Walking and motivation

Hi all

Seasons greetings! 🌲

My dad is now mainly wheelchair bound, can only take about 5/6 (very wobbly steps) with a frame and someone behind him, trying to prevent falls!

My mum is worrying cos she thinks she should be motivating dad to walk! I've explained dad cannot hardly walk anymore 😓 and therefore there isn't any motivation on that front you can provide!

Who's right? Who's wrong?

I don't think any motivation to walk helps as the risk of falling is huge!!!!


15 Replies

  • It's good to keep him walking for as long as possible but preferably when there are two people to help. It's not going to do your mum any good if your dad falls on her. My husband stopped walking on his own a long time ago but it has only been since October that he hasn't taken any steps. Before that, if we had a carer or our sons here, we would both help him to do a circuit of the downstairs rooms. In October he stopped putting one foot in front of the other and his knees gave way. It was a sad moment when we knew he would never walk again. As your dad is still walking, it would be a shame for him to stop before he has to.


  • Thx u nanna b

    I'm very sorry about your husband, soooo bloody cruel and soooooo very sad and heartbreaking for you!

    I know what your saying, but my dad seems to be giving up to, on the walking, to name but a few other things!

    We literally manage to get him to walk from bed to chair in the morning, and chair to bed at night, apart from that all forms of doing any walking seem to have ceased.....encouragement from us seems to go unnoticed by my dad as he simply doesn't seem interested!

    All in all totally heartbreaking


  • Try and keep that little bit of walking as it's not so easy having to use a hoist to transfer. I've just written rather a long post about my experience today.


  • Thx nanna b

    I'll read it nowx

  • Yes, I (would) help my husband walk from car to grocery, about (200m) 60ft for some of his exercise....if he seems to be depressed, something that does happen with PSP, you might talk with dr. about it


  • True that NannaB, If they are able to walk. and there is assistance then let them walk! But we have to get our head around the fact that walking may become so limited that getting them out of the wheelchair is more dangerous than helpful!


  • Dear Satt2015,

    It IS very hard to fight against the lack of motivation, maybe impossible sometimes, but there are health benefits to every bit of walking, so keeping at it as long as possible is advisable. Walking in place, seated marching and kicking, anything to help keep the circulation going, keep fluid from building up in the feet, keep some oxygen going to the brain, keep the digestive system functioning, prevent skin deterioration. However, I think the time comes to everyone where the benefit s aren't worth the struggle or the patient cannot be moved, and once that time comes everyone needs to try to accept it. I will say that my guy's walking is really variable day to day. It hasn't been a steady decline in ability; sometimes he doesn't want to do the work, and sometimes I can't keep up. When he says "Nope," I back off.

    Wouldn't it be easier if there were rules about all this? Sorry not to be more help. I do feel for you and your parents trying to get down this hard road. Hang in there.

    Love and peace, Easterncedar

  • Thx u

    Today dad is doing more chair based exercises

    I told him he needs to do them hourly and today he is! Yay!

    I explained about the oxygen to the brain, thank you so much!


  • Oh, thanks for that. It is so nice to imagine I can help a bit!

  • Hi,


    My husband is also deteriorating as far as the walking goes, his legs go rigid at times, but I do agree with what everyone else has said about keeping him moving while he can still do it! Both my sons Take their Dad out for a walk when they visit us, just up the road and back, but it does really help and Keith looks forward to it! I daren't do it on my own outdoors but I do walk him up and down the hallway just to keep some form of movement going. I am dreading the day that he can no longer do it and wonder how on earth we'll both cope with that!

    So it's one day at a time for us I'm afraid, trying not to dwell on what the future may hold and getting on the best we can with each challenge as it happens (some days better than others!)

    Good luck and please know we all understand what you are going through, it's so so hard!

    Love and hugs....Pat xx

  • Think of it this way; Your dad is driving down the same old street to get where he wants to go. However , it is cloudy and there has been a mud slide . That familiar st street is now clogged If he tries to go faster, the car will end up in the ditch. Because he cannot see and he cannot move easily, he is not able to respond quickly. Patience is crucial. his new mode of transportation is the wheelchair. and that is ok

    He will never walk the same and, as this is a progressive disease/disorder it will get to a point where he is no longer walking, at all! In all of this, he is still husband dad friend.

    Please tell mom this is not dad, its PSP . we cannot fix our loved ones, but we can reclaim our lives and create a new normal. Tell mama to relax, find the joy in the day and if she wants dad to exercise, let him do things sitting down! I danced with my husband at our son's wedding....in a wheel chair....Good luck and God's speed


  • My husband can only walk a few steps now, from bed to bathroom and back, and that with me almost doing the walking for him! But he goes to hydrotherapy twice a week where he has to walk forwards, backwards and sideways in the (heated) pool. He loves going, and it's a good way for him to keep mobile in a safe way.

  • Hi, my husband can barely walk now, except with his walker, with me beside him. But put him in an exercise mode, I.e. At his gym class, then he can walk unaided, up and down, doing a sit to stand exercise, climb steps, non stop for two minutes, but at the end, he still can't walk to the next exercise!!! If he is struggling to walk , I now say, think you are at the gym, that sometimes works! This PSP does extremely funny things to the brain, that none of us understand. I just wish, I could get the researchers to come and watch him for a day, they might find it interesting!!! ( or is that going to far????)

    S goes to a class for Parkingsons, doing multi directional movements. I'm dreading this Christmas break, as I know he will go downhill, until they start up again.

    I agree with your Mum, that your father MUST keep moving, but in a safe environment, sitting exercises, Tai-chi from a chair, just kicking his legs up and down, while sitting. Anything to keep the blood circulating! But NOTHING is worth getting into a stressed state about! It's far better to have no exercise, than to cause extra unneeded pressure and stress.

    Lots of love


  • Thx u heady

    Jolly good advice as always


  • Hi agree with everyone try to keep him mobile as safely as you can, Physio gave up on M about 6 months ago telling me not to force her to walk as it was not safe for me. I make her walk on my hip arms round shoulders. She has rigid knees so it is a bit of a sailors gait but I can make her walk round the house and to the car. OK in morning but as day progresses her ability to swing alternate legs deteriorates and I have to use more force to move her or use the Stedy to transfer her. The physio's were right as my right shoulder and left hip are now causing problems but I believe M is in more need of exercise, as she would just sit otherwise, but I know it is fast approaching and I dread it.

    Best wishes Tim

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