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She lives where there is ice, all in all she is healthy.

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SherylBeth a walker is very cumbersome to use inside or outside the house so a cane "feels" easier even though it isn't. It is kind of liberating not to have to wait for someone else to get the awlker out of the car, bring it round to the door then assist you out.
Would Mom consider a rollater? It seems less elderly and disabled than a walker and easier to use with four wheels and a brake. There is the option of using the seat to rest. Something else people don't think about is that if you are frail in body but of sound mind if you use a store provided W/C or electric cart you are at a different level from your companion and they have difficulty hearing what you are saying. Very frustrating for both you and your caregiver (especially if it is a short tempered spouse) Another alternative if they can be managedis the elbow crutches might help. see if you can get advice from an occupatioal therapist and do some research online to see all available devices.
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My mom always wants to use her cane when i take her to appts because its less 'obvious' than her walker....altho she uses her walker all the time at home. I just have to tell her its too far a walk for her with the cane....she cant manage without more support than what the cane provides. But she hates using it outside the house.
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My dad is the same way. I don't know if it's because one doesn't want to admit they need more help than what they think, or how will they be perceived. What ever the reason, it's frustration. Maybe a 'fashion' cane for your mom, they come in all colors and patterns.
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After my mother nearly tripped over her cane (she tends to lean sideways when walking), I ditched the cane and wouldn't let her out of the car until she used the walker (which I held by the open door so she had no choice). She (and I) was amazed how steady she was using the walker. It took her years to give in but if I'm going to take her places she has to do it by my rules. No walker: no ride. Sounds mean but doing for her own good. She's old enough now that she gave in.
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My mom was told to use a cane after her knee replacement (after using a walker for physical therapy). She was taught how to use it, but insisted on using it on the wrong side. I gave up and let her use it however she wanted until she was getting very unsteady with it. I found a walker that you could also sit on with a little basket for carrying things, and she loved it! This, for her, was much safer and less of an irritant (about using the cane). She actually got outside more, got more exercise and even in the winter would go and sit in the sun outside the door where she lived. She did this for quite a while until her dementia worsened and she had to be in a nursing facility. She used it there for a while, but then needed a wheelchair because her feet had to be up on those foot rests. All in all, sometimes you just need to be creative and patient with loved ones who work against the things that are there to help them. Good luck and God bless with working this out.
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A cane can create a "safer zone" surrounding the person while they are out in pubic. I explain they are less likely to get tousled about.
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Mother just turned 90 and uses a walker everywhere she goes. She can't remember what happened a minute ago but she remembers where the cookies are. If you ask her she will tell you she never fall and never have. Having had knee replacements, once down she cannot get up. With that said, I have picked her up at least 4 times in the last year because she walked off without her walker because she did not think it was necessary. Once all she had on was her diaper, sitting in the middle of her bedroom floor looking around and asked what took me so long to get there. Dementia folks still have that indestructible mentality that makes them a high risk for falling, no matter how many times you explain it. A walker is the best option for balance we have found, even though she runs into everything, and I mean everything, including pets. Renovation will be costly once she is gone, after 9 years. Sometimes it takes a professional to tell them what they must do since they will not listen to family, been there done that too. Sometimes, no matter what you try to do, the inevitable will happen, due to their stubbornness. Good luck everyone.
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Veronica91, one time I needed something to remind my parents that I, too, am having age related decline... so I pulled out an extra cane I have at home and used it one day while all 3 of us were shopping.... quite a sight, 3 of us walking with canes.

That idea, while it did work somewhat and got my parents attention that their daughter wasn't 35 any more but a senior citizen herself, later killed my back for days :( Never will use that idea again for myself. I think I rather use the rollater instead when that time comes.
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FF I have a rollater tucked away for future use. saw it at a garage sale so thought it would be a good idea.
As far as the height of a cane measured by a PT to fit, I find they always make them too short for my comfort. I personally need to actually lean on mine for support or my back kills me and I end up doing the drunken sailor walk.
Try lengthening Mom's and see if she is more comfortable with it.
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The rollator walkers are great. At first my Dad refused to buy one [didn't want to spend the money] but his cane wasn't stopping him from falling. Finally a physical therapist said he must have a rollator. Oh my gosh, my Dad loved it.... liked the hand brakes, the seat, and under the seat a basket.

Now instead of Dad falling on the driveway when going out to get the mail or pickup the newspaper, he now uses his rolling walker, tosses the mail/newspaper into the basket and is safely back into the house. He also brings out the trash bag for curb side pickup using the rolling walker, it gets to ride on the seat :)

Dad tried to get Mom to use this walker but she couldn't... she didn't have the hand strength to use the brakes. Too bad, as the cane is causing her to permanently hunch over and here the cane was measured by a PT to fit her.
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Addison, it sounds like you have a Rollator walker for your mother. Is that correct?
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Hey! Amazing! Thank you for advice that worked. We named my 90 year old Mom's cane "Lizzie" which is what her Dad called his car when it wouldn't work! She took Lizzie out tonight and we went out for beers and onion rings! Had a great time! Thanks for the tip!
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My dad is the same way, I think a cane can help him especially when he is getting up from a chair and the first few steps because he becomes stiff. My grandmother was the same way, once she used a device to assist her with walking she never went out in public. It's very difficult to convince someone they need assistance, try speaking with her doctor, sometimes if a non relative speak to the person it is easier for them. Don't know if it'll help. Good luck
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We went straight for the walker after abdominal surgery when Mthr was suggestive (in memory care, too). After a year, she forgot she had a walker. Recently she started carrying a purse again, so I bought a walker bag, painted it with her name on both sides, and attached it to her walker with a tag gun in addition to the velcro. I took home the purse. Now that her treasures are in the walker bag, she feels a need to take the walker everywhere.
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Actually canes are only good for a weak side. My Mom has nueropathy in both ankles. Cane doesn't help. She uses a walker.
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A physical therapist not only can evaluate the need for a cane but will also teach the elder how to use the cane properly and with a physicians order, insurance (including Medicare) will most likely cover. They did with my mom, although she doesn't use the cane yet and probably won't for a few more years. Probably not until, as someone else mentioned, she falls and really hurts herself. She's only 86, so compared to many others I'm reading about here, she really is a youngster. :)
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For us it's a no brainer. For this other and older generation is another matter. They are so proud whether it be cane, walker or hearing aids. Thankfully my dad uses his walker well. He didn't a few years ago but he does now because he doesn't want to end up like my mom or in a nursing home. He's 92 1/2 and living on his own so far. He wants to keep it like that. I have reminded him until it's overkill. So far so good. Just keep telling her if she wants to remain "independent" she needs to use her cane. Good luck and God Bless
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After my mom had heart fibrillation back in 2008 when she was nearly 89 years old, her doctor gave her a can for balance. Mom absolutely refused to use it until she sustained a back fracture from a fall at our condo in early 2012 when she was 92 years old. Mom finally did use her cane but with my assistance during her recovery. During rehab sessions, Mom bought a recommended rollator to help her walk and straighten up her back; she had moderate osteoporosis and keyphosis of the spine. Unfortunately, Mom still insisted on her independence and often either forgot to use or refused to use her walker. Several more falls at home happened until April 2013 when Mom, then age 93, had to enter a NH rehab from April to May 2013 for a pelvic fracture. She never returned back to our home. Mom lived in assisted living places from June 2013 until her death at age 95 in November 2014. She did use her walker but sometimes still forgot to, and at least two more falls happened. I think Mom's mini strokes plus mental decline affected her memory. She could not tell the difference between walking with or without assistance for her safety anymore.
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My mother refused to use a regular wheel chair when going out, so we got her a traveling one. It weighs only about 15 lbs. and is slim looking, and for some reason she's willing to use it, possible because it doesn't look so clunky.
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JoanMc, that's a great idea about a walking pole, and those come in a variety of styles. I have one for hiking but they are not good for slippery surfaces which I found out the hard way while trying to cross a small stream and the walking pole tip found moss under the water... oops, down I went.
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Your mother is beyond the need for a cane. At 97, she needs a regular walker or a Rollator.
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My mom is 97 and won't use a cane (because it makes her look old) but she WILL use a hiking pole. I guess she just wants to look "cool". We've had many arguments over cane use so I just let her use the pole.
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Veronica91 - love your answer but some won't even watch TV! Reading everyone's problems helps when I get stressed out! Only those of us going through this or have gone through it could appreciate this site! When you tell someone else about their antics they actually laugh then apologize for laughing! They say it reminds them of children which is how their minds think! Lol - maybe we should just laugh with them but sure isn't easy!
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get all thes reluctant elders to watch a few episodes of downton Abbey and point out how the very gracious Dowager Dutchess uses her cane.
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Its a real problem getting some seniors to use the cane or walker. Mom started out with a quad cane, hated it and tripped over it. Like islander5, we got rid of it and got a regular one which she loses, forgets or it falls over. We were lucky to get her to use even that. For someone reluctant to use one, that a good idea to get one that is pretty with butterflies or something. Mom needs a walker, but every time the AL leaves one in her room and urges her to use it , she puts it out in the hallway!
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sherylbeth, I had a similar experience - My mom needed a wheelchair for most restaurants and all shopping. After a couple years of not going places, I talked to her about how it was a shame we couldn't do these fun, normal things because she wouldn't use a chair. She said she didn't want me to be embarrassed. My response was I didn't give a rats a** what people thought about it - it was about getting out. I think it put the bug in her head that there were fun things (movies, shopping etc.) out there and that lured her into letting go of her pride. My FIL uses a cane (arthritis in hip) sometimes, which scares my husband. My husband finally told him that when they go somewhere together, he's sure appreciate if Dad used a walker because it really stresses him out. It worked. But sometimes they just refuse, and you have to hand it up to the Big Guy.
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Wish I could advise you on something you haven't tried! Mom is 89 suffering from mantle cell lymphoma diagnosed over 3 years ago! She stays alone except for nights. When she comes to my house for a few days I stay on her constantly to use her Walker but the minute I take her home she says she doesn't need either her cane or Walker! She's under hospice and they tell her constantly as she's taken several nasty falls! I've decided she's happy in her home so if she gets injured fatally at least she's happy! I'm almost 72 and do well to see after myself and husband! When I suggest assisted living she won't hear of it! I know there's a time we must become the parent and I've accepted that role but you can't spank them like a child! They're so stubborn it isn't funny!
You may just have to pray as I do that she'll not suffer and live as happy as possible!
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My post has no advice on how to get your Mom to use her cane. It's simply my own experience with this dilemma. Everyone has different circumstances so if there is nothing in my story you can relate to please just ignore it.

My MIL refused to use her cane, her walker or her oxygen most of the time. She had emphysema and advanced osteoporosis but did not have dementia. She had a parade of people caring for her and checking on her daily...family, home care and aides. For three years everyone went crazy trying to get MIL to do these things and for three years they were not able to. It was not unusual to come in on her with the oxygen tube hanging around her neck but not under her nose, she said it irritated her and looked ugly. I can't tell you how many times she was caught without her walker or cane. She said she could move around faster without it. Doctors, nurses and family pleaded with her, it did not help.

My MIL was a lovely person, sweet and caring but she was also stubborn and vain about her appearance. You could have given her a jewel encrusted cane, she wasn't going to have anything to do with it.

My husband and I lived 400 miles away so we were not with her most of the time, we visited as often as we could and the family kept us informed, most of them lived close to her, one of her sons actually rented from her (she owned a duplex).

At one point it became clear to my husband and me that all the nagging and hand wringing in the world was not going to make MIL do the things we were asking. Sometimes we were able to cajole her into complying while we were with her but we were powerless when she was alone.

My husband and I began to realize that virtually all of our interaction with his Mom was about trying to control her behavior. She was resentful and we were frustrated. The next time we went to visit we decided to stay focused on being together instead of trying to fix her behavior. I made her favorite meals and we took her to have her hair cut and colored. We ran errands, cleaned up and my husband did a couple little house repairs. Ok so we did give in few times and ask her to put her oxygen in or use her walker but if she ignored us we let it go. It was a beautiful visit and my MIL was glowing when we left. From then on that's how we handled our visits with her.Two of the other siblings took the same approach and tried to let go of trying to control her and focus on enjoying her. The other two remained committed to the task of trying to convince her. Everyone was doing what they thought best, we all loved this woman.

A few months later MIL was having trouble sleeping so she decided to get up and clean her closet. She reached up to take a box down and fell backwards and fractured her spine. She died on the operating table two days later. When she fell she had no walker near her and her oxygen tube was on the other side of the room.

Everyone was devastated but thank goodness we all understood that given the circumstances it could not have been prevented. My husband misses his Mom but he is grateful that his last visits with her were happy and loving not fraught with frustration .
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So you think a cane will prevent her falling on ice? Even the best of us without any health issues will slip on ice. Keep away from ice wait until it melts, or move to sunny AZ where in the desert we have no ice. At 90 yrs. she should be able to do whatever she wants to do!
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This does seem to be an all too common issue with many of us/them. My mom cant walk much even with her walker...and ive tried and tried to get her to use a wheelchair so we could browse at stores she used to love to go to, gardening stores, etc. She will NOT use a wheelchair so now she cant go anywhere. Its sad because i feel like she would enjoy life a lot more. But....we do what we can to help but sometimes when we cant, we did our best and have to let it go..
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