Walker w/seat vs. lite wheelchair for mall trips?
Hi-I'm not entirely new here, but I haven't popped in here very often since my mother's stroke last year--life is busy and I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Hope you don't mind a question from a near-stranger...
My mother has accepted using a cane for short spurts, the walker given to her at the hospital last year for slightly longer distances (2 wheels, no seat), and is using the shower chair that I finally just went and bought over her objections. Now it's obvious she needs something she can sit on during longer shopping trips. She no longer drives, but does like to get out.
Some stores have the battery operated chairs with baskets, and that's a big help. Even leaning on a standard shopping cart does the job if she can sit down for coffee half-way through a grocery shopping trip. But at our local mall, the only wheelchairs available are kept in the center of the mall. I'd have to leave her alone, walk all the way in to get one, bring it back out, then leave her alone again to return it and walk back to the car. It's just not feasible.
She's seen people with those rollator-style walkers with 4 wheels, brakes, a seat and often a basket. But there are so many kinds, and I've read that a physical therapist should really make sure the style and size of walker is correct for the person's condition. Otherwise it could actually be more dangerous for the person than nothing at all. She's not even getting PT right now, and if she were, I wouldn't want to get into a conversation about this in front of her. She doesn't want to spend the money, or for me to spend the money--it's better if, like the shower chair, it just appears!
She is almost 92, seems frail, has a gait problem, osteoporosis and arthritis/disk problems in her back. Her back has been bothering her lately, and her family doctor has given her prescription pain patches. She needs to lean. Her reactions are a bit slow, but mentally she's in good shape.
Anyway, I have my eye on Medline's Deluxe Rollator MDS86810 but reviewers have one complaint about it--it doesn't fold up small enough to fit well in most car's trunks. Between that and worrying about safety--maybe we'd be better off with a super lightweight wheelchair? (Oh, when she was in the hospital she did get used to wheeling herself up and down the halls, using the brakes, etc.)
Anybody have thoughts on this?
Here is a link that might be useful: Deluxe Rollator on Amazon