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Refusing mobility help??
Rescue mom
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 8:47 AM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 809

This has been mentioned before, but...

I have a relative in assisted living facility (in addition to DH with Alzheimer’s). She has some short-term memory probs, (along with impaired vision and hearing) but docs and staff question dementia because she can still do daily living activities. Her care is excellent.

But she’s getting much more unsteady, and actually falling. Everyone, including her doctors, has told her to use a walker, call for help, etc etc . She also  a wheelchair at hand, and staff always responds very quickly to such requests.

She refuses. She also refused physical therapy as prescribed, and any kind of exercise program.

They tell her she’ll break a hip or bone, have to go to hospital. She says she does not care. Another response: I haven’t been hurt yet. Told she could lie on floor for hours in pain, the answer is always some version of “I don’t care” or “I’ll take that risk” or sometimes “so what?” She has already been found on the floor. Not for long, not hurt. But. Still refuses help or walkers.

The staff said they told her to think of the pain and problems her getting hurt would cause her family, or others she like. Same responses as above.

One staffer said she was the most resistant patient ever had, and they are truly afraid she’ll get hurt. But doesn’t seem to be much they can do (?)

I understand she cannot be restrained (?) Has anyone else dealt with this kind of thing?

caregiving daughter
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 9:02 AM
Joined: 11/27/2012
Posts: 2057

Early in the illness, my mom was prescribed a walker. It was never used as she preferred using her hands on walls which I understand is very unsafe. Someone with dementia will likely not remember the reminders. Assisted living or mc is not staffed to watch someone constantly. You could try a broda chair (I think I am spelling correctly) which tilts slightly backward and makes it very difficult for someone to use enough physics to get out of it. If doing so, I would suggest getting your loved one in a senior fit program so they can continue to more their limbs and perhaps walk with a one on one aide.
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 10:55 AM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 641

I can relate to what you are seeing with your LO.  You describe you mother as being able to handle most of her ADLs, but, having short term memory issues. I'd keep watch on it, although, I'm not sure of any remedy if she continues to be resistant. 

I recall that with my LO, she also refused to use her cane most of the time.  At the time, she was living in her own home, doing ADLs and running her own household, so, I couldn't figure out why she insisted on taking so many risks with regard to her safety.  She was notorious for falling, yet she would walk unaided across uneven pavement, hilly ground, mud, etc.  I would inquire as to why she would do that and she never had an answer. Even after multiple falls, she would not heed orders to use her cane! 

  It seemed like plain refusal to me. But, later, her dementia became more clear.  Then, it was apparent that she had lost judgment AND memory.  Resistance to care and safety measures is common with cognitive decline.  So, getting her to use cane and then walker was almost impossible.  One had to be there supervising her constantly, in order for her to use them.  So, convincing someone the dangers of falling if they don't use better care, usually doesn't work, if there is judgment is impaired due to dementia.  With my LO, she did keep falling, got fractures and went to a wheelchair. 

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 11:11 AM
Joined: 4/23/2019
Posts: 5


Took the words right out of my mouth. Both my LO that I am caring for refuse to use their canes and if they do they use them incorrectly.  They have had multiple PT sessions to help them practice mobility around the home but still just dont do what they have been taught. My parents have always been very independent especially my mom and. She has always been the caregiver so it's hard to care for her because of this. Their neurological conditions definitely dont help with their common sense safety. I have the same fears of one day they end up severely hurt because of this but have somewhat come to terms that there is only so much you can do. 

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 2:48 PM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 641

This is true about LO's refusing to use cane or walker.  Once, I was sitting near my LO who was standing there with her walker in the AL dining room.  (She had graduated to walker from cane, due to falls.)  For NO apparent reason, she let go of the walker and proceeded to fall backwards, due to extreme loss of balance.  I jumped up and caught her before she hit the floor. Maybe, not the smartest move, but, neither of us were hurt. She had no idea why she did that.  So, even with direct supervision, it's difficult to prevent a PWD from falling, if they are prone to it.  Maybe, someone will have some suggestions though.
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