Falling over

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Registered User
Jan 20, 2007
My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers a few months ago, although its quite far along already. She has Aricept although I'm not sure its made a difference.
The reson I'm writing though is because she seems to be having an increasing problem with balance. When she walks she just keeps leaning more and more forward until she would fall over if we weren't hold of her. My Dad left her yesterday holding onto the table while he got her shoes and she has fallen on her bottom by the time her returned. Any movement sems to be hard, ike getting in the car she seems to want her legs to move but they don't or will after a while.
Has anyone else come across this, the nurses as the mental health clinic say its not to do with Alzheimers and she's being reffered back to her GP. This doesn't inspire me with great confidence as i can see it will be a load more tests etc..
I have been reading about CJD and although I'm not sure thought the symptoms sounded more like this.
Please let me know if ou have had any similar experiences or if you think you know what may be the cause of this symptom.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hi Jenny,

The problem with Alzheimers, or one of the problems, is it affects pople in so many different ways.

My husband is quite unsteady at times but has never fallen, in the way you describe your mother.

Unfortunately, probably the only way the cause of your mother`s falling can be found, would be by tests.

I sincerely hope she doesn`t have CJD.


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
My mother has had quite a few falls in her time. However, she does have Parkinson's as well as dementia so it's hard to know what caused the falls - the dementia or the Parkinson's or a combination of the two.

Falls do seem to be a lot more common in the elderly. How old is your mum?



Registered User
Oct 28, 2006
Bromley Kent
My Mum has been leaning forward recently...I keep telling her to stand up straight as she has walked into door frames and caused bruising to her forehead. When she is sitting in a chair she can rest her head on her knees. The care manager thinks this is linked with her dementia but has reduced her quitiapine as well and she does seem to be a bit more alert.


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
People with dementia have problems with spatial awareness and this often manifests itself in their leaning forwards, backwards, sideways, at alarming angles.

Take a look at http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/talkingpoint/discuss/showthread.php?t=3923&highlight=leaning

Clearly the leaning can lead to falls, though some people with dementia seem to attain angles that are seemingly impossible to sustain, yet the do not fall.

It is all part of the condition, based on which parts of the brain get hit.


Registered User
Mar 12, 2007
My lady has been falling over a lot recently, I took her to the doctor, but nothing was decided at the time. He said he'll refer her back to the alzheimer specialist at the hospital.

But she falls for no apparent reason, she sometimes shuffles along looking really anxious and saying its slippy when it clearly isnt...and she has grazes up her shines and bruised knees where she's gone down so many times.

She too, loses her balance when putting on shoes, or getting into the car...just the same as you describe...


Registered User
Jan 20, 2007
Thanks yet again for all your words of wisdom. Me and my Dad have decided to ring Mum's nurse and tell her about teh symptoms to see if she recommends stopping the Aricept. This is something we really didn't want to do as we were pinning all our hopes on the drugs working, as was my mum. I don't know how to console my mum and dad anymore. To tell the truth I just hope my mum goes quickly, because this is awful.

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
JennyT said:
the nurses as the mental health clinic say its not to do with Alzheimers
Bold statement! Of course, it could be .... or might not be - or might be a combination of Alzheimers and some other problem! And whilst I sympathise with the prospect of facing 'more tests' personally think it's important to bear in mind that dementia does not preclude or exclude other physical problems occurring for which there may be some remedy.

As an example, my mother experienced a series of falls some years ago - (pre-dementia diagnosis) which was attributed to her osteo-athritis and a consequent difference in leg length. She still wears a shoe lift (wedge?) to correct this.

Last check up with the orthopaedic team suggested that at this stage it is now almost impossible to determine whether her stoop/gait/shuffle/stiffness is attributible to her dementia or otherwise. Certainly had some scary moments getting mum in the car - misjudging where the seat is (dementia?) then unable to move her legs across (osteo-athritis? or dementia? Combination of both?)......

Try to keep an open mind and not worry too much about everything you read ....

Love, Karen, x

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Jenny,

There is no consolation for those affected by Alzheimers and that includes everyone involved, sufferers, carers, parents, children, siblings, family members and friends.

There is also no timescale, and in most cases, it`s a slow decline, which is like turning a knife in the wound. That`s what makes it so painful.

Sorry to sound so pessimistic, and I really hope I haven`t made you feel even worse, but it`s just so hard to cope with.

blue sea

Registered User
Aug 24, 2005
So sorry for the difficult time you are in, jenny. You are doing the right thing in getting medical advice. This illness breaks your heart doesn't it.
blue sea
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