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Is there a negative side? Will the person become dependent on being pushed and stop trying to walk? OT has discharged due to cognitive decline and lack of perceived will (Medicare rules) shows no progress in 4 wks. I feel 90 1/2 year old female can regain strength and walk again with walker. However she is not eating much now and the dining room is a ways to go? Or do we keep serving her in room? what about the socialization AL is all about? Safety is paramount and so is her confidence in not falling. .

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I was told by my loved one's doctor that Medicare would only cover physical therapy if it was deemed the patient was likely to regain their mobility.

If the patient has advanced age and progressive dementia, then the loss of the ability to walk is something that will eventually come about. Can she use a rolling walker? Can she move herself in a regular wheelchair? Have you checked the rules in your state to see how much assistance they can provide her? Apparently, it varies by state.

Many of the dementia patients I have seen in Assisted Living and Memory Care, have the feet removed from the wheelchair. The patient uses their feet to move themselves along, also using their hands on the wheels. This keeps their leg muscles stronger for longer.

It's a tough decision, but with dementia, eventually, she will lose the ability to walk and will need the wheelchair. She shouldn't be isolated because of a mobility problem though.
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Sometimes you need a mix of walker and wheelchair. My mom never could've walked to the dining room at her AL but she could use her walker to the activities areas on her floor. For an extra fee, the aides would transport her to wherever. This fee also included shower assist. She did have to be able to pivot and transfer to and from the wheelchair.
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Thanks to all you caring people for your time and concern. I am learning so many abbreviations.Now I can speak the lingo of aging and facilities. Jeanne, how did drs solve the walking problems of your husband? That is the crux of my concern right now for my MIL. I don't want the aides or PT to just quit on her and I fear the intro of wheelchair might just make life easier for them. Still new to AL- 5 wks. and watching thm closely.
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I would check the rules for your state. In my state, Memory Care Assisted Living facilities do place the resident in their wheelchair and push to the dining room. They are not left in their rooms, but are taken into the tv room where they socialize, listen to music, and have activities...even if they don't appear to know what is going on. They are still talked to and involved in things. However, they don't provide nursing care there, so if she needs skilled nursing care, they would not be able to accommodate her.
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jeanne, there are similarity between your sons injuries and mine . if i remember correctly he had a MC accident that was another drivers fault . thats where the similarities end . i kicked a dog in the face at about 40 mph and busted my leg in multiple places . shortly afterwards i converted my s*it to 3 wheels and my how the tables have turned . ill run a 15 inch tire right down one of ems throat now ..
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I know what you mean, captain. My son has just spent 7 weeks in a wheelchair, and even with physical therapy to maintain some strength and muscle tone, he now has to learn to walk all over again. Still, the wheelchair was absolutely necessary, as was the cast in your case (I presume).

If this were my loved one, I would want to see her get to the dining room for each meal the safest way she could, which sounds like it would be by wheelchair. And I would also want her to continue to do some walking each day, with assistance, to maintain strength for transferring, if nothing else.

I think most facilities do want their residents to continue walking as long as they can. For one thing, it makes their jobs easier! Combining walking as an exercise and wheelchair use as a mode of transportation is not really so unusual.

Using a wheelchair cheered my husband up considerably. He could get around the house without fearing falling all the time! When his doctors solved the falling problem he was fine with a walker but we still used the wheelchair for long distances and "fast" trips, such as shopping or visiting a museum.
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i think any decent facility would want the elder to continue walking even tho its difficult until the point where frequent falls deem walking impossible . it only takes a few weeks in a wheelchair to lose all muscle tone in a persons legs .
i had a cast on my left lower leg when i was 30 'ish . in only 7 weeks my left lower leg was reduced to the size of my forearm and all muscle had wasted away .
my aunt is in nh , 90 yrs old and late stage dementia . they are right now in the process of getting her the therapy required to rebuild her leg muscles and get her back onto her feet . muscles -- use em or lose em ..
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Pam is telling you about the rules in the ALF she knows about. Find out the rules where your loved one is. The facility where my daughter works considers pushing a wheelchair to the dining room "assistance" -- it is not included in the base price but can be had for a fee. Bringing meals to the room also incurs a fee. Many of their residents need (and get) assistance to the dining room. All ALFs are not the same.

Maybe she can regain strength to use a walker, but maybe not. In any case, getting to the dining room to eat and to interact with others seems pretty critical, in my book. I would get her a comfortable wheelchair. Perhaps she can also have someone walk with her, with a walker and gait belt, for a little while each day -- but not when she needs to get to the dining room on time. (They do those walks at my daughter's ALF.)

It may well be that her needs for assistance will outpace what the ALF can offer, and she will need to transfer to a nursing home. But probably not just because she needs a wheelchair. Talk to the DON at the ALF.
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AL will not push mom to the dining room. She has to be able to get to the dining hall on her own in order to stay there. I suspect that very soon the AL will tell you to move mom to a Nursing Home. In fact, in our mom's case they would not take her back from rehab until she could walk 250 ft. Cognitively, she could not manage a power chair. Physically, she cannot roll a wheel chair.
So sorry you have come to this. Expect the phone call soon telling her to move.
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