Your aging mother still lives alone, but you can tell it’s getting harder for her to walk around. Her steps are noticeably shaky and wobbly, and she’s constantly holding onto things to steady herself. But whenever you’ve tried to talk to mom about using a cane or walker, she just laughs and says: “Those things are for old people!”. Mom’s continued stubbornness about getting an assistive device has you now feeling frustrated and worried. To help restore your peace-of-mind, try selling her on the idea of using a cane or walker by using these tips.
Why Do Seniors Have Trouble Walking?
The average person starts to gradually lose their balance and coordination once they reach the age of 55. In addition to poor balance and coordination, here are some other factors that can make it more challenging for an older adult to walk:
- Taking certain medications
- Chronic back pain
- Foot discomfort
- Weakened muscles and bones
- Dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Vision problems
- Shortness of breath from COPD or heart problems
Once a senior starts experiencing walking difficulties it can also cause them to develop a fear of falling that keeps them from performing essential daily activities, like going to the doctor or grocery store. If you’ve noticed that your mom is having a hard time walking, it’s best to intervene before her health and wellbeing are placed further at risk.
Convincing Mom to Use an Assistive Device
Before speaking with your mom about using a cane or walker, copy some news articles about older people who have been injured recently because they fell. Think about an elderly family member or one of mom’s close friends who fell in the past few months and then had to be hospitalized or placed in a nursing home due to their injuries. Then, gather some other statistics about fall-related injuries and the elderly. Once you’ve done your research respectfully approach mom about discussing the topic. Tell her how much she means to you, and why you’re concerned.
Other Helpful Strategies
If sharing this information doesn’t convince her to use an assistive device, it’s time to try these other strategies:
- Most seniors who refuse to use an assistive device for walking do so out of pride and vanity. To get through those negative emotions with your mom, point out to her friends or other family members who now use a cane or walker.
- Ask her to take a balance test at her doctor’s office under the condition that if she passes, you won’t bring the topic up again. But if she fails the test, mom might listen to a trained medical professional if they recommend a cane or walker. If that happens, let your mother vent her frustrations until she’s through without saying a word.
- Try appealing to mom’s innermost feelings by flattering her or offering a compromise. For example, ask her to at least try a cane or walker while she’s at home. Once she learns how useful it is, she will probably want to take it wherever she goes!
- Tell mom how proud you are of her because she’s using a cane or walker, and ask your siblings and other family members to also provide support and encouragement.
- Once mom commits to using a cane or walker, personalize it for her with some colorful decals, stripes or other fun decorations.
Reliable In-Home Care for Seniors with Limited Mobility
Caring for an aging in place elderly loved one with limited mobility can be hard, especially when you live far away. When you need some assistance, contact First In Care. As a fully licensed and insured agency, our highly trained caregivers can provide a wide range of in-home services to keep your senior safe and sound right where they want to be. In addition to helping seniors use an assistive device, our carefully screened aides can also perform duties like personal hygiene, light housework, meals, medication reminders, transportation and companionship.
And, all our reliable companion care and home health services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! To learn more about First In Care, or to schedule a FREE, in-home consultation today for a senior in Manatee Country, FL, please visit us at: www.firstincare.com now.