Photo: Greta’s mom, Lina.
I’ve been taking care of my mom since 2013 when her initial Alzheimer’s diagnosis became serious enough that she couldn’t care for herself in her own home. After many years of caring for her in my home and experiencing the many changes in her needs and the gradual progression of her symptoms, she lost her balance and fell one evening in early August of 2020. It happened in the middle of the night. We helped her back into bed but didn’t know until getting x-rays the next morning how bad it was. She had fractured her hip.
After her surgery to replace the ball joint in her hip, my 85-year-old mother came home to recover after a couple of months at a rehab facility. She came home but was too scared and unstable to walk or stand on her own. My boyfriend and I tried to help her rehab as best we could, but it was tough because she had lost her confidence and was too scared to get up and try. We bought a nylon belt that goes around her waist and legs, with handles on either side of her to help hold her weight while we helped her walk. This was tough as she would just hang on the belt and our arms, folding her legs under her when she didn’t want to walk so we had to bear her full weight. When it’s just myself there’s no way I can do her walking exercises safely without help.
How the LifeGlider Is Helping Her
I went online to find something that would make it easier on us, something she could use to help her stand up without us holding her up. I saw something on Pinterest that caught my eye. It was a LifeGlider. I liked the idea of belting her into something that had a support seat and would hold her up while preventing falls. I didn’t find anything quite like it. I found the website and ordered one immediately.
She’s been using the LifeGlider for nearly two months now. It was a little confusing for her at first because of her cognitive deficits. She did struggle with her first steps initially, but just the ability to move around more freely put a smile on her face. I knew there was hope.
Since then, she’s been spending about an hour each day in the LifeGlider. Sometimes she’ll lose her balance, and when she does, the LifeGlider holds her steady now instead of us which has been a huge help and has helped her ability to walk around more and more.
How the LifeGlider Is Helping Me
I can really tell it’s making a difference in her core strength, flexibility and overall positivity, in that she still has some mobility and independence. We originally had been having to deadlift her to get her out of bed when she came back from the rehab. Now, she’s starting to sit up on her own. She’s also not as stiff as she was just after her surgery.
If you’ve ever had to care for someone who is bedridden, as my mom was after her fall, you know how hard it is to lift them, turn them to prevent bedsores, and transfer them to and from the bathroom. To see her upright again with a little independence is incredible.
Mom may never be able to walk entirely on her own, but we haven’t given up hope. We’ll have to give it more time and see. But thanks to the LifeGlider, she is getting stronger every day. She doesn’t need anybody to hold her up while she’s strapped in walking. She’s safe while we keep watch as she walks in the LifeGlider.
The LifeGlider is definitely making life better for her and us! I’d say it’s been amazing that she can get a lot more steps in than we could previously. It helps physically support her and has sped up her rehab and has been key to making it possible and successful!