I made a trip to the medical supply store to try and get my grandmother's "wobbly" walker fitted with new legs to replace the one I ran over last week at the beauty shop. The ladies were so nice there. They said, "Oh, this has happened before." In fact, the woman in charge said that she could fix up the "old" walker, but it would cost about $55, and the walker itself was a little unsteady, and she did not recommend fixing it. What happens to these walkers? Just a few months ago, it was outfitted with the 360-degree wheels for outside use and declared safe... now it's unsteady?
Anyway, the woman went on to tell me that she thought we could qualify for a new walker covered by Medicare, since it has been two years since Mam-ma last got a new one. Apparently these walkers are not designed to last very long, whether you run over them or they are driven around the blocks and through the stores and churches by little 97-year-old ladies! I had to sign a waiver saying that I would pay the $130, if Medicare will not authorize the walker. I did that.
I also told the lady that Mam-ma had seen some white, flat tips on her friend's walker last Friday, and she had a fit over them - wanted some for HER walker... and she wanted BIG wheels. The lady said the tips were called "gliders," and she had some... but they would be an extra $19. I told her to put them on the new walker. She fixed me up with the gliders and BIG wheels.
I took the walker to Mam-ma's, along with a box that contained the plain rubber tips that had been exchanged... and I took back the "old" walker, too. I got Mam-ma to come out into the garage, and I showed her the brand spanking new walker - complete with white glider tips. I have to admit, I was feeling pretty proud of my efforts! Mam-ma looked the walker over and said... "Well... (long pause)... that's okay." Okay? What did she mean, "Okay?" She harrumphed and said, "Well, it'll be okay if I don't stub my toe on them tips. Gerry said she had to watch out for that." Now, for the record, I never heard our little friend say a word about those tips causing her to stub her toe. But I told Mam-ma..."If you decide you don't like them, we can take them off and put on the original rubber tips. And if you wear them out on the concrete, we have the other tips in this box." She replied in a pitiful tone, "No... that's okay."
I parked the walkers, put the extra legs/tips in her closet, and let it go. Clearly, there will be no satisfaction with the walker situation, regardless of what we get. And that is useful information for the future. Meanwhile, we are garnering an arsenal of old, useless walkers - if anyone needs parts, we probably have 'em!