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    • #19601
      Mary Beth Skylis
      Moderator

      My Dad’s freezing episodes impact his ability to walk throughout the house when he isn’t on his drugs. My Mom has tried to get him to use a cane or a walker, but he finds them to be more of a hindrance than a help. Do you find canes or walkers to be helpful? Do you prefer one over the other?

    • #19745
      Joan
      Participant

      My husband uses walking sticks and it has been very helpful with his balance, stride and coordination. He was diagnosed last year. He has not started taking medications yet.

    • #19749
      RJ Hayden
      Participant

      I have used both a cane and hiking sticks . . . they may not be 100%, but they have helped me to keep my balance and prevent a fall.

    • #19750
      Bonnie
      Participant

      My husband suffers from both freezing and festination.  He uses a rollator walker, but it gets away from him or he forgets to use it.  We are thinking of using the u-step walker specifically used by Parkinson’s patients.  Has anyone used this and if so, has it been helpful?

    • #19756
      Gary S
      Participant

      I have found that placing my attention on pushing off on the rear foot makes walking easier, with less freezing.

    • #19768
      Patty Stratton
      Participant

      My husband was diagnosed in 2000.  Initially he used nothing, but later on used a cane for many years.  When that was not sufficient (due to freezing, and lack of balance) he used a rollator or standard walker you can buy at a medical supply store or even online.  As time goes on he has needed more support, yet didn’t want to rely on an electric scooter (which we have and use when we go somewhere where it might be a long walk and he wouldn’t have the stamina.)  Today we received the U-Step 2 walker that is much more sturdy, needs to have brakes disengaged by squeezing them to move forward and then will stop immediately when you let go.  This is key when you are battling continual freezing episodes in order to prevent a fall.  The U-Step 2 also has an optional laser to cue foot placement as well as an optional metronome.  Medicare will pay a portion of the cost (although you must pay in full and will then be reimbursed) and the optional laser/metronome are to be paid by you.  We were referred for the walker after a session of P/T and with Dr. signature.  I wish good luck to all!

    • #19772
      Jacque Walston
      Participant

      When I find that dizziness and instability are sometimes a problem I go from one piece of furniture to the next when in the house (which is most of the time these days). but find a cane helpful when I am out or clinging to a shopping cart. I am thinking about changing to a walking stick because of posture issues. I don’t have “freezing” issues.

    • #19784
      Shirley Cypher
      Participant

      My husband has an upright walker which is just great.  He uses it when he feels unstable.  He is 87.  It easily folds up to put in the back of our Outback. Very light weight. There are a number of brands on Amazon.  With Parkinson’s he still has the forward leaning posture but not like a regular walker he can watch where he is going and stop and sit down on it if he is tired.  We were walking about a 3rd of a mile with it about every other day until he came down with sepsis due to dysphasia that kind of knocked him back some but now getting his stamina back.  Most of the upright walkers are of the same design basically that you see on TV.  We paid about $245 for his in 2019.  As an aside I paid $80 for a standard walker in Medford Oregon when I broke my thigh bone 500 miles from home.  The difference between upright walkers and standard walkers is huge.  Still have the standard walker but Joe won’t use it.  Understand medicare pays about 50% with a doctors recommendation.  But I didn’t think about that at the time.

    • #19785
      Clive
      Participant

      I use two Nordic walking poles and I find them very useful. My shoulders are fairly strong. I have always got out of a seat with arm rests by lifting my body up using my arms. It was a silly habit that has suddenly of become of use. I can propel myself along far better with the poles and they help in going uphill. I do not find myself stooping using the poles. I live at the edge of town and can walk in the Welsh countryside for a couple of miles. Breathlessness is a far worse restraint. I am lost without the poles and can wholeheartedly recommend them.

    • #19825
      Brenda
      Participant

      For me the bigger question is why would he be off of his drugs?  It’s best to be consistent with medication.  If he isn’t being consistent, that could be the problem.

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