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My mother is 86 and uses a walker for balance. She has arthritis in her knees but says it doesn't hurt to walk. She will walk at her Dr. appts. from parking lot to office and to get her hair done.
But going to the grocery store makes her crabby & nasty to me, her daughter, that I won't do it for her. I do buy 85% of her food so she only needs to go once a month or month & a half-to get the personal items she needs to pick out. All her doctors (3) and the physical therapist say she needs to walk more and should be able to do this. She has exercises that she is to do to help strengthen her legs/knees.(She has disliked going to get her groceries for the last several yrs. now.) Nurse Pract. says there is some dementia but she hasn't been tested except w/ the simple Alz. test.--clock face and remember the 3 words which she did ok. If she could she would not walk anywhere outside her house. Doesn't seem to have a phobia to keep her housebound though. She can't understand and doesn't want to remember that walking inside is not enough to keep her legs strong. I'm tired of fighting this battle over and over and taking the nasty attitude and comments. She does take an antidepressant already. Any thoughts?

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Your mother needs to keep on walking, and just inside the house is not enough. My MIL has just started walking again after a fall and a broken shoulder. On a nice she goes outside for a walk and tells me she is getting stronger. Ignore your mother grizzling, (hard to do , I know), but she will be better off with exercise. If you don't use it, you lose it. All the best.
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Jani, I deal with what you do. My mother will get out to go to church or maybe my brother's house, but she won't do much of anything else. I tell her that she needs to "use it or lose it," but it doesn't have any impact. She doesn't want to interact with people anymore, although she ends up enjoying it when she does. She used to enjoy going out to sit in the swing in the front yard. She doesn't want to do that anymore.

I don't push at her anymore. She sits and watches TV all day. I tell her it's a beautiful day to go out. She'll tell me maybe later, but later never comes. I wish I could get her out more. I wish she would walk more. I wish she would follow through on her PT when she has it. But she won't, so I don't torture myself anymore. She has severe arthritis in her spine and advanced dementia. I can understand why it's uncomfortable to walk and why she doesn't want to meet with people to chat. So I just let her be.
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Mother's nurse pract. has mentioned that aspect-a dementia of some sort. Mother and I have talked about the next level of care-she feels she is not ready because she doesn't feel she needs that just yet. You are correct about sameness and change. That seems to throw her. The idea of moving is overwhelming to her.
Yes, she does wear bifocals and it has been yrs. since a eye dr. visit. She won't go. Some yrs. ago she had one cataract removed and should have the other one done but never went back. So I think her eye sight isn't what it should be.
Just easy to get comfortable with the products/items that we like and have to go to the "new & improved" model-most of the time just more expensive! I don't think she will give up those shoes.
Thank you all for good feed back. Some decisions in life just aren't easy or fun. But I have tried to chat about change doesn't always mean "worse". It could be a good thing to live some where --where there are other folks, etc. but it is the change of not knowing. Can't see that there could be somewhere better than where she is now. (She also deals with incontinence and an ostomy bag and is consumed with the care of those.)
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So, I think part of what is not being acknowledged here is the dementia piece, insistence on sameness, lack of ability to understand/cope with change? That's the big picture it may be time to move to the next level of care.
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Gosh, it sounds like your Mom will walk when it is important, like a doctor's appointment or to get her hair done. I wonder if your Mom has a touch of agoraphobia? That is the fear of the *marketplace or being outside*. The doctor office is a safe haven so she will go there, same with the hair salon.

Does your Mom wear bifocals? I've heard that elders wearing bifocals have a difficult time seeing their feet and the flooring/sidewalk/etc. My Mom has this problem. She has to feel the curb with her foot as she can't see it.

Get her out of those Cros, hide them if you have to... she needs hard sided shoes to give her more balance. SAS brand shoe makes some excellent styles that are very comfortable. They are expensive but last for many years.

Products that are no longer available, I know what you are doing through. My Mom doesn't like change, she will have me search to the ends of the earth for an older product that she loves.... I know how she feels. Mom even gets worried if the product has a new label, it's the same identical product but for some reason Mom says *it taste funny*..... [sigh].
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Thanks for the good ideas. Mother has no interest in going for ice cream or to go into any stores or a mall. the dollar store is out-way to narrow aisle and stuff all over the floor. She does not want to shop, even to go on off hours. I have thought about the confusion angle-mental state. Her shoes are Crocs. Not going to wear much of anything else. We live in the country but her drive way is paved and she hates walking out there. We have a lovely paved walking path in front of our houses for about a mile-sorry not going to use that. Even when she could easily do it. She has one of those walkers with brakes/ seat and all 4 wheels. She likes to have the walker out in front of her and if that thing started rolling her reflexes aren't fast enough to get the brakes on to get it stopped.
I have wondered if it also all the products to choose from-could be confusing and too many decisions. As far as sitting down--no she can't get back up, even a chair with arms is hard for her to get out of without help. She was doing pretty well-then stopped doing her exercises and now almost back to square one. But is doing her exercises again-or so she tells me. (I live next door.)
It really throws her if the product she wants is no longer available-or the store just doesn't have what she thinks she wants. She has let her "world" become very small--makes it hard for her to cope.
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First check that her outdoor shoes are comfortable and fit properly. You can also encourage her to stand in place when at home for increasing lengths of time. This does wonders to build strength in the leg muscles. Is it the actual grocery store she dislikes? Try a different type of store or small mall. A dollar store perhaps? Go during off hours so she isn't being pushed and shoved. Don't park closest to the store you are headed towards, seek a spot farther away. How about a trip to an Ice Cream store, would she walk to that?
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Well, I also hate going to the grocery store and I have no walking issues. I get crabby, too :P The grocery store isn't the best place to do more walking.... there is a lot of go, stop, stand, go, stop, stand, many times over. That isn't exercise. Plus there is too much confusion going on in the store if it is busy, and trying to make sure your walker or her cart isn't in the way of the other shoppers. And I bet she would love to sit down by the time she is in aisle 6.

Put yourself in her shoes, try walking outside with a walker.... not all that easy if you live in an area with sidewalks, dealing with various cracks in the sidewalk, and other people who are also walking or little kids with their bikes.

The best place for her to walk is in a mall, if you have one nearby, that way she can go at a slow pace and stop when she wants to window shop, and there are benches for her to sit down in.

Another idea, maybe she can buy a rolling walker which has hand brakes and a seat. I got my Dad [93] one of those and now he is on the go 100% more.
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