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I am new as a caregiver my 87 yr old Mom with dementia, she came to live with me 6 months ago when I found her not able to take a shower or dress herself. I take her 2 days a week to Adult Day Care it gives me a break and her a break from me and she can talk with others that have the same disease. Now the Adult Day Care nurses suggested the physical therapy. Mom refuses a walker. She does have heart disease mitrial stenosis so if she walks too fast she gets dizzy and sometimes passes out.

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How about getting the kind of walker with the seat on it. Tell her that it's a place she can rest if she gets dizzy and get the doctor to recommend it. That might be all it takes and a reason to have it other than being handicapped. Even if you can only get her to do it when she takes the longer walks, it may get her adjusted to the idea and end up being something she's okay with.

I'd go with the therapy if you can get it. It won't hurt, and they can sometimes identify and work with some weaknesses that aren't surface apparent. Also discuss occupational therapy. A good occupational therapist will help mom find ways to do thing that she likes and deal with increasing physical and cognitive issues. It's a bit more of a holistic approach than physical therapy.
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Hello Feliceavenue. I thought this article may be helpful to you. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/physical-speech-therapy-alzheimers-dementia-143469.htm
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It's not unusual that your mom does not want to use the walker. It makes her feel handicap and helpless. It's a struggle for her and it will be for you. You will find out as time passes by there will be other things she will refuses to use or try. It will take time and you will need to find a way to explain to her that you don't want her to fall or get hurt, because you need her. Patience is the key to all struggles and you will need it.

If she loves her doctor - get her doctor to talk to her while you are there with her so he/she can explain why the walker is important. My sister and I have had to result to these tactics and we've been taking care of our mom for 8 yrs now. With your help, let her still try to dress herself. It's another way to exercise and keep moving. Once you start doing it for them, they may let you do it all the time without trying themselves.

You will find out later as her world changes that she will not want to do or use many things that will help her and you, like wearing Depends or having you help her clean herself etc...This is just the beginning! She could be getting dizzy if she is dehydrated. Our mom has heart problems too and was always getting light headed, until we learned more about hydration and how many ounces of water she must have a day. We use her meds to help us measure her water intake because she drinks more one pill at a time.

Also, make sure her meds are taken around the same time every day, you don't want them to clash with each other. That's why people never get their rest when in hospitals!

There so much to learn and it is a day to day process.
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I definitely think physical therapy would help. My MIL lived with us and had difficulty walking - she refused the walker as well even though she could barely walk with a cane and "holding on" to things as she groped her way. She was an accident waiting to happen. The doctor had to us she should use a walker. Came to point where we had to take charge (she had dementia/alz. as well) Told her we could not find her cane and dr. said she has to use walker. This actually worked as I repeatedly told her that if she falls she could become bedridden.

After hospitalization for heart problem; she was sent to rehab to regain her strength. We requested physical therapy assessment and she had PT at the rehab for 3 weeks. She was much improved when she returned home. Learned again, how to use walker properly and she was standing straighter and had more strength. So, yes - PT helps and she was 88 at the time. Take care.
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My mother-in-law has broken both her hips over the last 4 years and every time she has to go into physical therapy for a few weeks afterwards. She also has dementia, but it has helped her despite. If your mother refuses a walker now, she just might start using it when strangers tell her to. My m-i-l started bucking the use of her walker too, but they stressed the importance of her NOT falling yet AGAIN, and she eventually swallowed her pride and is using it. I think that's what the problem was for her not wanting the stigma of a walker...PRIDE. But tell your mother it's not different then having to use reading glasses, a hearing aid etc. those are all things that we have to use when we get old. No harm no foul.
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I have wondered about physical therapy or speech therapy for my dad who has alzheimers. He is on hospice and has been for over a year now. His prognosis was not good when he first came home from the hospital after a stroke. But he is still physically strong. I think the drs were thinking he wouldn't last a few months. But my mom has kept him active, involved, eating good and at home. He can't make any sense when talking. Just a jumbled mess of words. He walks a million miles a day in the confines of their home. Does anyone think that any kind of therapy would help at this point?
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