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(22 Posts)
parkersheen Wed 12-May-21 15:45:36

New here. Apologies if this has already been a thread.
My partner (70) broke his hip in January. The consultant has said it is mending well. He uses arm crutches and the physio has said that he should really be trying to walk with one stick. The problem is my partner is not really trying to walk at all! He can get himself up and dressed and use the bathroom etc but then he sits in the living room and seems quite content to sit and do nothing but watch tv. Our kitchen in downstairs and so I am up and down making tea and getting all his meals which I do not mind doing if he would just show some motivation! He complained of pain in the front of his leg and had it x-rayed but that came back clear. I suspect the pain is due to lack of exercise and when he does try to move a bit of course it is painful but he won't take painkillers. He was never particularly active - no physical sports or even much walking - but I feel he will melt into the couch if he doesn't find some 'get up and go'. I am getting so frustrated and angry at him but what can I do?

geekesse Wed 12-May-21 16:06:12

Well, for a start, you could tell him to make his own cup of tea! Even modest exercise around the house would help. The more you do for him, the more you are enabling him to sit and do nothing.

Humbertbear Fri 14-May-21 16:19:27

He should be going to physio and have exercises to do at home. I’m afraid my DH isn’t much of a carer and I am convinced that one of the reasons I made such a speedy and good recovery after I had a hip replacement was that he did very little for me

lemongrove Fri 14-May-21 16:22:04

He will heal all the faster for some exercise daily, did he get notes from the hospital outlining what he should be doing?

timetogo2016 Sat 15-May-21 10:00:42

Spot on geekesse.
The more you do,the more he will let you.

Ashcombe Sat 15-May-21 10:09:48

The more he exercises now, the better the outcome. Could he walk a short distance, if you accompanied him to give confidence? Each day, walk a little further, perhaps with rests along the way, if park benches allow? There are recommended exercises online for hip replacement patients:-

Some hospitals run follow up physio exercise classes, too, which your surgery staff should know about. Good luck!

aggie Sat 15-May-21 10:19:43

I got over my hip op really quickly and I think it was due to my being carer for my OH , I was up and down the stairs like a yo yo !
Don’t bring his cup of tea to him , get him to move to the kitchen for it , I know you said he wasn’t very active before , and I find that now I am on my own I’m not as active , no motivation !

eazybee Sat 15-May-21 10:25:10

Remove the television from the bedroom and stop carrying cups of tea upstairs for him.

JaneJudge Sat 15-May-21 10:28:31

Breaking a hip is a traumatic experience and pain is to be expected but her should be taking painkillers and should be doing his physio to get the circulation going to the bone. I think you need to do some tough love stuff

Hopikins Sat 15-May-21 10:28:36

After 5 months he should be walking unaided. I have had both hips and both knees replaced. He really needs to wakeup. STOP waiting on him now. He is taking advantage of you. It is painful to exercise at the beginning but you have to work through it. Men always do seem to be more resistant to making the effort needed. Not my words, the words of a nurse, she said 3 women patients caused less trouble than one man. If he doesn't make the effort now it will be too late. Don't enable this laziness. Be firm... Good luck

Teagranny Sun 16-May-21 05:28:23

Totally agree! As an aside, I’m up in bad pain again with my bloomin knee & hip pain tonight. Not been to docs yet just managed on own painkillers.
I think I have osteoporosis but have not been able to get appointment face to face yet. I was wondering hopikins how long it took for you to get your new knees & hips after first knowing you needed them, if it’s not too personal. I’m fearing the future here as I’m only 54 and feel like my joints have let me down too early sad

absent Sun 16-May-21 05:42:20

geekesse It is just about possible to make a cup of tea if you are using crutches, as long as there is a counter for you to hang on to if necessary and a nearby place to lean the crutches. That presupposes that parkersheen's partner can get down – and then back up – the stairs. It can be done on crutches. For the less confident, the best alternative is to go down/up step-by-step on your bottom, sliding the crutches beside you, but I am not sure how uncomfortable that might be with a healing broken hip or how hard or easy it might be to stand up again. Once you have made your cup of tea, you have to stay where you are to drink it because you cannot use a pair of crutches and carry a cup of liquid at the same time.

aggie Sun 16-May-21 09:51:22

He will have been shown how to get up and down the stairs , getting down by sitting on the stairs isn’t an option ! Just putting the poorly foot down first and hanging onto the bannisters to bring the other foot down is the way to do it , sitting on the stairs bends your hip more than the recommended 90degrees
The Physiotherapist has been mentioned by the OP so they should have made sure he can manage the stairs

Baggs Sun 16-May-21 10:21:26

parkersheen, I'm sure the doctors and physios have also told your partner than the less he moves the longer the hip and all its connecting tissues will take to heal and get comfortable.

Is there a chance you could speak to the physio or to your GP so that your partner can get some professional encouragement to help himself?

geekesse Sun 16-May-21 11:24:11

absent, I had a hip replacement a few years ago. I lived alone in a house with stairs, so I’ve gone through the whole healing process without someone to wait on me hand and foot. It’s actually not that hard to manage stairs with crutches, and a nice firm kitchen chair means you can drink tea without having to carry it to another room. Yes, it’s hard work to begin with, so a lazy person may need a bit of encouragement. But there’s no excuse for encouraging someone to stay incapacitated by running round after them.

annodomini Sun 16-May-21 12:03:35

The only physio I was prescribed after my hip replacement was to walk a bit further each day. First day, it was past one other house, the next, past two houses. After six weeks I handed my crutches back to the hospital. I was 64, so not that much younger than the OP's DH.

Chardy Sun 16-May-21 13:05:18

Lack of motivation is often linked to depression. Does that mean GP visit or even medication?

Pre-hip what did he enjoy doing? Is there a carrot that can be dangled?

Kali2 Sun 16-May-21 13:09:05

Perhaps the help of a private physio 2 or 3 times a week would help, if you can afford it, to show him exactly how to do things, especially up and down stairs, and give him specific things to do to help motivate him.

greenlady102 Sun 16-May-21 13:11:15

did he break his hip falling? Is he scared of falling again? Has he always had a problem with using pain relief? I think you need to be talking to him and not just "why aren't you making more effort" but more "I am worried about you, you don't seem to be yourself, is there something wrong?" For many folk, a fall that breaks something is scarey and they are terrified of it happening again.

parkersheen Tue 18-May-21 13:47:32

Thank you all for your replies. To be clear, my partner did not have a hip replacement which I am aware can heal pretty quickly. I had a knee replacement myself over a year ago and they had me up and walking next day (ouch). I have arthritis in the other knee too so I have to battle through pain on stairs etc. However my partner fell on the stairs and broke his hip and had it 'pinned'. He was told not to put weight on it for 6 weeks and then just a bit at a time. Physio and Doc said that elective surgery is much quicker to heal than accident or trauma because if you have elective surgery (hip replacement etc) you are prepared for the after effects. I may be expecting too much of him and yes, greenlady102 I think he may be not unreasonably scared that it will happen again and just doesn't feel confident. Don't think he would go for private physio Kali2 and yes, Baggs I have spoken with the Physio but he said he wished he could bottle motivation but sadly he can't. I will cut back on what I am doing for him though and hope for the best.

H1954 Tue 18-May-21 13:55:20

Apologies if someone has already asked this........what would he do if you weren't there?
He does sound a bit of a mardy, self obsessed couch potato to be honest and the more he lounges the more weight he will gain, his muscles will weaken and the new hip will have been a total waste of time.

Daisend1 Tue 18-May-21 14:14:40

A stronger pain killer from his doctor administered by yourself so you are aware how much he must take until healing takes place. I can understand his reluctance to move about when in so much discomfort.