I still don't know why I chose to vary my weekend visiting schedule to my elderly infirm mother who lives alone but with a good support network.
Normally I go on a Saturday afternoon after lunch & keep her company, sharing an evening meal and making sure she's OK before going back home myself. For some reason I chose to go today (Sunday after lunch instead.
At 1:44 pm I found my mother in great distress, face down on the carpet near her bed, with a duvet covering her shoulders and back. Sometime on Saturday night or Sunday morning she had fallen out of bed & because of her previous back & shoulder operations was quite unable to move from that position.
She was NOT wearing her emergency call pendant because she maintained she'd always be able to reach it if necessary. Circumstances have shown that to be dangerous thinking. Normally a friend visits her for lunch on Mondays, but this friend is having an operation on Monday & wouldn't have been calling on her this time.
Had I not varied my scheduled, who know if Mum would have even survived this time? She was cold, in great pain, alone, frightened and quite unable to reach a phone or emergency pendant.
Her next-door neighbour normally check up on her every couple of days, but she herself has been busy visiting he sick brother in hospital & just hasn't had the time.
I didn't know what to do when I found her. I hobbled next door (my own physical ailments mean I can't run) and with the neighbour's assistance, was able to keep Mum warm, comforted and safe until the ambulance arrived. It took eight ambulance personnel to get her safely outside and into the waiting ambulance - they had to drag her slowly over the carpet to reach the stretcher.
I cannot thank or praise these paramedics highly enough, such consummate professionals although, apparently not everyone feels that way, according to Simon, the first paramedic to arrive. People can be so stupid.
She left in the ambulance 90 minutes after I found her. I then had calmed down enough to contact the rest of my brothers & sisters. One brother was in another town 30 minutes away from the scene, he & his wife came back to spend a few hours with Mum. He called me just as I was heading back home, 30 minutes drive to the west.
She'd had scans & there's no additional back or shoulder damage although we must expect some bruising. They were just waiting for a bed in one of the wards to become free.
Another thing we as a family, with input from Mum, have to consider, is whether she's capable of living alone now. She may have to move into one of the assisted-living facilities around he home town.
Again, I still don't know why I chose to vary my visiting schedule.
My brother told me that both the ambulance & hospital staff believe that the care we were able to provide Mum while waiting for the ambulance was totally appropriate.