1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. smudgedog

    smudgedog Registered User

    Oct 31, 2012
    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for reading my post.

    My wonderful mum is in the advanced stages of alzheimers and is now in a nursing home. She is no longer mobile and can only get around by the carers pushing her in a wheelchair. This is very hard to see as she was always extremely fit and loved walking everywhere. She is now either in bed or in a recliner in the lounge and sleeps a great deal. We are trying to get her antipsychotic medication reduced to see if this has an affect although we know it may be the illness itself causing this.

    My question is does anyone have any tips of what we could do to help my mums legs for example rubbing them or massaging them etc. I have seen a product that you place your feet on and it contracts the muscles improving the circulation but don't know if it would be suitable for my mum in her condition. I am just worried about mums muscles wasting away and therefore making her weaker. Also would this lack of leg movement cause pain or discomfort? I just want to do anything I can that may help her.

    Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Many thanks
  2. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Hi Smudgedog

    I wonder if the care home has a physiotherapist linked to it at all that you could ask for advice? They might give you a short exercise routine that could be done with/for her. Rubbing and massaging her legs wont do any harm unless she finds it upsetting at all. I wonder if you are present if and when she is bathed and can move her legs whilst in the water which would also help.

    I use a circulator machine when I remember and am unable to walk so much to try and keep my muscles going.

    Lack of movement is likely to increase stiffness and the muscles can get 'fixed' and contracted so anything you can do manually would help.

    Best wishes
  3. theoh

    theoh Registered User

    Nov 11, 2015
    Hi Smudgedog

    totally agree with Sue''s comments, muscle wastage will happen.

    my OH has very bad mobility caused by arthritis and the drs advised that he do some exercises and he saw a physio for a few days who used ultrasound on his bad knee, did stretching exercises and then followed this off with TENS to soothe the area. It was great and made a big difference but OH being OH announced half way through the course of treatment he wasn't doing it anymore!

    So I have turned to massage which is widely used in Asian cultures, I checked with one of my staff who is a sports massage therapist who recommends gently circular movements to help drainage of fluid that will build up through lack of movement and to assist in circulation . Deep massage is not recommended on older muscles as will be too painful. OH used to suffer from lots of cramps normally in the middle of the night and I must say that there has been an improvement. His Carer gives him daily massages (just use something gentle like baby lotion as the cream) and is now working on his back and shoulders which were getting very stiff due to lack of moving around. We also try and take him for a daily walk around the garden as all the drs stressed the need to keep on moving.

    I also think just the skin to skin contact is helpful and soothing to anyone of any age and may help your mum relax.

    that's my two penneth and I stress I am not a physio but it has helped my OH and I am a firm follower of massage which is largely ignored in the west and widely used elsewhere.


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