How do I get my 84-year-old mother to use the safety products for her balance issues?

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My mother lives with me, my husband, son and 4 yr old granddaughter. She’s got beginning dementia and some serious balance issues. She foolishly uses the walls for support, even though she has a walker and a cane. She doesn’t use them unless one of us, including the 4yr old, tells her to. I installed grab bars in the shower, and put a seat in the shower to make it easier/safer for her. When I ask her is she’s using the seat she tells ‘not all the time’. That means no! She has balance issues, both in and out of the shower, and lately I have been yelling at her when she admits she doesn't use it. I am astounded and I don't know how to get her to use the things that will help keep her from getting hurt - in spite of herself. When I try to explain the importance of using them (you wouldn't think that was necessary) I wind up sounding mean for telling her she's going to wind up in a nursing home! And then the guilt begins! Has anyone had this type of problem and have you come up with any solutions. Thanks...

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There is a difference of personality and learning style between you and your Mom. My Mom is a "learn by doing" person. I can tell her to do something a million times and until she has a near mishap or injury, it makes no sense to her. Then she says to me, "I should have listened to you" or "I learned my lesson." Scare tactics don't work either...I've tried them. (I also think to myself that I would be happy to take preventative measures rather than ending up in a hospital or NH...but that's me and my way of doing things.)
So the short answer is to save your sanity and do not get upset with her. There is only so much you can do to prevent someone from hurting themselves. For some people, the feeling of inedpendent decision making is more important than listening to advice, no matter how well intentioned.
Relying on furniture and walls may not be bad in her familiar environment. Remind her that she needs the walker when she leaves the house. Maybe you can bargain with her. If she agrees to always use the walker away from home without any fuss or argument, then all of you (including the 4-year-old) will stop nagging her when she is at home.

You have the grab bars and and bench so if she feels weak or unsteady she can use them in the shower. That may be the best you can do right now.
This one is hard, how to change habits of literally a lifetime, for a generation that often refused to ever ask for help. It is almost like you have to make it impossible for them Not to use them. I think partly you have to reinforce their usage, while not harping the fact that they need them. Yeah I know good luck there. My grandma would rather furniture walk and pee herself than use a walker or admit she needed to go and use the handicapped bathroom even when she was right in front of it...

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