How do you get an elderly parent with dementia to use a walker?

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My dad absolutely refuses to use a walker or a cane and if we threaten him or tell him we won't take him out if he doesnt he gets violent. He lives in an apartment by himself because my sister who is his guardian won't put him in a nursing home. I know its just a matter of time before he falls. Does anyone have any suggestions? I threatened him with social services once to get him to use his cane and it worked but now he won't use anything and nothing I say will change his mind. HELP!

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I have found that the simple act of wordlessly putting the walker in front of the chair and car door etc etc while making small talk often does,the trick. I am also seeing that when things get too wild as in imagining things suspicious check for the most common thing which is for elderly women bladder infections that rewuquire antibiotics. My mom and aunt both "returned" to is significantly despite aunt having dementia diagnosed. I simply did not know my mom whiled she was treated. And recovered. Also with my dad ambulation is encouraged by stating that workers cannot do their jobs and get him,exercising unless a walker is used as prescribed by the doc and hospital. I ascertain that I too will require the walker be used and taken when we leave his residence so that we can have fun and go places! Took my three loved ones to a nice tri,the other day and I recite things that are routine for me ie. seat belts, wait in car for,their turn to be escorted with their walkers and by arm to the entry's and wait there for me to park. Be fearless once these people had to live with is growing up and taking risks! Rediscover who,they are today and accept. That there is risk where ther is life there is also love.
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my mom has dementia and was living in an assisted living community. she has had 2 falls in 3 months resulting in a broken pelvis and hip. We are considering putting her in a nursing home, but she has been up out of bed (1 week after surgery) alarms ringing with very so response. Seems there is just a much chance of her falling in a nursing home as anywhere else.
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Thanks Ashlynne, that is what we keep trying to tell my dad. Right now we are just having myself or paid helpers here every waking hour, it is expensive but cheaper than a NH and he is happier. I wish we could find an alarm that went off when he went out of range of the walker. I found a plan for one from some college students, I can't believe this isn't being manufactured.
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During the four years I cared for my mother in her home she refused to use the wheeled walker I got her ... just went around the house holding on to the walls and furniture and falling constantly. In the end she had a huge fall at 2 a.m., out of it and in a pool of blood, I couldn't lift her and she went to hospital via ambulance. From there she went to a NH. Had she co-operated she would have had more time to spend in her home but you can't make anyone do anything.
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I was hoping for some type of alarm or something but it sounds like you need to do what we have done, get companion care. It is less expensive than a nursing home and you can just have it the hours he is up and around. They will remind him to use the walker, help with meals, cleaning, laundry, and give companionship. It has been great.
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re above response - correct the gender
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Accept the fact that ur mom will not learn (requires thought,) but she will do ! Habits die hard. So make using the walker a HABIT. u may have to be a PITA, but insist that she use the walker. in time, it will become a habit. walkers may not always protect her, but they do help. also, keep the walker simple, wheels in the front, skids in the back. no rugs nor obstructions along her routes. and no distractions while she is underway, stopping and/or changing direction result invariably in unsteadiness. and finally, u will still find her moving about without the aid of the walker, but keep up the "nagging," it helps reinforce the habit.
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My mom,82, with or without her cane is still unsteady at times on her feet and there are times when she will just carry the cane on her arm instead of using it....as was said before...if they can't remember how to use it, a cane or walker really won't do them much good. Fortunately, my mom lives with me and I take care of her 24/7 so one of my jobs is to watch her, try to keep things out of her pathways, and then just pray that she still doesn't fall and break something. Whether or not it really helps I also give my mom calcium supplements and a supplement called "Strontium" to help her retain bone mass so in the event of a fall perhaps it won't be quite as debilitating. My sister and I take this and have for a couple of years...my sister had a bone density done and she actually had bone mass improvement! It will be interesting to see what happens next time mom goes for a bone density check-up as she did have mild osteoporosis. I will keep you posted! Hang in there, no one said it would be easy, but it can be rewarding.
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kkinsel, my mother-in-law also has dementia but she uses the very simple kind of walker because her insurance wouldn't pay for the kind with brakes, since she would forget to use them. But even with the walker, she has fallen and broken BOTH hips, so there's no guarantee that a walker is going to stop falling. If it's your father's pride that is keeping him from using a walker tho, then I'd certainly address that. If it IS pride, then why would he wear glasses or a hearing aid, doesn't that show that a person is getting older? What is so different about the walker?
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Good question - How can you get someone with dementia to do or remember anything? Not well. My mom is showing signs of cognitive decline. Don't know if it's exactly dementia -- yet. Her PT is working with her b/c mom has Stage 4 PD and the PT involves "retraining the brain". Kinda hard to do when the patient sometimes forgets what day, month it is or thinks things that haven't happened have and those that have haven't. It's a nice "theory" about just 'focusing and retraining your brain" but not necessarily practical in real time.
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