them is difficult but I am a bossy c*w anyway. It is difficult, but she looked after me for many many years and now its my turn. I just do the best I can, as do you, and no one could ask for anything more.
You are a great daughter and your mum is so lucky to have you to care for her.

Sending you a
 :hug:

Honeyb
x
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Trey

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 08:31:45 PM »

I totally, absolutely,agree with HB.  In fact, Bette, my sister, a fitness race walker, took Fosamex, a bio phosphate and fell and fractured her hip just below the trochanter (the ball shaped thing at the top of the leg,that fits into the pelvis) and guess what? That exact type fracture is caused by the pill that is to prevent osteoporosis.

And the build up of calcium or new bone is minuscule the first year in most people and it can cause some miserable side effects, especially if taken incorrectly.  I'd completely forget about it.
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Bette

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 09:07:16 PM »

Thank you both - you've said exactly what I was thinking. Her calcium intake is good - lots of milk and yoghurts plus the 2 Calcichew tablets a day, I think that if she had real bone problems it would have shown up way before now.
it can cause some miserable side effects, especially if taken incorrectly - that's basically what the gp said, Trey. She's done so well to get this far on just Warfarin that my gut feeling is that she's better doing without too many additional drugs now. As I said to OH earlier, all I want for her now is to be happy and to enjoy whatever time she has left.
One thought on the sleeping tablets, HB. I'm sure that it is a good idea to talk to the gp about it but since her hospital stay, we've actually got Mum off them and she seems to be sleeping better than she has for years.  ??? I'm sure that it depends on what sort you use but when I spoke to her gp after she came home, I did mention that I wondered if it would be good for her to try without them as she hadn't had them in hospital and he agreed. He did say that they could cause sleepiness at the wrong time and might make her more prone to another fall. She did ask the carer about them once but I explained what the gp had said and she agreed to try without them. As she'd been taking paracetamol for pain, I suggested that she take one of those before bed (remembering that Mrs P had said that they seem to help her sleep) and so far, that seems enough for her. Of course, I do agree with your comment I see it as my job to make my mums last few years comfortable and happy and not to stress the little stuff and if you feel that sleeping tablets will help her, obviously you should encourage her to try them.
Your comments have made me  :'( but in a good way, IYKWIM!
Bette x
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If you want a thing done well, get a couple of old broads to do it. Bette Davis.

CLKD

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 09:37:56 PM »

Cheese, fresh fruits and veg. and when ever possible a short walk round her room ......... as weight bearing as possible.  Milky drinks, yoghurts, milk puddings, all help.  She's content mainly, that's the important issue.  If Mum is content, you can relax a little ........  :foryou:
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Bette

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 09:41:28 PM »

Thanks, CLKD.
She's walking around the bungalow a lot and doing her physio exercises every day. We're working on the eating - her appetite isn't wonderful so the nurse has given her some build-up drinks. She's keen on her veg, though, so that's good.
Bette x
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If you want a thing done well, get a couple of old broads to do it. Bette Davis.

CLKD

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 09:45:34 PM »

With new season veg soon in the shops, i.e. fresh peas, runners and broads ......... do you have a source of fresh/home laid eggs too?
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JJ

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 10:17:13 PM »

Well said honeyb, I agree.

Bette, it does sound as if your mum is doing well, in fact taking into account her age and the operation she has just had she is doing brilliantly. She has managed to come out of hospital and go straight back to her own home, so well done to you and your mum.  How are you doing ? it's hard looking out for our parents. X
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Bette

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Re: Pros and cons of medication for my Mum
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2012, 07:44:02 AM »

She loves fresh peas and broad beans, CKLD and is living on the on them at the moment!
Thanks, Susan. The 9 and 5 visits mean that she can choose when to get up and go to bed which is better, I think. Once she's more confident about using the pill-box, she may well say that she doesn't want anyone going in. I think that will depend on whether she gets out and about and start socialising. I've mentioned that on another thread!  ::)
Bette x
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If you want a thing done well, get a couple of old broads to do it. Bette Davis.