Mom won't use a walker. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom won't use a walker. Any advice?

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Mom is still able to walk with a cane, but is unsteady and weak. She needs a walker but refuses one, won't listen to the doctor, or anyone. She refuses to admit she needs more help, won't use the elevator, and has fallen a couple of times already. Since she has a 5 minute memory, I'm sure she has fallen many more times but doesn't remember or won't tell us. I can't count the number of times one of us has caught her when she has lost her balance. She won't use a life alert necklace and would just take it off and hide it somewhere. We are out of options, she takes no advice and we have finally accepted this is her choice. Its been a hard thing for us knowing she is going to fall sooner than later and die, or end up bedridden for the rest of her life. I cringe every time the phone rings.

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Thank you for the update.. and sorry for your loss.
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Thanks for all your answers, but as freqflyer said, Mom passed away a month ago. She lived almost 2 more years after I wrote about her refusing the walker.
To update those of you who didn't know the circumstances: Mom did quite well in AL for 8 months, was very independent and self cared pretty well. Her quality of life was good, but she still complained constantly about everything and wouldn't cooperate or ask for help. I visited often, ironed her clothes, brought her goodies, etc. The doctor said she was amazingly healthy and had nothing wrong with her except she ate badly and would fall if she didn't use the walker.
Finally, in November, she fell for the umpteenth time, as we knew she would and the AL staff said she had to leave AL as she was not able to walk safely. She ended up in a NH and received PT for about 6 weeks, but despite their efforts, she had no more balance left and due to refusing to eat and falls, was weak and had to remain there.
What happened is just what we prayed would not happen. She was unhappy and had to be sedated because she kept getting up out of bed and wheelchair despite their efforts and 24/7 oversight. Even then, the doctor said she had strong heart, lungs and vitals and was capable of recovering to some degree. They called her the "energizer bunny" and swore they had never seen anyone with such a strong will.
Sadly, the last fall when she sneaked out of bed right after they checked on her in the night, she fractured her pelvis and broke her arm. She lived bedridden on morphine for the last two months of her life, the only way they could keep her down. With that she slowly faded away. It was terrible to watch.
Yes, we wish the end could have been different and she had simply gone to sleep one night rather than the path it took. She was so healthy she would have had a couple more years, except for the fall!
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NJCinderella, please note the original post was 2 years old, sadly AmyGrace's Mom has since passed.
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Amy said: "she could have several more years and go peacefully in her sleep, but her behavior makes it probable that she will put herself into a quicker and painful bedridden death, and that upsets us." Amy, I reply with utmost caring so know this--but you said your mom is near 100 years old. How long do you expect her to live? I know its painful to think she will die, but she has lived a very long life--longer than most. Do you really believe she could have several more years? Is that reasonable thinking? You might want to start embracing that her time is coming soon so you won't unravel when it does. hugs
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AmyGrace.....mom is almost 100. You said in assisted living she could have several more years. That doesn't compute. Let her live her life on her terms. My mom is 82 and has neuropathy. She won't use a walker or cane, yet she is still in her garden every day. Bless her heart, if she dies pulling weeds, she'll have a smile on her face.
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Its wonderful your mom is almost 100! But I understand what your going through, she does seem set in her ways and only she can change her mind. I wish you and your family the best and hopefully things improve. There isn't much you can do at this point. Just keep the walker there and hopefully one day soon she will use it. Hugs
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AmyGrace basically you can't help someone who won't help themselves.
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Thank you everyone for your emotional support. It is actually more helplessness and reluctant acceptance on our part because we can't do anything else. The choice is based on seven years of beating our heads against the wall and getting no cooperation. We are very upset with her self destructiveness. Mom is almost 100, and we can't blame the doctor giving up when, after 20 years of (trying) to treat her, he knows she never has and never will do anything to help herself. Her inherent stubborn nature along with dementia makes it impossible to get through to her. As you said, it is inevitable that it is near her time to go and we have to accept that. She is blessed with wonderful health and long life, and doesn't appreciate it. What makes it hard is we know, in assisted living, she could have several more years and go peacefully in her sleep, but her behavior makes it probable that she will put herself into a quicker and painful bedridden death, and that upsets us.
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My mother (now 88) refused to use a walker in the house and held on to the walls and furniture. Of course she had many falls, the last being a bad one that landed her in hospital and from there to a nursing home. Since being there she's fallen and broken a hip which was entirely her own fault, had further strokes and has dementia. Now unable to sit up or stand she still tries from time to time. There's an alarm on her bed but by the time staff come running she's on the floor. She can barely speak now and it's a toss up as to whether the Parkinsons, dementia, another stroke or a fall will get her first. All you can do is go one day at a time.
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one scary enough fall and i think she'll use a walker. ive warned my mother and aunt both that a fall and broken bone is the reality for them ( statistically ) .
they listened and both resorted to the walker after a fall or two .
one day before mom passed away she came wheeling out of the bedroom using a large , swivel office chair as a walker. her walker was sitting in the bedroom but she used the big chair instead. i dont know what she was thinking but it was sure a comical sight..
dementia is rough . trying to think like the patient does will warp your head.
aunt is getting pretty late stage now and i still communicate with her pretty well but we do go in circles..
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