Yesterday, while at physical therapy, I had a very good discussion with the individual administering my therapy. It seems he has spent some time and effort in studying the effects of Parkinson's and how physical therapy can help. He explained to me that he just attended a seminar on the effects of PD, on walking. The main speaker, an individual with a PhD, who's name was not revealed, stated that PD patients should be in physical therapy early to help reduce the effects of the rigidity. That PD patients should do exercises daily to help maintain flexibility and posture. And that PD patients should be taught the proper use of canes and walkers BEFORE they need them. The premise being, when a PD patient is in need of the device, they are too crippled to teach the proper use. Of course, to keep the skill, the patient must practice with the cane and walker, every week!
Let me take you back a few years. Remember when you were in school and the doctor decided you needed glasses? Did you wear them when you were out of your parents sight? No!! Why, because they were not cool. Appearance is important to us and our ego. And trust me, at 58, with PD and Dementia, my ego is all I have left. Now I have given in and started to use my cane, and I admit, I appreciate it from time to time. And, my "Sympathy Stick" as one friend calls it, has gotten me head of the line privileges on more than one occasion. But a walker!! No way. Not yet. Not at home, not in public, no!
That being said, I did see a really slick walker when I went to get my cane. It had had brakes, a soft seat, and under the seat was a cooler that would hold a six pack of beer with ice!! Very cool.