Dystonia Society

My husband refuses aids to his walking

Hi my husband & & are 73. He had a quite severe head injury in 1981 & recovered manageably well. But about 8-10 years ago slowly developed dystonia, in his leg, then shoulders & other leg. Getting around even in the house is now SO slow! And of course he falls. He has to go to the loo 2 or 3 times an hour, so half his time is spent going backwards & forwards the 6 - 8 metres from chair to loo! But he refuses a walker/zimmer/wheel chair, and just uses a stick. Any ideas how I can make life easier for him? Or how to make him accept that he should use aids?

We hardly ever go out together - getting from car to shop/restaurant is just too time consuming/embarrasing. We have a wheel chair, mobility scooter, zimmer and walker ready at hand, but....

6 Replies

I'm 46. Have cervical dystonia & cerebellar ataxia.

I used to use two walking sticks (1 in each hand) outdoors and 1 inside. Then I tried a quadcane (walking stick with 4 prongs) indoors and out. Insufficient 4 my balance. Have tried crutches too but no good. Safety is paramount. I now use a rollator (walker with 4 wheels) both inside and out. Ie into restaurants or in the garden.

I have a scooter 4 long journeys or round shops and I also go in a wheelchair sometimes when pushed as I can't use a manual wheelchair on my own due to my cervical dystonia.

Yes I realise it's degrading & is very hard to accept but it prevents me falling over outside which is more embarrassing!

I can't walk too far. Soon get tired & I can't risk more falls! We could break something & be in a bit of a pickle!

Gives me freedom so I can go out. Isolation is worse. Gives me back my dignity & confidence too.

I cudnt manage even around the house on my own without my rollator. A godsend.

I don't worry what people think. I used to but my safety is key!


Hello Ginger1

Thank you for this - I will show it to my other half, it may encourage him a bit.

4 wheels... plus a brake on the rollator? I always fear you don't stand up straight with anything like that - stooping brings on back problems! But falling and breaking something is worse! My husband knelt down to do something, then tried so hard to get up, he broke his leg!! That's determination for you! It was quite a bother till it healed! We don't want an more of that!

Good luck with keeping mobile, and thanks for the encouragement



My rollator has brakes on either side.

I suffer terribly with back pain but it's not down to my rollator. It's injuries from my past like falling down stairs etc.

In some ways my rollator is better than a stick as I'm more upright & level. With a stick all your weight is on one side & your twisted.

Sorry to hear that your hubby broke his leg getting up. I crawl to the nearest piece of furniture and heave myself up. Not dainty/lady like but has to be done. Even my neurophysio said that is best.

I do genuinely wish you the best & hope my encouragement helps.

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Thanks I just keep seeing people with rollators that are too low! I think I will have to get yet another piece of equipment! Thank goodness we have a spare room! Full now! Good luck with positivity and the rollator!


It is height adjustable (perhaps others arent high enough?!),collapsible and has a seat. I use the seat when tired & for carrying . I use it like a perching stool in the kitchen too. Perhaps your husband can start by using what he has already. Trying the stuff you have will be a start. Saves purchasing owt else if you don't need!

Exercise is extremely important for us all too. With or without an illness! I watched something recently that said as we get older our muscles depreciate (muscle wastage) so exercise will keep us strong. I do lots within my capabilities. Also good for the brain too. Endorphins are released in our bodies.

I'm very positive. Sometimes people (including my mum) say I'm stubborn. I'm just very independent when I can be.

Sounds like your hubby is too. Nowt wrong with that as long as he remains safe.

I realise it isn't easy & he may feel he's giving in to it but in my opinion it's better to be safe than sorry 🖒😉


Men can be so stubborn but gentle nagging and we got a four wheel walker that folds into the car boot. The handles are height adjustable. Needless to say it got put in the garage so I went out with it magic. Now hubby would not be without it if he gets tired he can use it as a seat. We also have a three wheel one for in the house so instead of him being pretty much housebound we can go out and enjoy life again good luck 😁