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my mom is an 80 yr old stroke victim. There's a long story behind it, but to make it short over the past years she has been able to walk with a cane. This yr she had an unexpected fall which had her bed ridden for a few months...compound fractures which the doctors say we can not operate at her age and condition. Mom and I worked really hard and she is up around and on the move again - with a walker. She is good about using it to go out and about. The past couple weeks I see her trying to walk around the house without it...I realize it is her only control on her life, but the doc said she must use it at all times. I am not getting any support from the family on making her use it in the house. I am the full time care giver and am wondering how to make the family back me up. They keep saying it is her life, but the thing is if she falls then she is going to be bed ridden...they will not be the one to care for her if this happens. Besides I want her to have fun the last yrs....

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Many of us expect our elderly parents/relatives to use a cane or a walker.... ever try to use either one yourself? Oh my gosh, it isn't easy.

Get the walker and go around the house with it yourself to see from your Mom's views what could be the problems. Have your spouse and/or your Mom's spouse also go around the house with walker, and give suggestions. Things look different from the other side.
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Wait Loonie, you're saying a nurse doesn't want her mom using a walker? If that's the case, what a dope - I can't imagine! Thank goodness my 94-year old mom wants to use her walker most of the time. She's too stiff (arthritis in her knees) and unsteady to do much walking without it. If daughter is POA, you may not be able to fight that battle. It sounds like she's in total denial about her mother's condition. Again, as a nurse, that's shocking to me. I guess she's human, but geez, you think her professionalism would kick in and take over. What does your husband say about all of this? I'd be very frustrated if I was you.
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I really feel for you going through this kind of ordeal as I can relate to it on so many levels. You mentioned that you are her full time care giver. You are doing a wonderful job and looking out for her best interests. Prevention is key...
I had a similar problem with my MIL and had to tell her constantly to use the walker. And actually took all canes and put them away - per doctors orders.

Yes, it is their life; but if they cannot make smart decisions to keep them from injuring themselves - such as a walker - then you have to do it for them. The rest of the family is being irresponsible by just fluffing it off. But, people do that as it is the easier thing to do. It's difficult to be the "bad guy". If she ends up bedridden due to a serious fall due to not using a walker you may not be able to take care of her needs anymore and she could require a skilled nursing facility.

I've heard it all about losing independence, and they don't like how it looks; well my mother fell over and over again by not using one out of pure stubbornness and it caused unnecessary injuries and problems. All could have been prevented. It puts so much added stress on the caretaker for no good reason. The walkers keep their bodies balanced and helps with posture.

They are not losing independence by using a walker - they are gaining it - it is all a matter of perspective. When my father reached the point where he had to use a walker, he did it with no complaints and he never fell. He always was a role model to me even in the elderly years, God bless him. Blessings to all dealing with this issue - it is a challenge.
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We moved from California to the mid west to take care of my mother in law. In October she fell and broke her wrist and needed stiches in her forhead. She also was brused head to toe. We moved the end of December. In January, she broke her hip, needed hip replacement and stayed many weeks in a nursing home. She has only been home 2 weeks and is refusing to walk without her walker. Her daughter is a nurse and will not support us when insisting using her walker. Her daughter stated she only agreed to 2 weeks with the walker. She is very unstable walking and will only go outside if she hangs on to my husbandl. I keep telling her she is doing more harm to her body than good as she is sideways and off balance. The balance is from holding on to her son. We are her caretakers and her daughter has full power of attorney. The daughter does not want me at her doctors visits any more. What do I do?
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yes I am living the say insanity myself..Mom broke her hip when she tripped over Dad's feet who was trying to open her door for her on their anniversary..that was 8 years ago and I can still see her throwing her walker across the room out of frustration when she was trying to negotiate a turn in the hallway...and Dad and I just looked at each other in unbelief..last Tuesday she fell again and called ems. to take her to the hospital because she could not get up,exrays showed no damage but I took her to the pharmacy and MADE her purchase a four wheel walker with a sit and basket and it is Thursday and she is already trying to talk me into not using it...she is 91 and still driving her own car and doing great for her age but she still refuses to use her walker in public...her pride is the senseless problem and I understand but I still won't fall for all that ...she is very unsteady and she is just one accident away from braking her other hip...I hate to give her such a hard time but I work in the health industry and I know how easy it can happen...

ums
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I also notice that the no-walker routine happens on in-home PT days. I talked to the PT about it. The "you're doing great", "your balance is getting so good", etc. makes my grandmother believe she doesn't need it anymore or only sometimes. I was able to catch her while in a backwards stumble in the kitchen at 1:00am. I'm never awake and in the kitchen at 1:00am. I can only hope this incident wakes her stubborn *blank* up. I don't want to find her dead on the floor one day.
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Thank you for the suggestions. I have already done all those things. But hearing from everyone and knowing you are going through the same battle with your families helps. The dr said no cane anymore, but maybe it would be better then nothing. I worry so much as she also has osteoporisis along with the stroke issues. I will just keep watching her and praying for the best being as the family is no help.
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Gwyn, My mother-in-law has to use the walker with only 2 wheels instead of 4 because she can't be trusted to remember the hand brake. She uses it most of the time, but I know she's not using it in her apartment at her asst living place. She has fallen in her room, but not enough to hurt herself...yet. I keep after her to use it outside her room, telling her she will end up back in the nursing home in rehab when she breaks her hip AGAIN. But as far as in her room when she's alone, there is nothing I can do about that I'm afraid. It's a matter of pride for her as well as a nuisance to have to drag that thing around in her little apartment. Since your mother used to use a cane, maybe she would agree to using that while she's alone in her room instead of the walker?
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My mom hated her walker too - it was too cumbersome for around the house. We did several things that helped - you've probably done some already so forgive me if I'm "preachin' to the converted" so to speak...;)...
1. remove all "trip" hazards - area rugs, tables with legs that stick out etc.
2. place furniture - sturdy furniture - so she can furniture walk
3. install hand holds in the bathroom - you can get bars that stand alone to wrap around the toilet or those that bolt to the wall. look for various types online or at your closest home health care pharmacy.
4. use a shower chair ALL the time, install at grab bar in the shower
5. try a smaller walker with 4 wheels not 2, My mom got tired of dragging her 2-wheeled walker around; it was actually HARDER for her. She did much better with a walker that moved side-ways more easily.
6. try a walker with a seat or basket, mom used this to transport stuff around the house and it seemed to help keep her "working" longer - she moved towels from the laundry to the bathrooms, dirty dishes from dining room to kitchen. It might seem minor but it helped her feel like she could still make some contribution by using it as a "trolley" or "cart" to haul things around.

I hope you can find a safe and happy medium. I admire her willingness to bounce back and you are a blessing to her.
let us know how it works out.!
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Boy, do I understand your situation. My mom fell almost 3 mos ago and broke her hip...i have noticed on the days she feels better she doesn't want to use her walker either...all you can do is just watch her the best you can. And as far as your family, until they walk a day in our shoes, pay no attention to them.
good luck...
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