I noticed that Oswego County in New York through the State Office of Aging has offered "Walker Squawker" animatronic birds that are attached to walkers to sing as the person walks.
Has anyone had good results with this device?
The "birds" would have to be pretty loud if someone has hearing problems (know any elders that don't?) Not to mention anyone with tinnitus last thing I need is more chirping or buzzing!
Personally I think walkers, traditional ones, are poor design. They encourage people to walk hunched over as most are not fitted to the person and are the wrong height. People using walkers push them far in front of them so the person using the walker is not in the proper position to possibly be able to prevent a fall. Many people using the walker are looking at the floor/ground between their feet and the walker so they do not see what is ahead.
*side note I just watched a video on this. Can you imagine 30 or more people in a facility all with birds chirping on their walkers? Also this is a pretty pricy item that probably will not last long. (batteries will probably not get replaced as they die)
What do you think of Margaret’s idea? A hammer 🔨 to threaten them? My word! Too funny 😁!
Are these things meant to ONLY pick up motion at a certain height? Because if they pick up any motion - having pets or small children in the home will be a complete and total nightmare - and especially pets, you would lose your mind before it was over with - birds squawking all hours of the night. Can you turn the motion sensor OFF? Additionally - if the user does have pets, especially cats - this particular item would be a big no. The bird would be....well.....yeah...let's just say it wouldn't last very long. Sitting up there on its perch. Looking all tasty...LOL
But in all seriousness - there is something called Walkwise - it's not really something that reminds them to use their walker though I don't think- its more like a Fitbit for walkers -where you can track the usage. It's more of a safety - remote tracking tool.
There IS something called i-Tell that is supposed to turn a regular walker into a smart walker and provide reminders to the user directly.
As for me, the bird would just be plain annoying, especially since my hearing aids enhance treble pitches.
What helped my Mom use a walker (not rollator) was "bling". She didn't like the look of tennis balls, so we got skis. However, the skis "speared" me when I was carrying the walker so we went with walker glide caps which coincidentally, made the walker move easier. than the skis, even on grass. About once a quarter, I had to replace them due to use on concrete and asphalt.
My brother's PT showed us to put the wheels on the inside of the walker. That actually helped a lot so that she didn't clip corners as she rounded them. She also didn't like the fact that she couldn't carry anything while using the walker, so we got her a tray table. It doubled as portable table wherever she went (better than the cane!) We decorated the walker with "lights" for the season. Ghosts and jack-o-lanterns for halloween, christmas lights for Christmas, fake grass and felt bunnies for Easter, etc. We attached a fake Easter basket as well as bicycle tassels too. People came up to her and asked about her walker and she was proud that she had a unique walker as no one could accidentally "take" her walker. She won a few awards at the Senior day care with the "bling" on her walker.
She also took the walker on two cruises and people showered praise on her for how well she was able to maneuver her walker so that she could go around the ship and on shore. Whereas people using a cane needed to be careful where they put their cane, my Mom was a lot more steady than they were with her walker.
My Mom was also very hesitant to use her walker at first. However, as time wore on, she realized that she could go more places, faster, with her walker than her cane. If there was an obstacle like a raised sidewalk, her front wheels would hit it or go over it first, alerting her to the fact that there was an uneven surface that she would have to walk over.
However, it was the "bling" and the accessories that convinced her to ditch the cane in the beginning.
The bird seems to be more of an encouragement to "stay" on the walker once you are on it.
For my Dad, he had one of those grey walkers which only had 2 back wheels. He found it hard to use on carpet. So I bought him one of those rolling walkers that had 4 wheels, hand brakes, seat and basket. Oh my gosh, you would have thought I had bought him a Mustang, he loved it. It was cobalt blue. This type of walker came in a variety of bright colors.
At one time I was thinking about buying those tassels that kids use to put into their bike handles, which were long flowing tinsel type design of all different colors, but I couldn't find any at the time. Dad would have found that to be fun. He would have liked a bicycle bell ringer or horn, maybe even a odometer to track how far he had walked.
I wasn't able to get my Mom to use a walker of any type. She said it would make her look old.... wait.... what?.... she was already in her 90's, and hunched over due to using a cane for many years. Someone needs to think of something to make using a walker part of a fashion item for those who feel embarrassed using a walker. Or a well known older celebrity to endorse same.
I will age with as much acceptance and dignity as I can manage, and possibly even with grace.
My mom wasn’t interested in using a walker at first. I had her doctor suggest it to her.
Sometimes our parents listen to other people better than they do with us.
Good luck and please report back if you do decide to try this product.
Best wishes to you and your mom.
I have seen those birds and was tempted to get one but I haven’t yet. I’d be interested in how it goes as well!
Thanks for the laugh 😆! Oh gosh, too funny!!!
Any particular kind of hammer?
Geeeez, sounds like a plot for a horror movie! Insane person meets an old lady! Don’t forget that stern face as the motivating factor.
Sorry if my comments are offensive to anyone. Shame on both of us, Margaret. You for saying it and me for laughing. 😊
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