Mobility issues, and the motorized scooter is becoming more of a curse than a blessing. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mobility issues, and the motorized scooter is becoming more of a curse than a blessing. Any advice?

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Yep... I'm whining again, BUT...


I think Dad is getting to the point where the motorized scooter is becoming more of a curse than a blessing. Though legally blind, Dad can still see objects and people relatively well, so the used motorized scooter I bought him was a godsend.


Without it, Dad wouldn't be able to get around well at all. As his COPD progresses, even short walks are difficult. BUT, his dementia seems to be getting worse, and he insists that his scooter is broken, but THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH IT!!!!


I usually just fiddle with it for a few minutes, announce that it's repaired and that seems to satisfy Dad, but the "It's broken" saga is starting to get on my nerves. The only issues are that he forgets to plug it in at night when he goes to bed, and the UN Assisted Living staff hardly ever remembers to do it despite me asking them to help repeatedly. It's in his care plan. I've seen it. How they can't seem to plug the damn thing in when they give Dad his evening medicine is completely beyond me... yet I digress...


I have also noticed that Dad is struggling more with remembering how to operate the thing. I don't think he's going to be able to manage it cognitively. A "normal" person would understand to wait a couple of seconds before trying to engage the machine after turning the key. Dad doesn't get that or forgets to count to three after turning it on like we've practiced.


In addition, I notice that the speed dial is turned all the way down. Dad turns is because he doesn't remember what the dial does. He then says the scooter is "dragging" but it's on the slowest setting. I thought about putting some tape over the speed dial to keep him from moving it (or worse, turning UP the speed and hurting someone).


Without this scooter, Dad would be bound to his room which I painfully learned recently would be miserable for EVERYONE. Dad refuses a wheelchair and probably wouldn't be able to operate it himself with his lung issues.


Does this ever end? And yes, after the 50th time hearing "I need a new scooter", I announced, of course to no avail, that the scooter is fine.

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Great suggestions here, everyone! For now, I'm going to pursue the "new" scooter option.

... and Dad is so stubborn that he won't use a wheelchair (tried and failed). I bought him a rolling walker (the cute one that turns into a seat) and he refused to use it. Let's just say the sailor came out of him. He actually tried to break it, so I ended up selling it on eBay to get some of my money back.

I'll look into Medicare options for motorized options, but if it remotely resembles a wheelchair, dad won't use it.

... and I've placed signs up before (complete with cute little smiley faces), and the staff rips them down. I haven't mentioned much to the staff, as I don't want them to kick Dad out.

---honestly, I don't have TIME to do any of this stuff. I got in trouble at work yesterday for the personal phone calls trying to get the oxygen situation settled (which it still isn't), and I get sick of using PTO for Dad's stuff... looks like I'm going to have to do that anyway.

WHINE..... some days I just want to worry about Tinyblu...
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Reply to Tinyblu
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I should look for the disguised blessing, Tiny - that if your Dad thinks the scooter is "broken" then he won't use it and you won't have to worry about his being a motorised menace on it.

You know and we know that it's not the scooter, it's him. But isn't it gentler on his pride if we all blame the scooter?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I too would be worried about your father accidentally mowing someone down, especially as he becomes more forgetful. I know that motorized wheelchairs weigh a lot (I have had my toes run over a few times in my career) but I don’t know how much the scooter weighs.
Lots of issues for you to worry about, tinyblu. I don’t envy you.
I can see the person’s point above in that the scooter/motorized wheelchair caused her dad to be less mobile and developed contractures and generalized musculoskeletal weakness, but I guess you have to choose the lesser of two evils as your dad has COPD & his mobility is already compromised. Maybe a wheelchair with no leg rests would be better for him? You can always put the leg rests back on if needed.
I would be worried though about the AL determining your dad presents a safety risk for himself or others if he gets confused & forgets how to use the controls. They can ask that you remove the scooter from the center.
It’s awful for him & you to be in the position of vulnerability as the center can also be documenting your complaints and building a case to ask you to transfer him to another AL if they feel you are not happy with his care there. The AL is probably privately owned (not owned by the state) and thus can make decisions on whether he stays or leaves. While the AL must meet state guidelines for standards of care, it’s not like it is funded by Medicare & Medicaid. 
I agree with the post above - take his current scooter away, clean it up and bring it back to him telling him it’s brand new.
Let us know how things work out. Sorry to hear that every week there is something that happens that is not up to your expectations as AL is not inexpensive.
You do have an option to hire addition assistance (like a sitter) to assure his scooter gets plugged in, but you shouldn’t have to -the AL staff should assume that this is done. 
So frustrating for you! 
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Reply to Shane1124
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The scooter and electric wheelchair were the beginning of the end for my father. 23 years ago at the age of 65 he had two massive strokes but recovered enough to walk with a cane and drive. Then his doctor told him that he could walk better with knee surgery. During his recovery he parked himself in my mother’s electric wheelchair (that she never used), did not do daily therapy, his leg stiffened straight out, and he lost the ability to walk. The electic wheelchair and scooter helped to make my father disabled unnecessarily. It was also dangerous as he could easily go places outside of the house, but he would get stuck, and a couple of times fell over. Several years ago, after a hospitalization for ( I can’t remember, there have been so many), his doctor said he was losing upper body strength and he needed to lose the motorized wheelchair and scooter. He was not happy to be placed in a regular wheelchair, but he learned to get around. In the nursing home in which he resides now, there are no motorized wheelchairs that I know of. Patients scoot around in wheelchairs using their feet and hands.
I don’t know how debilitating your father’s lung issues are, but even my mother, on 24 hour oxygen, and severe weakness in arms and legs manages to move around to where she wants to go at the nursing home.
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Reply to Treeartist
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At Moms rehab they scoot around in wheelchairs. The leg rests are taken off. Most are transporters that have 4 small wheels. You can get lightweight ones from Walgreens on sale for under $100. He is going to need to stop driving around a scooter.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Tinyblu, I am honestly amazed that your Dad's Assisted Living even allows a large scooter to be ridden within the building especially with your Dad's very poor eyesight and his memory. That is such a huge liability risk. And that could be why the Staff doesn't plug the scooter in at night.

I know the Assisted Living allowed your Dad to have his scooter when he moved in, but your Dad may not be using the scooter as safety as he did when he first moved.

I remember my Dad's neighbor at Independent Living had a scooter, but once my Dad and his neighbor moved over to Assisted Living/Memory Care, I could see the scooter sitting at the neighbor's door to his apartment, but I never saw the neighbor using it after his move. He was now using a Rolling Walker. He probably can use the scooter if he is going out of the facility with either Staff or family being with him.

As Isthisrealyreal had mentioned earlier, time for a meeting with the Staff regarding this matter.
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Reply to freqflyer
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My mother became quite forgetful and could no longer use her scooter. I bought a transport wheelchair for in the house (all 4 wheels are small) and took off the foot pedals. Now she can scoot around with no mechanics and to me, much safer.
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Reply to commutergirl
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I was thinking the same things about putting a sign up for the staff. I had to do that when my mom still lived on her own and before going to a facility, repeatedly called 911 for very minor issues. They were bound to respond, of course but she gave them the wrong phone number for me. I put a sign for the Emergency Services on a fluorescent orange poster board on the wall next to her door where they were sure to see it, with my information on it.

Also, Medicare covered about 98% of a power wheelchair for my husband. Could that be an alternative to your dad’s scooter?
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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So if it is in his care contract you need to grab that document and go have a meeting with the manager. They are in fact violating their own contract, keep records of all the things they violate, there may come a day when they come to you about violations that mean you are looking for a new home for dad. Obviously you are having this meeting as a grateful child of a resident, politics ya know, and ask how can we get this dealt with as we all know his days of mobility in any form are getting short and you would just like to see that things that cause him great concern or agitation are just kept to a minimum and that the staff just do the things they can to help. Maybe a brightly colored sign or signs, Plug in scooter, thank you. On his walls, doors wherever, I know that a lot of facilities are under staffed but some of the employees are just straight out lazy.

I'm sorry for your struggles with your dad, I know all of the repeated situations get so wearing. Keep your sense of humor and tape that speed button down so he doesn't run some poor cluck down😁
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Take the scooter away polish it up and if necessary a fresh coat of paint. get a cover for the seat, Invest in some of that new car small spray and bring it back a few days later and tell him it is new.
Not much help but that is all i can think of.
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Reply to Veronica91
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