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Topic Use of a walker? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By stillunsure On 2015.09.29 15:28
My PWP, who was diagnosed with MSA (but not definitively) has been passing out with more frequency. He can't control his BP, so with the sudden drop, he "just dissolves" and drops to the ground. The other day, while upright, he tried to step up to enter our home, and since his strength seems to be waning, couldn't quite lift his foot enough and fell down. Luckily no break, but he is badly bruised.

I would love some opinions on the use of a walker in a PD patient. He is fighting me on it and claims when he gets that (dizzy) feeling, the walker will just fall down with him.

Since he certainly doesn't exercise nearly enough ... if at all, he continues to get weaker.

Would love some opinions. Would a walker help? He will NOT consider a wheelchair yet and doesn't really need it. Who knows..........

By Lynnie2 On 2015.09.29 16:18
I would definitely think about getting a walker. He can hold on to it and if he feels faint, then he can sit down on it.
My husband got one after his surgery last winter and he doesn't really need it now, but we have it for the future.
It is a walker with wheels, brakes, and a seat, but you've probably seen them.
Make sure you get it the right height though. They are adjustable too.
Why don't you rent one for a month and see before you buy one though.
If you rent and decide to buy, the rental should be applied against the purchase.
We are fortunate here as the government funds 75% of the purchase and our insurance paid for the rest, so it didn't cost us anything.
Good luck

By LOHENGR1N On 2015.09.29 16:53
Myself I'm on the other side. Somethings to be considered is His gait, I would be always kicking the walker. Another consideration is walkers encourage leaning a little forward when in use and Parkinson's posture is hunched forward which with the walker could cause problems. As the previous post some swear by them. I'd give some thought to what the patient wants though. If he doesn't want one would you force one on him? This sounds harsh but sometimes thinking safety one can tend to overlook the input from the patient. We patients are struggling with the disease, trying to make do and get through another day. Maybe in a month or two he'll say well let's give a walker a try and maybe he won't. We patients need this, we need this bit of some control as the disease steals from us everything and we at times grudgingly concede another task or discussions over to our caregivers. The whole thing sucks but if we're having trouble walking and standing this presents a whole set of potential problems as now we will have to step up and through a door but also maneuver the walker through the door too. I can see where it would cause a patient to be hesitant to have one. I have a friend who has P.D. years ago he tried a walker fell with it and broke several ribs when he landed on the walker. That's just my opinion though.

By Lynnie2 On 2015.09.29 17:25
It is up to the PWP but I think he would give him more security and if you don't have anything to hold on to, then you will naturally go down and hurt yourself.
The place where you rent or buy the walker should give you instructions on how to walker properly.
You can steer the walker very easily and you aren't going to hurt the walkers if you happen to bang into the door way.
They also fold up easily for transportation.
He will still have control over this life just in a different way..........

By LOHENGR1N On 2015.09.29 17:41
Yes it is or should be up to the person with Parkinson's as long as they don't have dementia and are capable of deciding. And it should boil down to what they think and want to try, not anyone else. And please people don't misconstrue what I'm saying here and I do know that you caregivers give your all and everything to us patients sticking with us in this fight. But we need to have as much control or perceived control of our lives as we can. because another way to think about it is when we feel we are ready to concede we do so maintaining our dignity we do so grudging at times but we do it ourselves and are not told this is how it is. We decide, we concede with dignity. Again please I'm not trying to start any problems I'm just voicing a view from the patients side that might not have been voiced

By Mary556 On 2015.09.29 18:27
Both of my parents use walkers and would not be without them now, but were reluctant at first.
My non-PD father fell in our kitchen a few months ago, a fluke loss of balance. Instinctively Dad reached for his walker (which has wheels in front), but his weight caused it to move away and he went down.
If your PWP is falling near stairs, would extra railings or grab bars help? Something solid that cannot move.

By stillunsure On 2015.09.30 11:20
All: As always your input is invaluable. LOHENGRIN: His main source of objection is pride right now. He has this defeatist attitude bordering on depression since he's alone 3 days a week while I work. He claims using a walker will not help and certainly add to his depression.

So while all suggestions are viable, I'm going along with hubby's request right now. Thanks to everyone again!

By bksquared On 2015.10.01 00:27
My husband PWP has gait and balance issues. After patching him up a few times our primary care doc suggested an OT and a PT visit to the house. The OT made several recommendations to make daily living easier as well as using a cane. The PT told him he absolutely needed the cane since he was bumping off walls and destroying furniture (he took a header through the glass top of a cocktail table) as well as injurying himself. Hearing it from a 3rd party made acceptance easier. They both recommended follow up PT for gait and balance at a center. At the center, they told him to use a walker in the house. It will slow his pace and support him better when he is off balance. It is narrow and can fit through doorways. Given we have several steps within the house there are several walkers, at top and bottom of stairs or on a lower level of the house. Therefore he never moves a walker up and down stairs, but can hold on to the handrails. So if your PWP will use a walker don't limit yourself to one. They are relatively inexpensive and can usually be found at Sr. Centers or thrifty stores for little or no cost.. My husband is to use the rollator with brakes and seat for distances like walking outdoors, going shopping or travel. Again it is a 3rd party recommendation so his acceptance, although begrudgingly, was easier. We have the standard rollator but it is not sturdy enough for gravel paths, dirt roads, soccer fields, or uneven terrain. There is a euro-style rollator, NITRO, that has a wide sturdy frame and wide tires. It folds up easily. It even looks cool. The PT folks work with him to use both walker and rollator effectively and safely. With their training his gait has a better cadence and stride so he does not trip on the equipment and his falls have been reduced. If someone is fainting, due to blood pressure, nothing will prevent falling or potential injury. Do not envy you dealing with that issue. Do not use a wheelchair he will lose all muscle tone and become weaker. Exercise. - motion is lotion to reduce stiffness. After resisting, my husband has more confidence when he moves and says he is not as tired.


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