My mother, (89) has been using a walker for 3 years now, after hip replacement surgery. It WAS sad that she didn't rehab better than she did, she was barely needing a cane and now she is FT walker and looking down the road to the wheelchair (which she has already bought!).
I was AT HER HOME when the PT guys worked with her on walking properly with the walker. Holding it in close to her body, standing straight as possible and using the walker as a support, just gently resting her hands on it--must have practiced a thousand times how to walk with it....
Fast forward 2 weeks after PT is over and she is slumping over the walker, essentially "chasing" it, rather than using it for "support" it is now her 3rd leg. SLAMMING into doors to open them--my poor brother has to touch up the paint monthly anywhere she goes.
AND she has so much garbage piled on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Purses, bags, little "organizers" another bag for shopping...what have you. I went to take her to the store a few months ago and after she let go of the walker it fell over, it was SO LOADED with junk. I was not expecting that--so I was a little miffed--I had to pick up basically 4 containers worth of junk in a snowy parking lot.
Her purse must weigh 10 lbs. Add all the other bags she can't live without and she's pushing 20-25 lbs of junk around.
EVERY bag has: tissues, wet and dry, MANY pads of paper, anywhere from 5-15 pens and pencils, the usual checkbook, wallet, combs and brushes and chapstick, little containers with pills and crumbs of pills and gum and chewed gum wrapped in MORE tissues and more tissues and oh my gosh....
The ONE thing I try to get her to take on board is hand sanitizer, but, nope, no room for that.
I MADE her clean the bags out last time I saw her, she had lost something and I knew it was probably in one of the bag bottoms. It was.
So gross to me: damp nose tissues in every corner of each bag. She never cleans these out, just finds another "cute" tote to carry.
She looks like a well fed bag lady.
I have NEVER seen an elderly man use a walker in this manner. I am a woman too and I carry some kind of bag/tote with me, but it gets cleaned out everyday.
She does have a "seated" walker, which I personally find preferable to having all your garbage hanging off the handles--there's a seat with storage space. Oh, and I didn't mention that she hangs her catheter bag off the walker too? I mean---oh gosh. I am so glad I am not the go-to for shopping with her. Sometimes she'll strap the bag to her leg like she's supposed, but too often it's just hanging out there....
I don't suppose there really is an answer to this. I am really just venting. I wish I could design and create a much more streamlined way for her to carry her junk around in ONE bag---but she'd just fill it up and want another. Upon reflection, her bags look a LOT like her kitchen table--hoarded to the point she can only have space for one dish to eat on.
The slumping is something I have given up on.
Really--just a vent. I am having a family get together in a couple weeks b/c my daughter and her family are coming to town. Her kids don't see great granny more than once a year, if that and the last time they did, my 6 yo granddaughter thought she was witch and began crying when mother "burst" into the room. We stayed for 5 minutes.
I don't want a repeat of that.
At this point is there even any point in trying to get her to at least cover the cath bag? Toss about half of her garbage? Or do I just let the chips fall.
(I'm putting this in Burnout as I am burned out by this--but mostly b/c that topic gets the most views and support!)