My father in law's fall

United States
January 7, 2017 8:16pm CST
As I've now seen 2 posts today about elderly people falling, it reminded me of the time my father in law had fallen. I thought I should do my own discussion on it as it's a bit of a long story (longer than a comment anyway). My father in law died in 2011, he'd been sick for a couple years with leukemia. He was often weak due to his illness. My mother in law died about a year and a half before he did. After her passing he lived alone. We only lived around the corner, so we'd visit often.. The fall happened on a holiday.. I believe it was labor day. We'd had a cookout at our house, made some burgers and other grilling type foods. After we ate we decided to bring my father in law a plate of food. When we got to his house I waited on the porch. I often didn't go inside the house as it smelled really bad (that's another story). If it was nice out FIL would come sit on the porch when we visited and the kids would play in the yard.. So hubby went in to tell his father we were there.. Then he comes outside in a panic and told my oldest son to come inside and help, but told me not to let any of the other kids inside. That was all he said, so I was worried. As it turns out, my father in law had fallen at about 9 o'clock that morning. We got there around 2 in the afternoon. He wasn't able to get up, and he couldn't reach the phone. He had pulled some paper towel rolls over to put under his knees, and had gotten himself far enough that he could rest his arms/head on a chair.. but he could go no further, and he'd been stuck there like that all day, unable to get any help. Needless to say my husband started checking in on him more frequently after that. However he died about 3 months later.
13 people like this
12 responses
@DianneN (54532)
• United States
8 Jan
What a sad story. I'm glad you found him and checked on him more frequently after that horrible incident.
• United States
8 Jan
Yes, I felt pretty bad that he was alone and couldn't get help. It never happened again after that. If he felt weak he'd call my husband. Hubby missed a lot of time off work that year, and used up all his vacation time just to take care of his father.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (54532)
• United States
9 Jan
@katsmeow1213 That must have been a rough time for everyone. We do what our heart tells us to do.
@DianneN (54532)
• United States
11 Jan
@katsmeow1213 I'm sure your SIL is another story. We all seem to have one of the those.
@marguicha (78175)
• Chile
8 Jan
I think that, if possible, elderly people that are ill should not live alone.
@marguicha (78175)
• Chile
8 Jan
@katsmeow1213 I hope this year I will make the first move towards a good life. I will sell my big house and buy a much smaller apartment where I donĀ“t have stairs. And the last step, if needed, will be to go to a senior home.
• United States
8 Jan
@marguicha Hopefully a nursing home will never be needed, but an apartment will be helpful. Less to clean and hopefully some friendly neighbors you can count on if you need them.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (88713)
• Marion, Kansas
8 Jan
@AutumnSnow (4629)
8 Jan
WOW!! that is scary. As Im getting older and some of my kids will be leaving home soon and my husband is gone a lot for work he worries about that with me I have horrible balance issues because my back problems. We thought about getting one of those life alert things.
• United States
8 Jan
Do you have a cell phone? Just keep it in your pocket at all times.. even if you're in your pajamas, make a point of having that phone on you 24/7.
1 person likes this
8 Jan
@katsmeow1213 my husband is always getting onto me for that. I hardly ever use my phone.
• United States
8 Jan
@AutumnSnow You don't need to use it, just keep it with you in case you do need it. You'll be sorry if you fall while nobody is around and can't reach a phone.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (24138)
• United States
8 Jan
Gosh that is so sad. At least you and your family were able to get him help and didn't arrive even later... I always worry about old people living alone. My neighbor had a stroke that left one side of his body unusable. To walk he uses his good arm and leg then leans on his other one and kind of hops along like that. He falls often and has an alert on his neck that he presses and it alerts the local EMTs who come pick him up. He refuses to go in a home.
• United States
8 Jan
I imagine that's a hard decision to make, even if you really need the help. To go from living alone and being totally independent to having to live somewhere that has rules and specific times for things, and possibly having to share a room with someone. There's all those what ifs.. what if you don't like your roommate, what if the staff is abusive or neglectful?
@shaggin (24138)
• United States
8 Jan
@katsmeow1213 This place his family has tried to go live isn't really like that. This is apartments in a building that is all seniors who are able to take care of themselves for the most part but need people nearby in case something does happen. Then the next step when these people are no longer able to take care of themselves they go and live in a wing of the hospital where nurses and aides care for them but like you said everything is on a schedule designed by the facitlity and that can be very frustrating!
• New Delhi, India
8 Jan
This is sad to hear.. I think you were very much attached to him?
• United States
8 Jan
Me.. no.. I never got along with my in laws. Still I felt bad that this happened to him.
1 person likes this
• New Delhi, India
8 Jan
@katsmeow1213 OK...its human. We feel bad for them even if we don't like them
@LoriAMoore (8628)
• United States
10 Jan
We get more and more scared of falls as we age.
• United States
10 Jan
I'm sure! Older folks don't bounce back as fast as the young.
@Kandae11 (23293)
8 Jan
Living alone at that age can be awful. What if you had not showed up?
• United States
8 Jan
He'd have been stuck there for awhile. We were the only ones who ever stopped in to check up on him. People would call him once a week or so, and if they couldn't get a hold of him they'd call us to see if he was allright.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (91813)
• Bunbury, Australia
8 Jan
That's is very sad. My boss's mother ran herself a bath but couldn't get out. She spent the whole night in it and ran the hot water from time to time to stop herself getting too cold. It must be very distressing to fall over and not be able to get up.
• United States
8 Jan
I am sure it is. I do not look forward to aging.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
8 Jan
Even at home sometimes I'm not aware if my mom gets slipped from time to time. So it really scares me when she's not around. I hope some gets to hang around with your Father in Law.
@GardenGerty (88713)
• Marion, Kansas
8 Jan
Falling is so dangerous for the elderly and for any who are frail. I sort of remember this from before when we were here on the Lot.
• United States
8 Jan
Yeah, we went through all sorts of problems that year with his health and hubby having to take care of him.. and me feeling the brunt of my husband never being around. I feel like hubby's never been the same since.. he's always finding something to keep himself busy and away from the family. He's been working 2 jobs for the past few years, and if he doesn't have something else going on he just sits here zoning out on video games..
@sunrisefan (16602)
• Philippines
12 Jan
Tha must have been awful for your FIL being alone and in paid. Good thing he did not hit his head on the fall.
@diosabella (4844)
8 Jan
That is really sad. Elderly are very fragile. we need to take care of them more. whether they dont like it or not.