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He currently lives alone and wants to remain independent. He has fallen twice this week. He has high blood pressure, high cholesterol and history of aneurisms but NO strokes.

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Have a walker and even a wheelchair available. My dad didn't either but we got it anyway. We always carried both in the car because he was exhausted or could just not move, we would present either and he would take it without protesting. My dad will not ask for the walker; we just have it right next to him all the time.
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hi, I'm a geriatrician currently studying what kinds of questions caregivers ask online. I've come across lots of older people similar to your uncle! Suggest:

- make sure he's had a good evaluation for falls, and ask doctor for suggestions on reducing fall risk. There's usually no single cause, but there can be lots of things that make people more likely to fall. Mild overtreatment of high blood pressure is one of them. Medications for prostate can also cause blood pressure drops when older people stand. Or sometimes there's an underlying health problem that can be improved, like anemia.

- See if he'll accept an alert pendant (some have motion-sensors to detect falls without person pushing a button) or otherwise help create a plan so he can get help if he falls. Some people are now trying sensors like MyLively, which detect a change in activity and alert family. I saw a man a few months ago who lay on the floor for 48 hours before being found :(

- If his insight and judgement about safety seem worrisome, consider whether he's showing other signs of problems with memory and thinking. If he is, that doesn't mean you can make him do what's good for him, but it's good to know if that's an issue.

Hope this helps, good luck! No easy answers usually for these situations.
Leslie MD
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Yes, alizee, I agree. If you aren't there 100% of the time, there really isn't a way to "make" them do anything. They forget 5 minutes after being reminded.
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My MIL is in a very good AL facility and was diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia. She is active and in good health otherwise. She often does not use her walker in her room (says "I don't need it in my room"). As a result, she suffered two serious falls, one in the shower, that required hospitalization. (And no, she did not use the shower seat, either, "I don't need it!" and refuses help bathing.) An unsteady gait, lack of balance, and dementia go hand-in-hand, and as much as we remind my MIL when we're with her, and the attentive staff does, too, it just doesn't register. Nor does she use her hearing aids, but that's another story. You would think after a concussion and facial fractures and our talks with her she would use the walker all the time, but she does not. She is a proud, very stubborn woman, in total denial of her physical and mental limitations, and we have accepted the fact that one day we will get that "final" call. After all the good suggestions given by the other writers, and all your efforts, you must accept the fact that sometimes there's nothing else you can do.
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My mother balked at using a walker until she fell. Then she balked at using a cane in the house, until she fell. She does use, as 4thdaughter suggested, the "safe routes", she is able to hold onto a chair or a table or a wall as she is walking to help her keep upright.
We are now in the process of training mom to use a cane, all the time. Last week she stood up and started walking and just fell over. I was sitting there and felt so helpless watching it happen before my eyes. Fortunately her head missed the windowsill and landed on the carpet.
Please try to have someone there with your uncle, maybe on a daily basis, to remind him to use the cane. My mother refused and refused. Now, I remind her each and every time that she gets up to use her cane. She is beginning to get comfortable with it and I am hoping will eventually use it like a second leg.
I realize that you might not have someone there all the time but when someone is there can they remind him to use a cane? He just might like it.
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If you absolutely cannot convince him to use a walker, you will need to survey his home and design "safe routes" for him to move from one area to another. Safe routes means a route where he will constantly be able to touch something (wall, sturdy chair, etc) as he moves along. No scatter rugs to trip over...no precariously balanced items he might grab for balance and they both go over (floor lamp for example). Safe routes will allow him to prolong his mobility and assuage his pride for as long as possible.
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Have you tried to get him to use a cane? Sometimes a walker seems too defining to an elderly person. My M-I-L adapted to her cane with ease, but balked at the walker. She now has accepted the walker since her balance has deteriorated.

Also, you might explain to your uncle that while he hasn't yet caused himself any real harm by falling, he is still subject to broken bones in any future falls. The most serious consequences could be a broken hip or hitting his head which could lead to some very bad problems for him. Suggest that his next fall could result in his going to rehab facility where they could determine that he can no longer live alone, and that assisted living might be his destiny.

Good luck with your uncle and thanks for caring enough to want to help him. I know first hand that growing old isn't easy, so he probably won't give in easily.
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That must really be very frustrating for you, @my3elders. Have you tried talking to your father and laying it straight about why there needs to be some changes, that it's for his safety?Or maybe try the opposite route: tell him it's for your own peace of mind. That way he won't feel that it's his limitation/infirmity. It's for YOU.

Another thing you might want to check out is getting a medical alarm pendant or bracelet. It's not too much of an adjustment and he can still call out for help if needed.
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Is this a matter of pride, or does he honestly think there is nothing wrong with him? Because if it's pride, then that pride is going to suffer pretty bad when after he falls and breaks a hip, he has to be helped to the toilet and not allowed to get up by himself for quite awhile.
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