This type of walker is especially designed for people who are paralyzed on one side and cannot use both hands. So, it's sort of a "one-handed walker".
Back then, the home health PT tried to get Bob up on it but he was too weak.
While he was going Outpatient Rehab, I asked the therapist there if she could try to get him to use the hemi-walker. Well, she tried. Without luck. He was still too weak.
So here we are, a year later, and I know Bob is much stronger now. This past month, I have tried, once again, to get him to use the hemi-walker.
My thought was that if I could just get him to stand up with the hemi-walker, I would then ask his primary care doctor to prescribe a home health therapist to come to our home and teach him to walk with it. I had my eye on the calendar and was aiming for tomorrow, his March doctor's appointment to make this suggestion, but alas, Bob just cannot do it.
I have tried to coach him to push up from the arm of his wheelchair to a standing position, but he cannot do it. I have placed the walker next to and also in front of the wheelchair to see if he could grasp onto that and push/pull himself up, but he cannot do it.
I have also wheeled Bob to the computer and had him watch videos of a stroke patient using a hemi-walker hoping it would help him if he could see how it was done. I purposely picked a video with a fellow who was much older than Bob and had the same right arm/leg problems in hopes this would motivate him. But when I asked Bob if he thought he could do it and he said, "I don't know."
But he tried. We tried. And he still cannot do it. It seems the only way he can get up to a standing position is to pull himself up with his hand on the rail in the hall. No matter how much I coach him to use those legs, push with those strong legs! he is still basically yanking himself up with his left arm/hand on the rail. He cannot even lift his butt a little bit off the wheelchair without pulling hard on the rail.
I am at loss of what to do, except to keep up the leg exercises and keep up the rail walking and hope/pray he will get stronger with time. But how much time should this take? It seems to be taking forever.
The other day, I had a conversation with a friend who had not seen Bob in a long time. It went like this:
"I can't believe how great Bob is doing! I can't believe he's doing so well!"
Me: "Well, he's better, that's for sure. But he has a long way to go."
"Oh, I think he's doing wonderful! You are doing a fantastic job!!!"
Of course, to me, Bob is not doing "wonderful". Wonderful would be if he could get up and walk to the bathroom to use the darn toilet.
Are my expectations too high?