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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you villagers know, I live and care for my elderly father. He's by no means someone who needs 24/7 care but he is aging and rather quickly due to failing health conditions.

My dad has issues with walking and balance. He will look left or up and stumble to the right and vice versa. As hes looking back down to eye level he will lean and stumble significantly to the right and try to grab on to something to help him regain his balance - wall, post, car, garbage can or PERSON :( There's been more then enough embarrassing moments.

Recently I've been thinking about buying him a 4 footed cane vs the typical single foot kind b/c its more stable and no matter how he puts it down on the ground - the feet would most likely fall flat giving him the support he needs vs the single foot which could help cause him to fall more often. We went past a home health care store that sells support items - and we actually tested some models.

I could see the lil hamster in his head running round and round and the concept sinking in. Heck he even suggested places he could use it as a benefit. He even asked if you're allowed canes on airplanes. But in the end he turned it down b/c "it wouldn't fit on the stairs and would make him fall" *groan* So I explained to him that one of us would always be with him so we could hold onto it while he held the handrail. His next excuse "Well if you're always around, I won't need it. I have you to hang onto" to which I politely pointed out that in theory yes it'd work out like that but he refuses to hang onto us kids so I blew up that theory. Then he said it would take up too much room in the car - hello, we all have large cars and usually 2 ppl in it max 3 lol. There's always the backseat or trunk.

It all boiled down to him not wanting to look old. Honestly, he looks to be in his 50's. You'd never guess he's 79. I'm just trying to find ways to help him dis-associate canes with being old and help convince him and give positive re-enforcement so he would want the cane. Does anyone have any suggestions?

(And the price of the cane - not even $40 so price isn't an issue)
 

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I feel like a total grinch and mean person - but - would you consider buying one for him for Father's Day - and present it to him because you love him? I use a can when I need to and started when I was in my late fifties. It certainly does not define who I am - it opens unlimited possibilities for life!!
 
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My sister in law is 46 and she has a cane...

It doesnt make her look old she just needs it somedays to help her....
 
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Discussion Starter #4
maui - I think he'd be royally offended if I did that. But I'll admit, I was about to buy it 'just in case' and we'd 'suddenly have it handy'. He does travel with me when I go visit DF for a few days and I think this could be beneficial. But I don't want to offend. I'd consider buying BOTH of them and just place one by the door where he puts on his shoes and the other in my trunk.

You and I both know a cane doesn't define who you are but enables you to go more places, see more things.

My main goal is to have him get the cane and use it willingly. And by September. My cousin's (his niece's) wedding is in November in the US and I'd really love him to be there plus we'd be able to go and meet DF's family as well. I'd love it for him to walk confidently and freely w/o fear again.
 

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Could you suggest that he get one and just try using it around the house to "test it out?" That way he doesn't have the issue of strangers seeing him. It could well be that he finds it offers so much more security that he would then venture out with it.

I use a cane most of the time now. I would definitely rather have people see me sensibly using a cane than see me stumbling or limping along like Quasimodo, which is what I do without it. But people are different there.

Another way is a sneak attack call to the doctor's office before the next appointment. I'm sure they are used to dealing with this kind of resistance. It really is for his benefit. Falls are really bad for the elderly.
 

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Sounds like a plan Libby. Love the idea about him being able to walk freely and confidently - and if you present that verbal picture to him, I wonder if it would help the thinking and acceptance process.

Start now - he really cannot be lurching around at the wedding or on the trip. He also needs to take responsibility for everything that he can and a cane is certainly one way to do it.

Let us know how this all works out please!!
 
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HIKING POLES &WALKING STICKS

I just grabbed the first picture I saw... but my question is:

What about a walking stick instead of a cane? It looks "young," there are different styles, they fit on steps, and it will give him something stable to hold onto.

Try a few out. They don't need to be chest height or very heavy. It will work as an extra point on the ground for stability and may work better than a 4 pronged cane (and they only work well when used correctly - and that can be a little difficult when obstinance (sic)is in the way).
 
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Fall once when he grabs you so that he lands safely but with a bruise or two.

He'll go for the cane after that. ;)
 

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I'd buy it and next time he has a close call, pull it out and tell him to try it for a few days and see if it helps.

With my elderly aunt (81 this fall) we finally had to say, either use the cane or you will fall and require either a walker or a wheelchair. She decided the cane wasn't so bad after all.
 
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With my mom, we just bought it and stuck it in a corner where she could see it. We never discussed it but over a period of a week or two, she started using it.

About a year later, she would drop comments into conversations with other people (within my hearing) about how she would have broken her kneck if she didn't have her cane.
 
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My Dad resisted a cane at first but found out that he felt more secure with it and decided it wasn't so bad after all. The walker took a little longer. He would fold it up and carry it beside him.But when he began to get tired,it was there for him to use
I suggest you get both types of canes if funds aren't a problem and have them available. He may decide to try them on his own.
 

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Buy it and tell him it was $4. at a garage sale. At that price you just knew you should snap it up for when he "needs" it. He'll start using it in the house,then get used to it and pretty soon..
I use this method w/ my family. It how my DH started wearing shorts and sandals. Sometimes a little loving nudge??
 

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Buy it and tell him it was $4. at a garage sale. At that price you just knew you should snap it up for when he "needs" it. He'll start using it in the house,then get used to it and pretty soon..
I use this method w/ my family. It how my DH started wearing shorts and sandals. Sometimes a little loving nudge??
Hey, along this same idea, have you put in a "wanted" request to Craig's List for one? Or how about on "freecycle" in your area?

The idea of "leave it in the corner" sounds like a good one for your father.

There's a gal around here that uses two black hiking/walking sticks every day, one in each hand. It doesn't make her look old, I figured she just had weak knees.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Hehehe I must admit that the image of my dad and walking stick makes me wonder if others aka passers by will expect him to bust out some serious kung fu moves with it :lol: Fighting off evil with his stick! LOL And that saying "something to shake a stick at" ROFL!!

My sister suggests renting the 4 footed cane and leaving it in the house vs committing to buying one however it costs more to rent it vs buying it. DF thinks I should just buy it and leave it in the house subtly.

Now my only dilemma - big one or small one? The bigger one seems more sturdy though.
 

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We had almost the same problem with my father in law.
There wasn't a week that went by without him falling. The fact that he never broke anything was nothing short of a miracle.

Everyone in the family wanted him to get a zimmerframe/walking frame. But he thought that that was only for old people.
LOL He is 81.
Finally we contacted his dr. when we knew that he would be going there for a checkup and the dr told him that he should get one.
Within 1 week he had one. He still doesn't like to use it but does see the benefit of it.

(Actually it is quite funny how he doesn't think of himself as old.
He got a referral to a geriatric dr and he asked me what it was since he had never heard of it before. I mused about how to tell him. I finally just told him - carefully
His reaction - well why did they refer me to a dr. like that - it is for old people.
My answer - I have no idea.)
 
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It sounds like a cane would not be a good idea for him. You are describing balance issues not weakness issues. A cane is used for weakness. For example, when someone has a stroke, one side of the body will become weak, hence the use of the cane. A cane is a single pole that will not help him maintain balance. On the other hand a walker will help with balance and weakness. My grandmother uses a seat style walker. It has a leather seat for her to use to sit on when she gets tired, etc. Plus it's a bonus at games, kids concerts, etc b/c she always has her seat w/ her (no walking up and down bleachers). It sounds like (nursing viewpoint here) he needs a lot of education. Call your local hospice company as many have support systems for people who do not qualify for hospice however are in medical need. They can send a nurse out to educate him how a fall can lead to a fracture that can ultimately lead to a blood clot, embolism in the lungs, etc etc. It's not a pretty picture but many of the elderly do not believe just how fatal a major fall can become.

As far as getting him to use the equipment.... You're gonna have to bring it at some point. He may be mad but mad is better than hip surgery. And the next time he hollars for you to help him up, take the walker to him.

Wishing you luck.
 

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I'd call his doctor and get them in on the fun. When was his last checkup? Could he also have some inner ear infection that may be making his balance worse?
You are a dd Libby. :smooch:
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Dutchie HAHAHA 'how' did you tell him 'carefully' - I may be following your footsteps sooner then I'm willing to admit.

After mulling it over for a few days and discussing it with several people incl local seniors advocacy agencies - its only $43 with tax. I think I'm going to buy it and place it by the door where he puts on his shoes and gets ready to go and just explain that I'd rather have it there 'just in case' he decides he wants to try it and I can justify it being here b/c I want him to be able to use it when I take him with me to go visit DF and tour his town.

I'm always trying to think of all angles though - I hope he's not really mad or upset with me for doing this - its my one BIG concern. :(
 

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LOL - it happens to all of us - honest...must admit, I am having my own version of not being able to admit to being 'older'!! ;)
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Ok...so I finally went out and bought the cane and put it where his shoe mat is. He walked down the hall and saw it ASAP and stopped at the mat to gawk at it for 5 whole minutes. I peeked my head outta the kitchen to see what he was doing and he was all upset. "Why is that here? Why did you buy that? Its a waste of money!! I'm not going to use it, take it back!"

:(

So I explained that I'd rather us have it and him not need it and if he does want it or need it, its there. I told him he didn't have to use it b/c he doesn't need it 100% of the time. He just made this "I'm so mad at you I can't even look at you right now" face and walked away. My heart sank but I'm glad I did it.

Now....only have to wait and see if he tries it out and uses it. I bought him the subtle 'charcoal' cane vs attention grabbing blue one with the small base. Its better for outdoor use b/c its less of a hazard with curbs and other people walking by and getting caught on a leg. The bonus was that it was $38 no tax. :)

Airgo Comfort-Plus Aluminum Quad Canes - product detail
 
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