Here are the issues. I have trained several seniors with all different ailments, surgeries, etc. However, this woman is in good overall health, previous dancer, no weight concerns but has become extremely dependent on her walker.
She apparently has fallen 4 times in the past, and suffered a broken hip, had a hip replacement, and has developed a great fear of being independent, however, would like to not depend on her walker and wants to work of course on balance, stability, coordination, strengthening, but how do I help her with exercises in her walker to slowly doing exercises without? She also suffers from Vertigo.
She begins training with me next week. I’ve got her for one hour a week and just need ideas, please! Advice, anything!
this is a really difficult situation because her greatest challenge is overcoming her fear. You did not write where you will be training her, and I did not get any clues by looking at your profile or website.
I assume that you have a physician’s clearance. I also assume that you have a good understanding of what kinds of exercises to do for balance and stability.
The top priority is to provide her with an environment in which she feels safe. I would try to have her do as much as possible standing but always with back up to sit down or hold on if necessary. You should also always be nearby to have a hand on her back or lightly on her body for reassurance. Establishing trust is the first step. She should always be successful in what you ask her to do.
After that, it’s baby steps, literally. Have her move from one place to another without the walker but being able to hold on to something. Walk with her across the room hand in hand, then finger to finger, then side by side with your hand on her back, then side by side. You get the idea. She probably has a cane. move towards that if possible.
If you do not succeed, don’t consider it as failed. You can strengthen all you want but the fear factor is one that is the most difficult to overcome. She wants to do it, though, and that is a great starting point.
I wish both of you good luck.