Chapter 3: Help with mobility and movement
Helping with walking and movement
It was hard for him to move, but we would take a short walk down the corridor when we could. It was a slow process, but we did it. Each one of those short walks was a personal victory for him.
As the person’s illness progresses, they will need assistive devices to help them with walking and movement. It’s important to observe the person’s changes and request supportive devices such as a cane, a wheeled walker, or wheelchair, if available, to prevent falls or injury to yourself while assisting the person with walking. Click the arrows below to read some considerations.
Clear the path in advance and agree on a destination.
Make sure you are both wearing comfortable and non-slip footwear.
Help the person sit up in bed and then help them turn to ease their legs over the edge of the bed until their feet are touching the floor.
If they are weaker on one side than the other, be prepared to support them more on their weak side. If they use a cane, they should use it on their stronger side.
Stand slightly behind the person, facing the same direction and as close as possible. Place your arm around the person’s back at waist level to support and stabilize their walk.
Remind them to stand tall and to look where they are going rather than down at their feet.
If they fall
If they start to fall and lose their balance, don’t resist the fall. Try to go with it gently to protect both of you from injury. Once you reach the floor, calm yourself and the person who is ill and check for injuries. Click the switch button below to see what you can do next, after you are both calm and you have checked for injuries.
Position a chair close by. Have them kneel on the floor and then slowly raise themselves using the chair for support.
Position them comfortably on the floor using pillows and blankets, and stay with them until help arrives.
As the illness progresses, your healthcare team will recommend some equipment or aides to help you safely assist the person with movement.
Watch the video for a demonstration and tips on how to help with walking and movement.