Help - changes in gait and stance

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Acco, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Acco

    Acco Registered User

    Oct 3, 2011
    228
    There have been odd occasions in the last eight months when my wife, Pat, has tended to bend forward or rest heavily on me for support when walking, usually after a good distance. Over the last few weeks she has begun to stoop forward continually in walking and standing, and more recently she has a tendency to lean to one side when seated. Rather than taking normal strides her walking consists of small steps and there are rare occasions when she seems momentarily unsure of her balance. I believe these changes may be symptomatic of the progression of her AD/VaD (diagnosed 9yrs). With help she is still mobile but needs continual support and guidance, and most days we do 5 or 10 mins dancing (flexing the knees, with occasional side steps as if waltzing) which she always enjoys. Is there any treatment which may improve her gait/stance, such as physiotherapy or medication, and am I now seeing the impact of her illness after this time? We have a mental health (their terminology) nurse visiting next week for the usual 6m review. Any information, or advice, or experience of similar, would be appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. count2ten

    count2ten Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    186
    I think the illness affects the ability to balance at times .. my mother started shuffling rather than taking strides, not sure if this was her eyesight, or loss of confidence in her mobility but I understand this could be another symptom of how dementia affects different parts of the brain's ability to control all the motor skills. She started to "furniture walk" and this became a habit which convinced her she couldn't walk unaided, but again this was determined by her general anxieties and spending a lot of time on her own. If my father had still been alive I am sure she would have retained a lot more of her abilities for far longer because of the confidence this would have given her.
     
  3. Jinx

    Jinx Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    2,333
    Pontypool
    My husband tends to begin to lean forward when we're walking to the point where I have to support him or he would fall. I remember my father being exactly the same. My husband's balance is quite bad too and he now shuffles and furniture walks in the house. He uses a stick outside but I always take his wheelchair as I can't support him for long if he starts to lean forward so at that point I have to get him into the chair.


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  4. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    164
    East Devon
    I'm afraid to say that it seems to be progression of the Alz, my husband started taking small steps quite a while ago and I hear him shuffling around the kitchen (which is slightly irritating, but hey ho) he also is stooping somewhat. I usually hold on to him when we are outside walking,however I let go for an instant last week negotiating a post and he fell forward(we were heading downhill at the time) had to go to A&e for ct scan.
    Seems ok but some concussion. We too have a dance to help with mobility, but that is declining as well. I'm not sure if physio would make much difference and I don't know of meds which would help,I feel we have to go with the progression and use aids when and where necessary. Most times my husband walks slowly but sometimes seems 'on a mission' pulling on my arm, can be hard work!
     
  5. Acco

    Acco Registered User

    Oct 3, 2011
    228
    Thank you all for kindly responding with your views and experiences. Having just obtained a wheelchair, and a few weeks ago invested in a stair lift, I suppose I knew in my heart and mind that it was another step along the way in this dreadful condition but just didn't want to admit or accept it. Thankfully Pat doesn't show any distress or alarm at these changes and for the most part is happy, quite responsive and still laughs at my silly mistakes when I make them known to her; like putting her bra on upside down, her trousers on back to front, putting her spectacles on instead of my own, etc., etc. What hope is there for me :rolleyes:
     

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