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Honored Contributor
Posts: 21,424
Registered: ‎11-03-2013

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??

[ Edited ]

@Yardlie I took care of my very strong willed mother who didn't want "any old people stuff" around her but then couldn't make it to doctors offices and other things because she would become tired and wobbly leaving me to scramble for something to transport her to where we needed to go.

 

I did try and get her to use one of those walkers with wheels that you can also sit on if you get tired but that didn't go over big either.

 

You have been given a lot of good advice on this thread and I would add mine to those that say sit down and have a kind but clear talk with her and help her understand that without using a walker, etc. she could end up injuring herself and ending up in the hospital possibly permanently.   @Annabellethecat66 post is very helpful and inciteful.  Emphasizing the positive is an excellent idea.

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,120
Registered: ‎04-17-2015

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??

This is such a universal problem and unless you give ultimatums, you'll just have to allow your mom to do as she wishes.

 

Although I personally hate this m.o., the guilt trip may work.  You say, "Mom, I know you love us and care about our happiness, right?"  Then explain how you constantly worry about her safety and well-being, especially since she's had several accidents already.  She wouldn't want to see you constantly upset and worrying......It would so put your minds at ease if she would just make sure to take good care of herself....by using the walker, etc.     

 

Just another thought.  I wish you all the best.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,813
Registered: ‎05-29-2015

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??

I'm with your husband...you'll need to prepare for some type of battle.  I would start slow for a few days.  You could arm yourself with some of these responses.  As of this post, I agreed with @Stila @IMW and @ChynnaBlue responses.

 

Stubbornness in children and adults is cute only so far.

 

I said a prayer for you as I know this is not easy, and my heart goes out to you and all those who are assisting their (stubborn!) elderly loved ones.  

 

~~~ I call dibs on the popcorn concession!! ~~~
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,838
Registered: ‎07-24-2013

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??

my mother is very strong-willed . at 86 she has already had her hip pinned. that was the worst for her. 3 days in the hospital and then the PT. she willed herself to get better. against the healthcare provider's instructions she is back doing all the same risky behaviors she did before she fell twice in one month. her pain level is insane but she refuses to seek pain management.   i don't know that anyone can lay down the law with Type A's. if they were strong-willed and in charge all they lives that's their personality.  i told my Mom it isnt a matter of if but when. she just laughs. no daughter of hers will ever tell her what to do.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,813
Registered: ‎05-29-2015

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??

My co-worker just suggested that you appeal to her vanity (not saying she's vain, but if she is...) and gave this scenario:

 

"Mom, I know today is your regularly scheduled hair appointment, but I'm not feeling well [or I'm tired or my back hurts].  If you use the walker, I can take you to the hair appt; if you won't use it, we'll have to reschedule."

 

She said that sort of thing worked with her mom!  Smiley Wink

 

~~~ I call dibs on the popcorn concession!! ~~~
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,891
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??

I certainly empathize, and sympathize, with your predicament. I continue to go through similar issues with my 94 year old mother. I live almost five hours away and have rushed to NJ several times over the last several years for health emergencies, including a broken shoulder 3 years ago. Mom has an aide coming in every day for a couple of hours but it was like pulling teeth to finally get her to agree to that. She finally got rid of her car and stopped driving when she couldn't get into and out of the car by herself, age almost 93. We begged her to stop driving but it was finally my asking her doctor to tell her to stop that she finally listened. Authority figures sometimes have more clout.

 

I tell my story, as others have done, to show that people in their 90's are a tough generation. They went through our country's worst economic depression, a devastating world war, and had to work hard for everything they got. My mother is as stubborn as anyone. She also just uses the cane...sometimes. We did finally convince her to use the walker at night when she goes to the bathroom. Nobody will see, so that's how we got her to make the concession to the night time walker. I've learned that it's better to get these small concessions and build on them, rather than an all-or-nothing approach. Beyond that, we have to make peace with the rest of it. A wise person once told me I can try to influence my mother but I can't control her. You do the best you can under the circumstances. My husband has early stage dementia so I have a full plate, but there again I'll do the best I can. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,591
Registered: ‎03-20-2012

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??

I wish you luck. We had moved my Mom in with us to take care of her. She would use the cane (some of the times) but not the walker. She really needed to use the walker. I see they make canes with a much sturdier bottom (like a tripod) so that's an improvement. I also see those mini motorized carts that seem like an option for some. I never was able to get my Mom to use the walker all the time, (even though she had a few falls) She started using our German Shelpherd as a brace on one side and her cane on the other. It kept her steadier than just the cane but it was not he walker that she needed. I wish you luck. It's difficult for everyone. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,019
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??


@Annabellethecat66 wrote:

First of all I'd like to tell you how much I admire you and your husband for helping your mother and giving her so much love and understanding.  These days not as many family members are like that.

 

I was wondering if perhaps you approached it in a different way.

 

Now people don't go busting on me for saying this, but the OP is desperate and something needs to be done.

 

Here's what my adult daughters do when trying to deal with me.  They show me that by digging in my heels and not wanting to do something important like that, it makes their life more difficult and takes time from their other family members.

 

Here's why I'm saying that.  Because most mothers would do anything for their children.  Perhaps the OP can make her understand she would be helping her children if she'd do this because they have to keep taking her to the hospital, etc.  The OP might say something like, "We want to go here and there and want you to go with us.  Your grandchildren want to see you, you don't want them to see you falling all of the time, do you?  They know what a vital woman you are.  Show them by using that walker so you can go places with us.  We can't do anything as long as we have to worry about you falling down all of the time.  I guess it might be called 'tough love' but for a good reason.

 

There are ways of getting this across so that it isn't so harsh.  I'm not saying the OP should say, "Mom!  You are so selfish!  Do you understand (John) and I have a life and you are making it worse"!  NO WAY am I saying that....goodness.

 

She should know her mom well enough to know how to approach the situation in a way that would appeal to the Mom's approach in her life that she's always taken care of her children and now her children are hurting because she won't listen to them.  I hope I'm explaining this correctly.

 

Here's what my daughter said to me that finally got through to me about getting my house ready to sell and downsize.  She said, "Mom.  I know you love this house.  Daddy died there.  You and Daddy built it and took good care of it.  There are lots of memories here.  However, this is a big house, too big for you.  It's a house for a family and young people with children.  Wouldn't you like to see children playing in the yard and swing set like we used to do?"  

 

She made sense to me.  She approached it from a different way than saying (like always) "This house is too big!  You need to move".  

 

See what I mean?

 

My grandma (who raised me) was a wise woman.  She'd always say, "There are two ways to say something.  If you just think about the nicest way, it's usually the best way".

 

My guess is that Mom loves her children and family very much and once the daughter points out that it causes grief for the family, it will make a difference.  Don't approach it the way they've been doing it by saying, "This is for YOUR own good".

 

Just a thought.


 

@Annabellethecat66

 

This is brilliant.

 

Every elderly or health compromised parent has some issue giving up their independence. They have been 'in charge' for so long, with many dependent on them. When those roles change it can often be a huge battle.

 

OP, you are to be commended for being so thoughtful and caring and wanting to approach this in a way that will make your mother want to do it, not feel forced.

 

Many good ideas have been presented here. I'd give them a try, with @Annabellethecat66's being a really good approach, as Ihave used it somewhat with my 80 year old mom concerning somethings. 

 

I may get slammed for this, but when you have tried everything else, and it fails, a stern reminder of her time in the nursing home/hospital and asking her if that is how she wishes to live the rest of her life might seem mean, but we all know that her safety is most important, and could bring the necessary changes.

 

And I often feel when older adults loose the ability to understand safety and their own or others well being, they may indeed be to a place where they have to loose their choices and independence, and have a full time live in care giver, come live with family or go into assisted living. 

 

Many will do what they need to to avoid that, and while I don't like threats, sometimes it does come down to that.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,813
Registered: ‎05-29-2015

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??


@Mominohio wrote:
 

...I may get slammed for this, but when you have tried everything else, and it fails, a stern reminder of her time in the nursing home/hospital and asking her if that is how she wishes to live the rest of her life might seem mean, but we all know that her safety is most important, and could bring the necessary changes.

 

...Many will do what they need to to avoid that, and while I don't like threats, sometimes it does come down to that.


 

@Mominohio

 

You won't get slammed from me...I don't see this approach as a "threat" at all...I see it as tough love, which is sometimes necessary.

 

~~~ I call dibs on the popcorn concession!! ~~~
Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,153
Registered: ‎05-22-2012

Re: Need Help Getting Mother to Use Walker...Suggestions??


@Annabellethecat66 wrote:

First of all I'd like to tell you how much I admire you and your husband for helping your mother and giving her so much love and understanding.  These days not as many family members are like that.

 

I was wondering if perhaps you approached it in a different way.

 

Now people don't go busting on me for saying this, but the OP is desperate and something needs to be done.

 

Here's what my adult daughters do when trying to deal with me.  They show me that by digging in my heels and not wanting to do something important like that, it makes their life more difficult and takes time from their other family members.

 

Here's why I'm saying that.  Because most mothers would do anything for their children.  Perhaps the OP can make her understand she would be helping her children if she'd do this because they have to keep taking her to the hospital, etc.  The OP might say something like, "We want to go here and there and want you to go with us.  Your grandchildren want to see you, you don't want them to see you falling all of the time, do you?  They know what a vital woman you are.  Show them by using that walker so you can go places with us.  We can't do anything as long as we have to worry about you falling down all of the time.  I guess it might be called 'tough love' but for a good reason.

 

There are ways of getting this across so that it isn't so harsh.  I'm not saying the OP should say, "Mom!  You are so selfish!  Do you understand (John) and I have a life and you are making it worse"!  NO WAY am I saying that....goodness.

 

She should know her mom well enough to know how to approach the situation in a way that would appeal to the Mom's approach in her life that she's always taken care of her children and now her children are hurting because she won't listen to them.  I hope I'm explaining this correctly.

 

Here's what my daughter said to me that finally got through to me about getting my house ready to sell and downsize.  She said, "Mom.  I know you love this house.  Daddy died there.  You and Daddy built it and took good care of it.  There are lots of memories here.  However, this is a big house, too big for you.  It's a house for a family and young people with children.  Wouldn't you like to see children playing in the yard and swing set like we used to do?"  

 

She made sense to me.  She approached it from a different way than saying (like always) "This house is too big!  You need to move".  

 

See what I mean?

 

My grandma (who raised me) was a wise woman.  She'd always say, "There are two ways to say something.  If you just think about the nicest way, it's usually the best way".

 

My guess is that Mom loves her children and family very much and once the daughter points out that it causes grief for the family, it will make a difference.  Don't approach it the way they've been doing it by saying, "This is for YOUR own good".

 

Just a thought.


Great perspective, @Annabellethecat66!