PSP Association
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Falling but otherwise mobile: Equipment/Support suggestions?

Hubby can walk (slowly) and get up and down from chairs, but is starting to fall more. There's a tumble every day now. We have a rollator walker for outside walks, but nothing yet for inside. What do you advise based on your experience at this stage? Thanks gang.

Anne G.

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Why don’t you use the walker inside of the house? This is what we did, now George is in a wheelchair all the time. Yvonne xxxxx

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Hi Yvonne;

I guess I'm also thinking of something that will help me help get him up from a fall. I can push a chair over to where he landed, but today in the laundry room I couldnt fit our (wide) chair in and the laundry machines were too high for him to reach for support once we got him to his knees. I wondered if some sort of frame wd be good..Its all new..!

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At that stage we used a zimmer frame. When he could not help himself I had a "camel" provided by OT. It is unweildy but does the job. You need to apply for things in advance as it can take a while.

I remember how worrying it is - never knowing when you will hear a crash.

love, Jean x

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Thank you Jean.

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We have kitchen step ladders - one on each floor - they have rubber feet caps. I can usually wedge it against something and my husband can grab each step coming up after I get him to his knees with a bedsheet wrapped around him. I bought garden knee pads from eBay to put under his tender knees. I sometimes put on one of those velcro lumbar supports to protect my own back. We also use the grandkid's step stools. 🙂

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Brilliant! Never thought of those - I know the ones you mean - just a few steps, solid plastic with wide rubber feet - lightweight and quick/easy to move to him if/when he falls... Thanks Alicia!

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The stools we use are actually metal with two full steps - lightweight aluminum. I know the plastic ones your thinking of ~ they should work, of course!!! We do whatever😄 We already had the metal ones.

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I use a zimmee frame with two wheels on the front and it has transformed my life for better

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So i now call myself Zimmermann 😁

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Thanks J: I'm getting one this week!

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We used a walker without wheels most successfully indoors, plus lots of grab bars, including one in front of a couple of the windows so he could stand and look out, which he liked to do, without falling through!

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Thanks Sarah - a few more bars sound smart..Theyre only in the bathroom currently..

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Hi there Anne !

My sister has been using a U Step walker for almost a year. She used a rollator prior to the U Step. The rollator worked well up to the point where her balance/falling became worse. We're in the USA. Medicare helped a bit ; paid for a fraction of the $600+ price. The company is in Illinois and the very nice people that I dealt with were familiar with PSP. Sorry about all of this info if you're in GB. I believe that there may be similar solutions available there.

Best to you,

Elise

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Thanks Elise, I'm in west coast Canada.

Will look it up :-)

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We have an elk which you can plug into the mains and it pumps up with them sitting on it, supplied by the OT, very useful xxxxx

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Hi Yvonne; I looked up the "camel" that Jean/Doglington referred to (what a mysterious name..but then you think how a camel lowers itself to let the rider on..) and the Elk sounds like much the same sort of inflationary device? ..There's just a universe of stuff out there that one had no idea about before all this!... But these inflationary devices seem like the easiest kindest ways to get someone who has virtually NO mobility control to get up safely - AND safely for the sole caregiver who's trying to help them!!

Thank you!

Anne G.

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Hi

Just a note Camel and Elk are made by the same people. When you need one of these you need the Camel which has a back support.

mangarhealth.com/uk/store/p...

They are amazing!

Warmly

Kevin

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I have 2 walkers (rollators).. I keep one as my outside rollator, and one is left in the house. I ALWAYS USE my rollator, inside and out, and my falling has greatly stopped happening. The rollator I use outside is called a Nitro. It is easy to fold up and anyone can fold it up and place it in the trunk for transport. Plus it has larger wheels so it goes over all terrain. I hope this helps. I have PSP and am almost 72 years of age. Love, Mary B.

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Well done, you :-) Sounds like you have the right formula for mobility equipment. I just need to get my guy to accept using the equip in the first place (!)

Thanks Mary,

Anne G.

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Hi Mary, thanks for replying. The good news re using rollators is you are still walking!

Are you still in the drug trial?

Anne G.

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Dear Anne, I replied, explaining the drug trial that I have been in for almost two 1/2 years. It is still going on and I have heard rumblings that it is going well, but nothing official is being said. I believe in many respects, I am doing better, but worse in a few areas. I walk with my rollator and starting to go back to the gym, but since my vision is so poor now, I don’t drive so must always get a ride. My caretaker goes with me, to help me get onto the machines.

I’m not sure where my typed reply went but I didn’t sign it.

Nice to hear from you, Love, Mary B.

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Your comment about getting him to use the equipment,I remember that stage very well.my husband would drive me crazy,he always wanted to lift the Walker in the air to turn it,so needless to say most equipment didn't last long.I have bars everywhere and have a transport chair when needed.

Dee

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No-one seems to gripe about how expensive all this is..yikes! Theres some coverage with pac.blue cross, and I guess I'll find out how much can be claimed against taxes....

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Keep all receipt for income tax,are you aware of icbc rebate.if you haven't gone to service bc,they do have info of what you maybe able to receive.

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Thx Dee: ICBC? For walkers etc or just for adapted vehicles?

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We received a discount from icbc, but it may change because he turned 65,I will check into that and it is for your personal vehicle but he has to be on the registration as well.keep all receipt that you buy ,walker canes.This will depend on your income of course.but maybe we'll worth checking with who ever does your income tax.We also have a FDR number for fuel tax refund for persons with disabilities. But it all may change because he is now 65.Check with federal and provincial service offices

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I will check it out. Thanks Dee!

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We are in Manitoba and some things are available through home care. Is the same true for you in bc? Hospital bed, lift, hospital table, bed pads, pull ups, briefs etc were all supplied without charge.

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Hi Hiebert: I had no idea! Ive only done an intro phone consult with Home Care - sort of a "hi Im here & Im going to need you but not yet...just dont want to have a long wait when I do.." We dont have continence problems - yet!

So I'll find out what they provide soon. Sounds like its better than I expected..at least in Manitoba. yet I know a 98 yr old family friend with dementia being cared for at home, whose family had to buy an $8k hospital bed for her! Would it be that different from one province to another? Clearly Ive got to get better informed!!

Thanks for the info - appreciate it!

Anne G.

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Yes varies from province to province. In Manitoba as soon as you have homecare you have access to great equipment. We had a fabulous hospital bed at home. The only one better is the kind with the air mattress. My sister is in sask and they have to pay for some things we don’t.

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I juust ordered a new walker and shower chair from eBay - the third!!! shower chair😐And we'll be adding a couple of more grab bars this weekend when my sons are free to give me a hand. ~ I very quietly brought the items into the house but left them in the packages until an ideal moment presented itself (i.e. A trip to the emergency room for stitches) then asked if he wanted to see if they would help. He never objected:)

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My son ordered us a wheelchair without asking and had it delivered to the house. That one, I intercepted and hid in the garage until many months later when it became neccessary to give it a try.

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I hear you!...

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Shower chairs!

Tell me about them!

The rubber feet kept going.

I have two in the garden - one to put a sprinkler on to get more hight the other I move around and just sit and drink tea and daydream on.

I've found the trick is to keep them a good distance apart. ;)

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😂😂

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Hi Alicia: Yup...I've got the (more) grab bars on my shopping list, and have asked our local handyman to install railings beside the single step down to the garage. Some day I'm certain, it will be a ramp - but not quite yet.

Hubby used to do all this handyman stuff himself: he had every tool and was competent at all the crafts/trades. It still burns him that he can't do it anymore and has to rely on his sons (from different cities) or "neighbour guys" to do repairs and builds for him ;-)

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My husband is a retired Plumber!! So, hear ya - He is now our supervisor. I spent this past summer organizing his garage full of pipe and tools - I did drag him out out there a few times after setting up a sorting table.

Jack has such trouble coming to a full stop in a couple of dangerous spots in the house, like at the top of the stairs😬 He doesn't want bars everywhere but everywhere is where they are going!!!!!

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My response is far from the post they go with 😆 Anne's post starting with "Well done....." about getting your person to use the mobility aids is what these responses go to~~~~😄.

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Hi, Des had a camel.If you are lucky and get one practise on it with a friend (good friend!) I found it took a while to remember the sequence and our friends with PSP do not have a lot of patience!!Also he would try to get himself up as soon as he was elevated and before I had dropped the controls ready to help him.But Des was impatient perhaps you are luckier.On a lighter note the camel also lets off excess air making a very camel like sound!Good luck and hope he falls where the camel will fit another problem.

Love Px

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Thanks! Thats funny ;-)

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Hi Raincitygirl!

My wife was using a U-step walker with wheels when the last fall produced a hip break and the subsequent surgical intervention. After this fall came the rehabilitation that never achieve the situation prior to the fall. After the rehabilitation we had to move to the wheelchair.

Moving from the U-step walker (with or without wheels) to a wheelchair is psychologically hard but, in my opinion, it is convenient to go alternating the U-walker with the wheelchair before a fall has more serious consequences.

Hugs.

Luis

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Thanks Luis, I too believe in keeping my hubby as mobile as possible and try to practice short walks without aids. I think we'll be "toggling" between aids & no aids for a while.

I have to ask: is that your cat photo beside your name? It is perched on a very intetesting looking location! :-)

Anne G

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The cat observes and learns while maintaining a difficult and risky balance.

Hugs.

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Patients cooperation is best solution for it Rather than any machine or equipment. Do best counseling for little little help he required. All problem will solve.

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Hi GSMNiper: Can you say more? I wondered what you mean by patient cooperation. ?

Thank you!

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My husband,before he passed away in July,used a u-step walker for a couple of years.The biggest problem with that was,when he stopped it and had to back out of it,he would fall.It got to the point I had to walk with him at all times.Also, the physical therapist was able to teach him a method of getting up off the floor.Problem there was,he could do it there with her but at home not so much. I hope you can find some answers that work for you.

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Thank you Jan; Actually our Neurologist said physio "wouldnt help" but I thought it possible it would help G to relearn some physical skills like getting out of bed and getting up from a fall. So we've been going to neuro physio and it HAS helped him recover from falls at home! Its a journey.....

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I had to be with him all the time. Sorry.

In the UK all these aids are provided by the NHS

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Hi,

I have put up 30 small black handles all around the house that Ruth can grab at any stage. They are little bigger than kitchen unit handles - so are not ugly. Like big drawer handles. They cost about £7 each - available from your local hardware store! I would send a picture if I knew how....

Richard

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Thanks Richard - I think I can picture it. And she grabs these as she walks along?

Cheers!

Anne G

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