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How does one cope with the loss of a leg in later life?

exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
An elderly friend is about to have a leg amputated following years of problems and is obviously concerned about carrying on afterwards, particularly regarding mobility and toileting.  He feels that he would be unlikely to have a prosthetic fitted.     Does anyone elderly have any experience of this sort of thing that they would like share?

Best wishes.

DLTBGYD

Replies

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,251 Scope community team
    Hi @exdvr, thank you for posting this,, I hope your friend is okay.

    Have they had chance to speak with an occupational therapist or physio about how they would manage afterwards? This type of rehabilitation is often given in hospital. It might be worth asking their doctor if this would happen.

    I hope others are able to offer their experiences.
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  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 3,654 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi I had my leg amputated 3 years ago at the age of 50 so not really elderly. It is life changing I wont deny. I got great support from the hospital team physio and occupational health. I have difficulty using a prosthetic leg so mostly i dont use it. There are lots of aids which the oh can recommend and supply like frames for toilet bath lifts etc your friend should organise a assessment with oh. It isn't easy but you learn to adjust and make most of it. Help from friends and family is the most precious. I also found moving into a bungalow is the best thing I did  
    If you have anymore questions I'm happy to try and help 
  • exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
    Hi @exdvr, thank you for posting this,, I hope your friend is okay.

    Have they had chance to speak with an occupational therapist or physio about how they would manage afterwards? This type of rehabilitation is often given in hospital. It might be worth asking their doctor if this would happen.

    I hope others are able to offer their experiences.

    Thank you for your prompt rely.  He has diabetes and high risk for a heart attack or stroke.  Worries about life expectancy and if it would be worthwhile having the operation and quality of life if he went ahead.  He's in his seventies and not in a happy place at the moment.

    Best wishes.

    DLTBGYD

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,251 Scope community team
    I'm sorry to hear this @exdvr, you sound like a very supportive friend. Has he had any mental health support at all? It sounds like he has a lot going on at the moment.
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  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,999 Disability Gamechanger
    janer1967 said:
    Hi I had my leg amputated 3 years ago at the age of 50 so not really elderly. It is life changing I wont deny. I got great support from the hospital team physio and occupational health. I have difficulty using a prosthetic leg so mostly i dont use it. There are lots of aids which the oh can recommend and supply like frames for toilet bath lifts etc your friend should organise a assessment with oh. It isn't easy but you learn to adjust and make most of it. Help from friends and family is the most precious. I also found moving into a bungalow is the best thing I did  
    If you have anymore questions I'm happy to try and help 

    Hi, hope you dont mind me asking....do you get phantom pains? I`ve heard they can be really hard to cope with.
    Best wishes xx
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 3,654 Disability Gamechanger
    @pollyanna1052 hi of course I dont mind you asking. Yes i do get pains it is a nerve pain very sharp sudden pain which feels like it's in part of leg that is no longer there which sounds daft. They do get less over time and controlled with meds. It's not nice but manageable 
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,999 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing janer xx
  • exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
    I'm sorry to hear this @exdvr, you sound like a very supportive friend. Has he had any mental health support at all? It sounds like he has a lot going on at the moment.
    He has a thing about only living to 75 whether or not he has the operation.  A sort of Catch 22 situation. Depression is no longer a case of peaks and troughs, more like a continual downward spiral.  He has another appointment soon with a psych nurse but he is talking about ending it all rather than waiting another 3 years for it to end naturally. It's very worrying and upsetting.

    Best wishes.

    DLTBGYD

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,999 Disability Gamechanger
    exdvr said:
    I'm sorry to hear this @exdvr, you sound like a very supportive friend. Has he had any mental health support at all? It sounds like he has a lot going on at the moment.
    He has a thing about only living to 75 whether or not he has the operation.  A sort of Catch 22 situation. Depression is no longer a case of peaks and troughs, more like a continual downward spiral.  He has another appointment soon with a psych nurse but he is talking about ending it all rather than waiting another 3 years for it to end naturally. It's very worrying and upsetting.

    That`s really sad. If the poor man is determined to do away with himself, then why go through the amputation and all it`s difficulties.

    Do you believe he will do this or s he crying out for more help?

    Either way, I do feel sorry for him....and you ....xx
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,251 Scope community team
    Hi @exdvr, I'm sorry to hear about your friends mental health. Have they had their appointment?

    Just wanted to see how you were at the moment? It can be really difficult when someone close to us is experiencing mental health issues. MIND have a some tips on how to support a friend with depression, as well as how to support yourself.
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  • exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
    Hi @exdvr, I'm sorry to hear about your friends mental health. Have they had their appointment?

    Just wanted to see how you were at the moment? It can be really difficult when someone close to us is experiencing mental health issues. MIND have a some tips on how to support a friend with depression, as well as how to support yourself.

    He is seeing a psychologist or maybe psychiatrist plus is due to have another physical check-up next week.  He's fixated in the belief that he only has 2-3 years left and just wants out of what he sees as a no-win situation.  Will try to keep you up with developments.

    Best wishes.

    DLTBGYD

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,999 Disability Gamechanger
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,251 Scope community team
    Just wanted to check in and see how you are @exdvr. :)
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  • exdvrexdvr Member Posts: 312 Pioneering
    Just wanted to check in and see how you are @exdvr. :)

    Thanks for your concerns Chloe.   I've been quite unwell lately with my own problems that are taking a long time to resolve. The cold and rain and gales have kept me virtually housebound.  Spring is not too far away though.     My friend is receiving psychiatric help and has started to brighten up since his antidepressant dosage was increased.  He still has the fixation regarding his life expectancy but we'll just have to wait and see how things pan out.  Still hoping/praying for a good outcome for him.  

    Best wishes.

    DLTBGYD

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,251 Scope community team
    Hi @exdvr, I'm sorry to hear you haven't been very well! The weather has been truly awful, I hope spring is only round the corner.

    I'm really glad to hear things have improved slightly for your friend and that he is now receiving support. I wish you both the best and please do let us know if there is anything we can do to help. 
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