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Falls and loss of balance

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by mancmum, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. mancmum

    mancmum Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
    388
    Father has MMSE of 24 but is up until now very mobile. Can manage a 3 mile health walk, but at the end of the last one he fell flat on face. He has been having probably every three or four days an incident where he becomes slightly off balance, regains his balance and says 'I'm staggering'. Having done mobility with MIL I can appreciate how the wheeled walkers are absolute game changers and much better than a stick. Father refused the idea even of a hikers walking pole and was adamant would not use a walker.

    What should I do. The pavements in this area are slabs and are absolutely abysmal. Should I insist on a using an aid. I might manage to get him to use a shopping trolley because then he is helping me by pushing the shopping and that is OK.

    We are getting new shoes on Monday for him as old ones are about 2 years old.

    I am also going to fast track plans we had to convert downstairs toilet into small wet room.

    Anyone got any ideas on anything helpful.
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,222
    Merseyside
    Have you had his ears & blood pressure checked by the GP to make sure there's nothing physical causing it?

    Keep persevering about the walking aid. It took several falls before we persuaded dad to use a stick.
     
  3. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,164
    Would he use a traditional walking stick?
    Thumb stick?
    Shooting stick?
    Walking cane?
    Something that suits his personality.

    Aids don't have to be made of aluminium.
    There's a chap around us who uses a shepherd's crook, keeps him moving.

    Bod
     
  4. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    Is blood pressure checked regularly? Mum's can be a bit up and down when we've had a busy day and she does complain of dizzy spells. When not right I do try to get her to lay down, but difficult with someone who has dementia and she refuses to use any walking aid, except the supermarket trolley!
     
  5. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,191
    Female
    Chester
    Not a direct answer but experience may help.

    My mum can't perceive uneven ground and it isn't an eyesight issue(which I thought initially) but a spatial awareness issue, which I think is dementia related.

    My mum has arthritis and before diagnosis was using a stick, some of the time. She was in denial of issues which we put down to age but hindsight was undiagnosed dementia.

    Post diagnosis and moved into extra care flat, she didn't like to use her stick for say leaving her flat to get to my car and then into my house, as didn't need it for short distance, and walking wise she was right, BUT spatial awareness wise she struggles and lurches with the step up to the porch and over the door without a stick as it 'feeds' her brain the info her eyes don't. Physically she can manage the step. There is/was a bit of vanity going on (not sure if dementia related) about being seen with the stick, she will use it in her small flat but doesn't like to be seen out with it as it makes her look old! (She's 85).

    With the stick she was still unsteady and I did at times manage to get her to use a rollator when out of the house, but if she went shopping with me she didn't like to be seen with it, so I'd get her from the car to a shopping trolley.

    After a fall and stay in hospital and rehab (caused by pneumonia) she was given a frame, and she uses this round her flat quite a bit. The rollater (long story) got turned into a plant pot and now I make her bring the frame with her - in reality she can't walk the distance without it but with it can walk a good way. However this means she lifts the frame over steps and doesn't get the feed back she did with a walking stick.

    I think you need to encourage use of the stick as this may well feedback the uneven ground to him as well as steadying him.

    I was told by OH that using frame would take strain of mum's arthritic knees and make them last longer, so keep her mobile longer (she forgets she has pain from them once sat down and is not up to a knee op, which pre dementia she probably needed)

    Sorry rambled a bit - hope useful.
     
  6. mancmum

    mancmum Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
    388
    Thanks for comments

    The unsteadyness can come on any flooring surface from those that are dead calm flat to those that are very uneven.

    I suppose what I was also trying to establish was whether this was a progression of dementia thing. It isn't something that happens repeatedly like a dizziness. His blood pressure has always been very very normal. He is not bad spatially. Can still catch and throw accurately.

    sometimes he says his legs tingle. He is under prostate surveillance and I have told them but they have not taken this any further.
    Any more comments much appreciated.
     
  7. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    937
    Do you think it is worth getting him referred to social services trips and falls team. They can assess risks and refer on to either physio for exercises to improve balance or occ health for aids either for walking or around the home.
     

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