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    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

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Help with mobility please

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by jenniferjean, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    371
    Female
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    My husband struggles to walk and currently uses a walking stick as an aid. He relies on me a lot when out, and often asks if he can sit down for a rest somewhere.

    As I mentioned on another post, he needs help when on uneven ground or when crossing a road. It has been suggested to me that I get him a walker. It has also been suggested to me that I approach social services and ask for another assessment to see if I can get help there. If I do that, should I do it through my doctor?

    I've looked on line at various walkers that are available but it's a minefield. I did wonder if I should try and ask for an occupational therapist to review his needs.

    I'm sure some of you have been down this road, so any help would be welcome.
     
  2. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    371
    I would have said, go via GP for an occupational health assessment for walking aids. I haven't done this for anyone with dementia, but I did get my flat assessed many years ago, with some free adaptions. Stress the need to prevent falls and having to go to hospital.
     
  3. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,830
    Nottinghamshire
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    My OH also has a 4 wheeled rollator with brakes and a seat so that he can sit down for a rest - it is similar to the one that @Bunpoots linked. We got OHs through a physio assessment, rather than an OT one. The Community Physio assessed him at home and ordered to rollator. It was organised by the hospital, but I think the GP can do this too.
     
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,740
    Salford
    All the GP will do is refer you to Social Services Occupational Therapy but you can do that youself on the link below. Googling it brings up a number of options of places to approach for mobility assistance.
    Occupational therapists can offer a range of things from walking aids to grab rails on doors, toilets, baths and guidance into which type of walking aid will be most suitable, they should be able to try him out with all the range of devices decide which is best so you can try before you buy but often they can let you have them on a loan basis.
    Many of the walking aids in the care home are labelled a "property of XXX local authority or NHS".
    On the link you can contact them by phone or e-mail and ask for an assessment.
    K

    https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/adultsocialcare/equipment/equipmentandadaptations
     
  6. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    371
    Female
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
  7. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    371
    Female
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    Thanks for the link. I've had a look and the information was useful. I could do it myself as you say, it's just that I thought doing it through the doctor might throw more weight. When I qualified for an assessment from social services as a carer that was done through the doctor and they responded pretty quickly. I'm thinking about it.
     
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,115
    Kent
    I wouldn`t waste any time @jenniferjean.

    By the time I got something for my husband he was unable to learn how to use it. He pushed but his feet stayed still.
     
  9. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,749
    Female
    Scotland
    Once he is assessed and on the system you can then contact the OT as his condition changes eg from sticks to rollator to wheelchair. They will also come out to the house and make adjustments. After a recent spell in hospital I found the OTs very helpful.
     
  10. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,918
    Suffolk
    OH had a walker like that. Every time he was persuaded to use it he was surprised that he could sit on it! Despite that, he absolutely hated it! Makes me look old( he was over 80 at the time!)

    Eventually it turned out that the pain in his leg was because the artery was blocked, so he had a stent, which worked for one leg! He had to have an op on the other leg, which sorted that. But he still hated the walker!

    So not all PWD will use a walker, and not all poor walking is caused by dementia.
     
  11. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    A walker may not work, or work for very long, but I think that it is worth getting an assessment and seeing if you can borrow the equipment. A physio may well be able to spot that poor walking is due to some other physical problem. OH also hates his walker, but he does use it so I now have another walker that folds up much smaller and it stays in the boot of my car for when we go out. I didnt buy it until I knew that it worked and he would use it, though.
     
  12. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    371
    Female
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    I have now set the ball rolling, I've just sent an email to social services. I find that less stressful than sitting on the phone for hours on end.
     
  13. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    371
    Female
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    I agree @canary , an assessment is needed and I've just emailed social services. Just out of interest is the smaller walker that you refer to light enough to carry? We don't have our own transport and I wondered if a walker could be carried onto the bus?
     
  14. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    OH has this one @jenniferjean
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/COSTWAY-Li...101&pf_rd_i=2826393031&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

    It folds up quite small and could be taken on a bus, but can be tricky to fold down and put up again afterwards. Ive got quite slick at it these days, but Im not sure that its something to be done in a hurry. If your husband can get on and off a bus with just a stick you could fold it up while you are waiting for the bus. It is lighter than the one he got through the NHS, but still not something I would like to carry for very long - think of it more like carting a case around.
    The downside of this convenience is that I find that this rollator is not quite as sturdy as the NHS one, although still OK for sitting on and trips out, so he uses the NHS one locally and the other one when we go out.
     
  15. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    371
    Female
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    Thanks everyone for your help. I've just had a reply from my email to social services. It says I have to contact my GP and request a referral to the Physiotherapists.
     
  16. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,720
    Male
    Bristol
    Good luck with the physio referral Jenniferjean. They took about a two months when we needed them last year. I was just going to add that C didn't like her rollator as it ran away from her, and I ended up buying a lightweight wheelchair for about £240. Physio are a bit stingy about what they will pay for, so you may need to fork out even after an assessment.
     
  17. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    371
    Female
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    I'm prepared to fork out, I'm just nervous about buying the wrong thing. I want professional help in deciding what is best for him. It would be useful if we could test how my husband manages before purchasing. It will be interesting to see how long we have to wait for a referral.
     
  18. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    371
    Female
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    I've just had a call from my surgery to say doctor has referred my husband. I'm not sure if it's occupational therapy or physiotherapy. The doctor thinks he may have to go to the hospital to attend rather than someone come to the house. We will have to wait and see.
     
  19. rhubarbtree

    rhubarbtree Registered User

    Jan 7, 2015
    462
    North West
    Hi jenniferjean,
    I did ask this question a few weeks ago. Seems we are at the same stage. I can understand the comment about the rollator "running away" with the PWD as I notice my husband has trouble with a supermarket trolley. I have to put my foot under the front wheel if I want to stand and stare. Obviously the rollator have brakes but will they know how to use them?
    I am thinking I will go straight to a wheelchair in the hope that we might be able to get out to summer activities this year. Not looking forward to the pushing though. OH can walk a little so he will have to get out sometimes. It will be like the couple on Little Britain!
     
  20. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,030
    Female
    Chester
    My mum was provided with a zimmer (on discharge from hospital with pneumonia, she didn't actually need it a few days after discharge.

    The OT came to her flat and also provided other equipment but she had to get it signed off by physio

    She said the physio wouldn't provide/recommend a rollator for a PWD as they didn't normally understand how to use the brakes and so it wasn't safe.
     

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