Why Some Seniors Refuse to Use Walking Aides

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

January 30, 2018

Illness and injury can cause an elderly adult to become less steady on their feet. Other chronic conditions can affect their balance and even side effects of medication can trigger a slip and fall accident. Doctors and physical therapists may want their aging patient to use a walking aid like a cane or a walker to give them some support. Even though they may need to use something, many seniors absolutely refuse to use either assistive device.

Home Care Upper St. Clair PA
Home Care Upper St. Clair PA: Senior Safety Concerns

Why Seniors Need Walking Aides
Elderly adults generally need walking aides when they are unbalanced and at risk of falling. When they’ve recently had surgery, they may be bandaged or stitched up, causing them to need something. Other seniors experience chronic conditions that affect them, such as vertigo, inner ear fluids, medication side effects, low muscle tone and poor vision.
Many seniors simply don’t do as well as they did when they were younger because their overall senses and reflexes diminish and slow down. Canes and walkers compensate for these senses by helping the brain realize where the body is and where the feet are going. No matter what the cause is for the reduced ability to get around safely, walking devices can restore safety and confidence in elderly adults.
Reasons Seniors Refuse Mobility Aides
It’s difficult for family caregivers, friends, and senior care aides to convince an elderly person to use a walking aid if they don’t really want to. Canes and walkers are associated with weakness, aging, and dependency. That’s often the last thing an elderly person wants to be associated with, especially as the realities of growing old become more intrusive every day for them. Many seniors would rather not go anywhere than to go with a mobility aid.
Some seniors are in denial about their need for a walker or cane. They may think they are just fine and that everyone is being overprotective. They may not realize how an injury from a slip and fall accident can really take a toll on their health and wellness. In these cases, it may be helpful for an authority figure, like a doctor or physical therapist, to outline the necessity for a cane or a walker.
The best argument that family members can use to try to convince their elderly loved one to use a cane or a walker is to point out that instead of limiting them, the walking aid provides them with more independence. Not only will they be able to go further for longer, they will not have to depend on anyone else to help them. Instead of limiting them, a mobility aid can help them stay active and engaging in the events and social activities they want to do.
There are many things that seniors will not want to do as they grow more dependent on others for their daily needs. Using walking aides is a big step in their lives but hopefully, once they see how much better they can get around, they’ll open up to the possibilities that support and stability allows.

If you are considering Home Care in Upper St. Clair, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551