When Dad resists a walker

many older adults, use of a walker carries great stigma. It’s a symbol of
disability and often of isolation. In actual fact, a walker can be the key to
staying actively engaged with favorite activities.

benefits of a walker

  • It can bear up to 50% of a
    person’s weight. (A cane holds only 25%.)
  • It supports good posture. A
    walker keeps a person upright by reinforcing both sides of the body. (A
    cane steadies only one side.)
  • It is designed for people
    with moderate to severe balance problems or those with generalized
    weakness and arthritis. (A cane is best for only minor balance problems or
  • It may act as a chair when
    needed. Many walkers with wheels have a bench. Great for “standing”
    in line or when your loved one is suddenly tired or dizzy.
  • It can be rather stylish,
    with modern accessories, such as a smartphone clamp, a coffee cup holder
    and a basket for carrying things.
  • It stays where you put it!
    Canes seem to have a mind of their own, scooting out of reach when you
    least expect it.

you have had the “walker talk” with no success, make an appointment
with the doctor and directly ask, “What’s your experience with patients
who fall? How careful should we be?”

get the doctor’s input about the type of walker that is best for your loved
one. Perhaps he or she will do a mobility assessment. Or make a referral to a
physical or occupational therapist to create a plan for safe walking.

with Dad’s frustration that his body has given out on him in this way. Remind
him that with a walker, he can still get around on his own to do what he
pleases. It’s often the most effective choice for maintaining independence.

Is mobility a struggle?
As the Metro DC experts in family caregiving, we understand. At Debra Levy Eldercare Associates have helped many older adults come to terms with the need for a walker. You don’t have to do this alone. Give us a call at 301-593-5285.