Mom is supposed to be using her walker. She has such marked dementia she forgets it. Any ideas?

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She's just out of her wrist cast from her last fall. I found her today hanging on to the hallway handrail without her walker, about 30 normal paces from her room. She just left the walker in her room. Of course she is going to fall again and has very fragile bones. Any ideas on how to get her to remember her walker? She is in an ALF.

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CPS making bright, clear signs and carefully locating them so that your father "can't possibly fail" to see them and be prompted to use his walker can't hurt and it might help.

Mainly, though, I'm sorry to say, it will probably just help you know you've tried. Manage your expectations, won't you :)
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So if they dont remember to use their walkers, would signs help? Im going to try it on my father. He's in AL and is falling at least every 3 weeks. Ive seen him hold on to things in his room instead of using the walker. He even used a cane and i had to remind him to use the walker..he claimed it was ok but the AL director said no, he's not.  We finally got a light weight walker thru the VA that he can use to "walk" with.. but waiting for delivery.  He'll need memory care soon :-(
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From what I've read on this site, that "A" can stand for a lot of things.
Kind of makes me wish there was an Angie's List for those kinds of facilities.
Some place they can't pay for positive reviews.

I tried to use A Place for Mom, but once the lady found out we weren't looking for a luxury condo at $6-10K/month, I couldn't get a return phone call.
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This topic makes me wonder what the A in ALF actually stands for. Sophe are you still reading? I'd love to know how long you estimate it must have taken your mother to get that considerable distance from her room, apparently unobserved and unaided. If the ALF is up for it, and your mother needs assistance with falls prevention, I'd suggest chair and bed alarm pads to let the staff know when she's off on her travels.
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I'm thinking that if she doesn't remember to use a walker she won't remember not to get out of the wheelchair either. Once they reach a point where they physically can't get up without assistance life is so much simpler!
I have to comment about losing the ability to walk once they use the wheelchair... According to all the advice I've heard my mom should be totally bedbound by now from atrophied muscles because she is in bed 20 or more hours a day, but she isn't. I have kept her 2 wheel walker and we use it almost exclusively to get around within the house with me right there supporting and guiding her. There are days when she says she can't, but at my insistence we get up and go anyway, so far so good!
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if she absolutely won't use a walker for any reason and you can't fix it and afford to or have resources to have stand by assistance than a wheelchair is better than a broken hip or death from a fall. But a wheelchair too soon does absolutely create an issue with declining ability to support their own weight and get along without it.
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She needs 24/7 Standby assistance to be 100% safe and even that is not foolproof. Make sure she has good shoes that tie and offer support, and that the walker is always nearby, (that it's fitted properly and she likes it as much as she can like it) and that you encourage her to always use it and make a big deal out of it when she does. But it's impossible to make sure she alw uses it if someone isnt' there 24/7. and make sure she has a fall pendant.
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I should have also added that I absolutely DO NOT mean that all wheelchairs are evil, because they are NOT. I think it's more about the person's drive and personality. There were a great number of folks at the facility in wheelchairs who were very active, out and about, and had not given up one bit. I often wished I could give my mother's mobility to them since they'd make use of it.

One really cute lady had hers decorated with a MN Vikings car flag on a small pole, purple & yellow beads, and a purple & yellow fleece blanket. She was awesome. You could see her coming over the crowd with that flag waving up high.
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If I had to guess, and that's what this is, I bet they don't like to order wheelchairs because once you sit down, you're probably not getting back up.

I know with my mom, once she got in a wheelchair she wouldn't even try to get up and move her legs. DVT anyone? The woman had already had blood clots and strokes. She could stand up. She could bear weight. She could bloody well walk, but the wheelchair was just so comfortable.

Mom had no inner desire to try anymore, so that was that. She stopped walking and then couldn't. This was just her personality normally.

She stopped going to PT and lost the ability to move her legs and bear weight.
She refused to try to stand up, and then wasn't able to if she wanted to.
At this point, she can't even scoot herself up in the bed or change positions. Her legs have atrophied and the muscle has wasted away.

Was the wheelchair 100% behind this degeneration? No, but it did not help her work on keeping mobility when that was still possible. It helped her get comfortable and have no reason to get up anymore.

That's a hole nobody can dig out of.
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Sunnygirl1, I'm surprised that more doctors don't suggest wheelchairs. My husband HATED his walker -- and why shouldn't he? He fell with it or without it. His doctor ordered a wheelchair for him and it gave him back his mobility -- he could easily scoot around the house, propelling it with his feet. Not one fall when using a wc -- vs a couple falls a day before that. I remember that he got it in October. By the end of November his spirits had lifted so much that he decided he would make his traditional fruit cakes after all. I pulled out cupboard drawers and placed big cutting boards on them to give him work surfaces he could reach from the wheel chair.

I really don't understand why this solution is suggested more often!
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