Journey Through Dementia

Journey Through Dementia

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Operation Walker

I received the most amazing email from the patient coordinator at Atria.
Hi Bev, we all have noticed Mildred would benefit from having a walker. Mildred loved it and had no pain while she was using it as a trial for the escort to dinner yesterday.
Mildred LOVED it????  The coordinator, of course, had no idea that this is something I've been trying to get her to agree to for three years.  With the severity of her back problems, I knew that a walker would help her, but could I get her to even think of one?  No way.

From the first day, she looked down on "all those people using walkers."  (Now, of course, she has forgotten the word "walker" and dismisses them as "things.")

I have tried to trick her into realizing that a walker would help by taking her shopping and, when she complained about her back pain, suggesting she push the shopping cart and kind of transfer her weight to the cart, relieving the pressure on her back.  She agreed that yes, that did help, but when I pointed out that this is the benefit she would get from a walker, she refused to push the cart any more.
I have tried suggesting she use my cane when she was having difficulty walking.  In truth, most of the time I am fie without it, though my balance is getting weird, so it's a safety measure, and I don't know that I could climb stairs any more without a cane or banister. 

She did try the cane and admitted that it helped, but almost immediately gave it back to me like it contained poison and told me that I needed it and I should use it and how lucky I was to have fond something that helped.

So to hear now that "Mildred loved it" made my jaw to slack.

Of course, I suspect there is a lot of people pleasing involved in that.  She looks on the people at Atria as her bosses and, always wanting to do the right thing, if they suggest she use a walker, I can see that she would readily agree, without admitting her true feelings about it.

Another perk of having her on assisted living.

I told Melissa that we would give her a few more days to get used to the idea and if by next week she is still accepting the idea of using a walker to walk, I would go out and shop and get her her very own walker.

I have always thought that if she had a walker with a seat on it, she could actually get out and DO things.  I don't take her anywhere now because she has to stop so often and sit down.  But if she brought her seat with her, things might be different.

Walt was in the Bay Area with the car yesterday, so I didn't go to Atria, but I will go over today and I am going to be very curious to see how our visit goes and whether she will mention the walker.  I won't bring it up, but will let the Atria people deal with it with her.

I decided long ago that she is so damned independent and so proud of her not needing any assistance whatsoever that if she ever had to use a walker or wheelchair, she would just curl up and die.

But maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe this could be the start of a new chapter for her.  I am holding my breath and being cautiously optimistic.

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