How would you get a 70-year-old patient to use a walking stick after he has had a stroke and appears to have limited cognetive deficit?Can someone tell me how I would approach a patient like this...

How would you get a 70-year-old patient to use a walking stick after he has had a stroke and appears to have limited cognetive deficit?

Can someone tell me how I would approach a patient like this and what factors I should consider as I teach him to use his walker?

Expert Answers
dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If your patient has some cognitive defect he may also have some physiological defect resulting from the stroke (CVA). The best approach to this patient is one of respect and patience. Because of his mental or physical short comings he may be child like is his demeanor or he may not be able to comprehend the magnitude of his situation. This scenario will require an abundance of patience from the care giver.

As you teach him to use the walker and or cane try to remember that slow steady progress is the goal. He may not learn these new skills as readily as you would like him to, but after all, your wishes are secondary now because you chose a career in health care. Be gentle, understanding, and patient with this population. Realize that teaching him these new skills will be time consuming. Additionally, keep in mind that a primary goal is his safety. Be prepared to prevent him from falling. If he does fall, you are held accountable.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I feel that patients are more responsive when you are straight forward, kind, and honest with them. You must also make sure that you remain incredibly respectful. This man has lived a life with freedom and now all of a sudden he is expected to use a walking stick for assistance so this must be a blow to the self esteem and pride. I would just make sure that you explain to him that it is for his safety. It takes a great deal of time to recover from a stroke and it is in his best interest that he use the stick for balance and support. Would it be better if he used a walker for a while first? Walkers provide more support than a walking stick does.

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