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Dad First, COPD Second
Dad First, COPD Second

Elizabeth provides support, insight and guidance for caregivers.

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Dad's Walker: A Daily Obstacle

Dad's walker is always in the way.When dad realized some years ago that he needed something to help him walk, he got what most seniors need: a cane. In time, that proved not to be enough. After some hearty encouragement, my mother suggested the inevitable: a walker.

My father hesitated getting to this next step. But as his legs kept giving out and he couldn’t get from point A to point B without resting and catching his breath, he decided that maybe a walker wasn’t such a bad idea.

The good thing about my father is that he channels his inner little boy, so when it was time to shop around for a walker, his pride didn’t get in the way. In fact, it was just the opposite. It was love at first sight when he laid eyes on the navy blue walker that came not only with a seat, but with a basket as well. That was the best – the cherry on top, the icing on the cake, the strawberry in his ice cream!

He couldn’t wait to help mom by carrying her totes in the cart. I thought it was the cutest thing.

But then, the walker got in the way.

If I had a dollar for every time I yelped, “Ouch! Daaaaaaaad, you left the walker in the middle of the way again,” I could buy some fancy shoes. I have gotten so many black-and-blue marks from bumping into it because my father uses the walker at home. I understand he needs to zoom around the apartment, but he parks it in the most inconvenient spaces — entrances.

I am happy he uses his walker. I am thrilled when he offers to carry my shopping bags so I don’t have to – it makes me giggle because that’s his way of taking care of me. But I admit, I complain when I go to the kitchen, a.k.a. “his office” and I have to move the walker.

My solution? I wheel it closer to him. He dismisses our repeated pleas of “Can you please park it in a spot where we won’t run into it?” with “I was just leaving!”

Right, dad.

Maybe for Christmas I’ll buy a traffic light, install a “Do Not Park” sign, and create a parking space for the walker.

I think extra money is on its way with the parking tickets dad is going to get from me.    

Follow Elizabeth's story on Twitter: @lizunga

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About the Author

Elizabeth cares for her mother, a diabetic, and for her father, who suffers from COPD.