Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Falling into sleep

There is a resident who has been with us about three weeks. He broke his finger in a fall at home, was hospitalized, and then sent for rehab. Since arriving, he has fallen twice that we know of. I suspect that he has fallen more, but managed to pick himself up before anyone noticed.

He is very forgetful and foolhardy. He is awake all night, except for a few periods of literally falling asleep. I think he has restless leg syndrome and is not being treated. I give him Tylenol at the start of the shift and apply menthol cream to his aching legs. He still can't stay still.

In the morning, he's calmer from exhaustion. This morning, he remarked that the golden years are not golden for him, "They suck." He wants to go home and probably will. He has some understanding of his propensity for falling, stating, "I guess I'm going to have to pad my entire house."

I find it sad when someone is just starting downhill, so they still have some intact faculties to realize what is happening to them. They have periods of confusion and lucidity and remember the confused state.

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