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Thread: How much can you do using a walker?

  1. #1

    How much can you do using a walker?

    This past weekend I ventured home from rehab with just my walker. Left the chair in my dorm room. Now, I certainly found out real fast jus how much I CANT do from a walker. I have very little hip stability. They tend to swing one way or the other when trying to stand without the walker. So, I mostly have to have one or both hands on the walker. Try grilling when ya cant even carry the plate of meat out the door. Thank God for hungry kids to help out. So, the question I would like to put to the community is: How much can you stand without supporting yourself with your hands, can you do a lot or a little using the walker? Am being too ambitious here, or should I continue to try this approach at home? No way can I do any shopping by myself(drafted the oldest to go with me) or do any yard work. Thanks for your time nd comments on this....John

  2. #2
    Much to the chagrin of my husband (who fears a fall), I have learned to be pretty creative with the walker. I can dress while standing on it. I can shift to one side to open doors or use light switches.

    I use it to stand at the sink; I lean into it against the sink base to keep me from swaying side to side while I brush my teeth, etc. I use the same technique to change the CD in our stereo, which is on top on the chest of drawers.

    I have not been able to figure out how to carry anything while using one. I know you can get baskets to attach to the walker, but I worry about balance.

    BTW, I have been really inspired by your accounts of your hard work in rehab. Every time I read an update, I think, "I need to be working harder!" :-)

    Good luck!

    Cancer-related SCI, 12-26-05

  3. #3
    If I had one I could use it as a valet for my clothes.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  4. #4
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    San Francisco, CA

    I could walk very little with the walker, and i couldn't hodl anything either, but i'd still do it but my mom would be besides me the whole time. So i'd go to reach for somthing i'd put it on the table, then get my balance, and if i couldn't do somthing then my mom would help me. It took awhile to get out of this stage. But I kept at it by not bringing the wheelchair in the house. I'd leave it outside in the garage so if i wanted food, i better get it some how without the wheelchair. Keep up the good work!

    I use to use the Hugo walker, it had a seat on it, and i would throw stuff in the seat then if i get too tired sit down then do it all over again, took forever but still felt good.
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;

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  5. #5
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Tampa, FL
    graybeard, I'd say that I agree with Cory & others in that the more you use a walker the better you'll get. I also have horrible balance and always have at least one hand on the walker. However, I've gotten so I can carry some things (like a glass of water or paper around the office) by leaning on the walker with the base of my hand instead of gripping the walker. If I need to carry something large (like my dinner plate) I put it on the seat of the walker - of course I can't go over any bumps. I also do yard word - I put the round-up in the basket on the walker and spray away. I can hold onto the walker with one hand and reach down and pull weeds. If I need 2 hands (to trim the hedge) I sit on the walker. So, I'd say continue to use the walker & as you adjust to it you'll be able to do more.

    Last edited by MikeC; 07-11-2006 at 12:17 PM.
    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

  6. #6
    Senior Member queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Garden on the Green, Indiana
    I remember in rehab they told me to use my walker between the countertop and table...approx. 4 ft. across....and carry a cup of
    hot coffee and sit down. I laughed hysterically,,,just no way...
    balance with walker and one hand just was not there.

    Then I was told to pull rubber bottles out of a refrigerator...the kind
    with the freezer on top...well after falling head first into the top rack
    a couple times they moved me to the beds for more leg lifts....they
    never had a clue it was my lack of toe support or the balls of my feet,
    but at that point I was still trying to use my entire foot for balance.

    I did get better at it...but more so when I got to Mom's and moved
    around in her kitchen (she has an island) which gave me ample opportunity
    to walk around and practice without the walker. You'll get there!! Q
    Your life is what you make it, and only you have that choice!

  7. #7
    Maybe try one of those teardrop shaped backpacks to carry stuff, the ones with only one strap. You can wear it in front, kind of like a kangaroo pouch, low like you're covering your beer belly. The lower it is, the less it'll affect your balance if you fill it.

    My guy uses one at school. He's a quad and can't reach anything on the back of his chair, and can't keep an eye on his stuff. He slings it over his shoulder and it doesn't slide off his lap, it can carry 'personals', a drink, and all his books'n'stuff.

  8. #8
    Some very helpful comments, guys. I am determined to keep at this, yet not sure if I should balance time between the walker and chair, or should I forgo chair altogether, and continue to try the walker only? Those that have a seat(?) with your walker, what or where is this attached? I would love to plank my butt when I get feeble, jus no where to do this outdoors. Woodpile dont count, logs have tendency to roll. Tried using the deck chairs, but what a chore gettn outta them low chairs. Keep sending recommendations, I am willing to try anything to get better at manuevering and accomplishing tasks with my limited balance. Thank ya'll for your help....John

  9. #9

    Not much probably hit the floor

    Wish you guys/gals the best with your ambulation
    Lynarrd Skynyrd Lives

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Asia, but now Im in re-hab in Wa. State
    I like to use the walker around the house from time to time for just standing and watching TV. I have to use my forearm crutches for stairs and ramps with a steep incline because I use KAFO's.


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