My late Mom always stood up very straight even as she got into her early 90's. Then she had to start using a cane because she was losing her balance. The cane was fitted to her by rehab.

As Mom got older I noticed she was starting to bend over as she walked. Even without the can she was bent over to the spot where she would be using her cane. Mom was big on talking calcium, for years prior she took calcium pills, drank calcium enriched orange juice, ate a lot of cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, had numerous glasses of milk.

My Dad on the other hand, gave up his cane and used a rolling walker. Dad never developed that bent over condition.

At the hospital the other day [I volunteer there], one elderly lady was hunched over so badly she probably could reach the floor with her hand... she was using a cane.

Now it is making me wonder if canes could contribute to this bent over back issue?

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Mother has 2 walkers, 2 rollators, 2 wheelchairs in her tiny apartment. She's now asking for a "hover chair" which she cannot have as it doesn't fit through the doorways and basically she'd just be "driving" from her bedroom 15' down the hall to the kitchen, where she would then switch to a walker.

If I had one ounce of "power" in the saying as to her care, I would personally move the walkers up about 3". But I am fifth in line as the 'what to say' about her care, so I don't.

I agree, the rollaters are so much better for travel--even for being around her small apartment--but being a hoarder, she'd soon have the thing loaded for bear and we'd just have one more problem.

I agree. My Mom never had good posture after using a walker it got worse. Osteoperosis could contribute to it. But I feel that they have been set too low. Mom had gone thru rehab more than once. The last therapist adjusted her walker higher than it was. Me, I having a rollator. The handles are higher, you have somewhere to it, and some have a compartment to carry things. I just saw an ad that there is something new to keep you standing. Maybe they are wising up.

I worked Elder Care and one HUGE bugaboo for me was the improper "fitting" of a walker. And then the patient refusing to use it correctly.

Mother "chases" her walker. In fairness, she has so much junk slung on this thing, a huge, heavy purse, 2-3 "bags" with the "necessities" tissues, pads of paper, more tissues, just a rolling junk pile--so she isn't ABLE to get in closer to her walker and she has to hold it at arm's length to get "close". Her last bout of PT had her standing upright and "tall". I walked the PT guy out to his car, last home visit. I asked "What are the chances mother will continue to stand upright? This is great!" He said "She's totally non-compliant. Those exercise bands will rot away on her kitchen counter. She'll never stand upright again. She's just snowing everyone."


He was spot on. Within a month she was curved over a lot--and in a year she was practically bent in half. Not from anything other than the fact she wouldn't TRY to stand up and never did her exercises. I threw the rotted elastic exercise bands away a long time ago.

You have to work at staying upright. Her mother was ramrod straight to the day she died at 95. Mom looks about 100, she's 89. She cannot lift her head, she cannot see anything that's above her eyeline--maybe 5'? Anything on her walls above that is useless.

When a person starts using a walker or cane, they really need PT to TEACH them how to walk correctly. The tendency is to "chase" the cane or walker, rather than using it for walking support. Mom's walker is also referred to as the "battering ram" she just slams it into doors and cars to get where she wants....I always make her take a second, stand as close to the walker as she can, and gather her bearings before we start off. And I don't rush her.

She'll never stand straight again, but I tell you--as I am typing this, I am sitting upright with my shoulders back and head UP! The terror of falling apart like she has just terrifies me.

I can’t answer, but will say when my dad got his rollator there was a “fitting” for it at the medical supply company and the person there shared that he’d been trained to do this and hated to see people just buy devices without going through the fitting. He said most people have a tendency to set walkers and canes too low making them bend too much and it’s soon a habit that’s not easily changed.

I have often wondered about that.

I hope someone can shed light on the issue.

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