When have I pushed my father too far.

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My father walks with a walker. I make him go outside and walk up and down the street. It might be for about 15 minutes or so. Sometimes I take him to the mall when it is hot and he walk around the mall. Maybe a half hour.

If he breathes heavier than normal, he starts to complain.

One of the physical therapist said "George, we are excercising. When we excercise, we breath heavier."

The other physical therapist said that I should listen to my father. He was concerned that I would push him to far if I made him walk and he was breathing heavy.

So I am confused at what the right level is.

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My mother-in-law walks all the time with a walker. But when she broke this last hip she got out of shape for walking during the lay up. Then add dementia/alz onto that, she didn't remember breaking the hip, hospital, rehab etc etc etc. So when she and I would walk the mall like we used to, she'd keep stopping and taking her pulse. She complain that her heart was beating too fast, and have me take her pulse. It got pretty comical after awhile. She's NEVER had a heart problem so I would have her sit down for a time and rest, then we'd get back up and keep walking. Eventually, her strength returned pretty much and she's walking again. I guess my point is, if your dad's doctor says it's good for him to walk, and he's NOT gonna drop dead from a heart attack because of it, then go for it. I used to tell my mother-in-law when she'd have me feeling her pulse because she was just sure it was beating too fast, that her heart is a muscle and if she hasn't used that muscle much because of her hip, then it's going to beat a little faster. But that is good, that means her heart is doing what it's supposed to do. For you, I'd make walking fun for your dad. Is there somewhere that he might like to go? The zoo? A museum? Some place that he is distracted long enough that he forgets he's actually exercising. I see no problem with letting him rest when he wants to as long as he gets back up and continues walking. "If you don't use it, you lose it" is my thinking. All those people you see at the mall in wheelchairs, would probably agree.
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