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Advice needed for balance issues

(17 Posts)
pipsqueak99 Fri 01-Sep-23 14:57:00

I have peripheral neuropathy in my feet which causes numbness and makes my walking rather awkward and clumsy, but my biggest problem is that it has affected my balance. I have been going to classes for strength and balance but this hasn't helped really. I am thinking about getting a wheelie walking frame but don't know what sort of model to choose. I can stumble along with a walking stick but when I stop I wobble all over the place. It is particularly difficult when standing at a shop counter and trying to pay for goods. I was hoping someone on Gransnet would have some tips or advice which would help me.

dogsmother Fri 01-Sep-23 15:49:20

I’d recommend chatting to leaders at balance class, tell them about losing confidence and that you are considering a frame. They will advise you which are best for you. Honestly speaking everyone and every condition requires different consideration. They will have knowledge of how you are.

Fleur20 Fri 01-Sep-23 22:06:34

Speak to your GP/health centre and ask for a referral to the Occupational Therapist. You will be assessed and will be provided with the most appropriate walking aids available. This will also include any additiomal equipment they feel will help you live independently for as long as possible.
This is all available from the NHS for no charge.

crazyH Fri 01-Sep-23 22:26:04

Good advice - talk to your GP first - good luck pipsqueak

tinaf1 Fri 01-Sep-23 22:57:20

Ask your GP if you can be if you have a local falls clinic Pipsqueak.
It’s run by physiotherapists I have had balance problems and lost my confidence , I did a 12 week course and found it really helpful,
Good luck

Redhead56 Fri 01-Sep-23 23:03:35

Just a little thought about balance I had Menieres disease some years ago could not balance at all. It might be worth asking your doctor to check your ears out. I might be wrong but ear problems maybe adding to neuropathy symptoms.

Cold Fri 01-Sep-23 23:59:38

Hi - definitely get the balance issues checked out - but I have similar issues due to Ehlers Danlos syndrome and an accident caused by the Ehlers Danlos syndrome that damaged the nerve that runs into my feet. On the left side I have not been able to feel my foot for 12+ years.

Wheeled walkers have become a lifesaver for me as walking when you cannot feel your feet properly is very difficult. In total I have tried 7 different models each has their pros and cons. Some have many cons being hard to steer, very heavy and stop dead on uneven ground depending on how much balance support you need.

My absolute favourite if you need a fair amount of balance help is the Trionic 12 inch walker. The 12 inch is a good allrounder as the inflatable 12 inch wheels are good on all sorts of terrain including country lanes, gravel and pavements. It rolls fairly easily over pavements, uneven ground and stones. It is a bit bigger than some but the frame is lightweight compared to some I tried (less than half the weight of a "Carl Oscar" or "Dolomite" Walkers that I also tried). The cloth seat is the most comfortable to sit on. There is a good size basket.

If you need lighter support then the Trustcare "Let's go out" is a great model. It is tiny and very easy to manouvre. It rolls around pretty well and is easy to fold to put in the car etc. Easy to use in confined spaces. Because of its size and hard wheels it is not quite so good on forest tracks (and I wouldn't take it hiking). But it is really good in shops and cafes etc.

pipsqueak99 Sat 02-Sep-23 19:17:21

Thank you to everyone for your advice. I think I will visit a mobility centre and probably buy a wheeled walker. Trying to get a GP appointment where I live is practically impossible.

Doodle Sat 02-Sep-23 20:42:36

My DH has exactly the sam problem and his balance has been bad for a while. I would suggest a four wheel walker as being more stable than a three wheel one. Perhaps one with a seat on it so you can have a rest when needed. Try looking for one that is not too heavy but collapses easily if you are putting it in a car or going up steps.

Gossamerbeynon1945 Sun 03-Sep-23 13:10:41

I have AMD and balance issues. The local hospital runs a Falls Clinic and i have an appointment to go. I saw an Occupational Therapist who gave me some exercises. I have fallen 5 times and on one occasion my specs dug into my head andwould not stop bleeding. I hope I never experience it again.

welbeck Sun 03-Sep-23 13:35:02

OP, you don't actually need a GP appt for referral to community OT / falls clinic.
just contact your surgery and request referral.
best to get expert impartial advice before buying anything.
also you may be able to get adaptions in your home, eg grab rails.

silvercollie Mon 04-Sep-23 13:10:34

I too have Balance issues and have spent about a year attending an Age Concern class with a group of delightful people. Alas, absolutely no help at all!!
My query to the medical people is this - as the Labyrinth is the inner ear is the Balance control mechanism of the body then how come I have not been requested to attend an Ear, Nose and Throat clinic?
I have had ear problems since being a young child but no GP has ever thought to discuss this with me now that I am a 'dear old thing'. I have asked several times to be referred to an ENT dept but it is always brushed aside.
WHY is this not suggested.

Frogs Mon 04-Sep-23 14:58:38

My husband has severe balance problems and had a rollator supplied through a GP referral to OT along with lots of other aids in the house such as grab handles, trolley to use indoor with two shelves so he can be more independent carrying meals etc, shower stool etc etc. He uses the rollator supplied locally but prefers a more lightweight for one for going out on buses, trains and putting in the car. Looks very similar to the one mentioned another poster but a different make.

Graygirl Mon 04-Sep-23 19:04:28

I can't walk in in a straight line so look drunk walking down path. My 4 wheel rollater is my best friend on bad days. Mine is from the Drive range ,check out prices on Argos, Amazon, you will be surprised at difference, between these sites and mobility shops

Treetops05 Mon 04-Sep-23 21:40:56

Go to a Mobility Center and try some out, or contact Red Cross/social services or similar to borrow one to try - good luckx

SuzieHi Tue 05-Sep-23 08:43:17

Have a look at Turbomed leg supports. Husband has neuropathy and they stop him tripping and falling. He uses a stick for balance when needed

DutchDoll Thu 07-Sep-23 23:47:05

Trionic is a Swedish make.
Trionic Veloped or/and Trionic Walker.
These are superb but expensive because they are so well made.
I've used my Veloped for over 9 years and have only had to inflate the tyres. These tyres make moving and steering the Veloped so easy. The Veloped can climb kerbs very easily; just point and walk and up it goes with no effort from you regarding getting up the kerb!
I recommend both the Veloped and the Walker but only the Veloped can climb kerbs.