She lives with my brother and sister-in-law out of state, and I try to visit often. She has almost pulled us down several times, and our arms & shoulders get very sore after helping her walk, as she's a large/heavy woman. She refuses to use a walker, saying she doesn't need one. I'm afraid we're both going to fall, and be seriously injured. How can we convince her to use her walker? Her knees are not strong enough to support her anymore; it's not a balance problem. She's almost 82.

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Stop helping her, if she doesn't need a walker she doesn't need an arm.

When she asks for assistance push her the walker, if she says no then she figures it out. Sorry mom, it is to hard on me physically to help support you, if you need any support it needs to be the walker. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat and repeat again until she uses the walker.

My mom helped her MIL that didn't need a walker and ended up tearing her rotator cuff and had to have 2 surgeries. She still has problems after 20 years.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

It is OK to tell your mom NO. If she doesn’t need a walker, she doesn’t need your arm.
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Reply to lkdrymom

Does your mom have dementia?

Have her doctor order a physical therapy evaluation to determine her need for a walker. And to show her how to use it.

Then just say "no".
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
WannaDANCE2018 Nov 28, 2018
No, no dementia, just stubborn as a mule! (And in denial) Thanks for your response!
I would never use my body to walk an unsteady obese person. You would have to live with the injuries -- the person who refuses the walker would care less they are in their own world. just tell her NO..and if she still refuses a walker and tell her when she falls, you will call 911. if hospitalized she will most likely be in bed most of the time, get weaker and end up in a nursing home. all because she refused the walker. Be mindful of your OWN safety. YOU have to live with the injuries. the rest of your life.
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Reply to cetude

My MIL did the same thing to me recently. She said she won't use the walker in public. I simply stood while she wobbled past me and then said I wasn't going anywhere if she didn't have her walker.
She wanted groceries? She wanted to go to appts?
She got to her door and told me to come.
I said I wasn't going anywhere with her unless she had the walker.
And yes, she is a fall risk and has been told over and over to use a walker.
She also has dementia and is sure that the doctors are all wrong.
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Reply to Val3rie
Babs75 Nov 30, 2018
That's what I had to do with my 92 year old dad. It was tough for him at first and now he's used to it. I just stood there and wouldn't leave the house until he used his walker. He has one of those 4 wheel walkers with the seat and basket. He has found he likes to have a place to sit anytime he wants to stop and rest. It took awhile but we finally got there.
You will fall. It's only a matter of when.

Call her doctor (follow up with a letter) and explain that she's no longer able to ambulate without support. S/he will order the walker and some PT/OT to teach her how to safely use it (if that's not offered, insist on it - it should be a home visit so she can get comfortable using it in the house).

When she wants to use YOU as a walker, tell her she can't. If that seems too harsh, tell her you pulled a muscle in your neck and can't support her (on either side!).

This is vanity and denial. It deserves compassion and empathy, but not indulgence.
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Reply to IsntEasy
kdcm1011 Nov 30, 2018
your last line is perfect! Another to go in my file of helpful comments from here!
You have the right to protect your own safety. If she falls and takes you with her, you risk broken bones and injured back. So what you do is tell her (short, declarative sentence) that in the future, she must use a walker if you take her out or there's no going out. You let her know that you will not allow her imprudent choices to put you at risk of injury. She won't like it but you have to stick with it. You should also really assess whether it's time to bring in a transport wheelchair instead of a walker for longer distances. Again, you don't take her out without the chair.
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Reply to Linda22
meima1955 Nov 30, 2018
Transport chair? She weighs 350 pounds!
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What kind of walker does she have? The basic metal walker covered by Medicare? We got my MIL a rollator (maybe spelled wrong) walker on amazon for $200. It’s red and has a seat and a basket. She wouldn’t use it, too much pride I guess, she chose to stop leaving the house rather than use the walker. Anyway I gave it to my mom who has COPD and fibromyalgia both of which are seriously affecting her mobility and she loves it! She uses it everywhere. She said she’s gotten a lot of compliments on it haha! Maybe she would be more inclined to use a walker if it was one she picked out? I agree, you’ve got to stop helping mom. She’s going to end up seriously hurting whoever she is holding on to, as well as herself.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to worriedinCali

Tell her no walker than she will need to use a wide wheelchair. Wheelchair or walker.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to JoAnn29

That's what I think - stop helping her; but my brother caves in. He needs to just get the walker out of the trunk and bring it to her side of the car. Period. Thanks for responding!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to WannaDANCE2018
MaryKathleen Nov 30, 2018
That will be his problem. Don't you help her. You can't control your brother, the only one you can control is you.
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