My 89 year old father has fallen several times but is too proud to use walker. Any advice?

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My 89 year old father has fallen several times, My stepmother tried to help him the last time he fell and she herself ended up very sore and afraid that she would hurt herself. She thinks she should hire a young man to accompany my Dad when he is out. But I don't think this is a good idea since the situation then puts the young man in danger of getting hurt trying to prevent a fall. Neither my dad nor step mom seem to be ready to face the fact that my dad may not be able to go out to places with out a cane or walker. The reality of the situation is that he will fall unless he is in a wheelchair and they might have to curtail going places. I do not know what to suggest to them to keep my Dad and step mom safer.

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One grandmother, one father, 2 aunts and 3 uncles ....that is the count of family elders (all over 80) I have seen go through the same thing. "I don't need a cane". "I don't need a walker". "That's for old people".

Eventually, they give in. Your's will too.
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Has he been evaluated by a physical therapist? Has his home been evaluated? A visiting PT can make recommendations regarding a walker vs a cane, what kind of walker or cane, how to make the home environment safer, and even what kind of shoes may contribute to stability. If you are saying that he needs a walker because it seems like common sense to you, it may have more authority for Dad if a professional gives an opinion.

StepMom should not try to get him up. In many communities the local fire station may be called for help getting someone up off the floor or out of a bathtub, etc. Check this out in their locality. Also, PT may be able to give Dad some tips for getting himself up.

StepMom would be justified in saying "Dear, I'd love to go out to dinner tonight. Would you be willing to use your cane (or walker) so I don't have to worry so much about you falling?" And if he says No, then "OK. It is up to you. I'm sorry, though, that I'm not willing to take the risk. We'll just eat at home tonight." His kids could follow the same practice. This should not be argumentative or sound like a punishment.

How does he feel about a wheelchair? That is generally the safest bet. My husband was perfectly OK with that, but hated a walker. Go figure. If he is willing to be pushed in a chair, a transport chair is the easiest to get in and out of a trunk. Also many places such as museums, botanical gardens, and other public exhibits have loaner chairs.

It would be a real shame for Dad to be isolated because of his mobility issues. There are ways to reduce the risks, if the parent is willing.

Beyond that, you will have to accept that you cannot make him absolutely safe. Unfortunately it may take a severe fall for him to realize the value of being safer.

Good luck!
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I feel for you. My mom needs her walker, but refuses to use it because the PT said she doesn't need it. he discharged her months ago. I get to watch her wobble all around
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What about talking to him and telling him that if he doesn't use a walker, he's going to find himself in a wheelchair more often then he'll want or maybe even end up in the hospital. Reassure him that there is no shame in using a walker and joke around with him telling him he can get a cool walker that has a seat and wheels and that he can get it in any color he wants. Also maybe try getting his doctor to help him accept the fact that it's time he uses a walker.
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My Dad does not drive. My stepmother is much younger than he is. It is more of a question of his pride than anything else.
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Neither one should have access to a motor vehicle. Start by borrowing their car, and do NOT bring it back. Holy smokes!
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Is there any way to get his doctor involved? If he could be evaluated by a physical therapist they could tell him whether he needs a cane or walker to walk safely and maybe it would have some authority? Ah, who am I kidding! I've done all this with my mom and she fights it all like hell. Good luck to you and your father.
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