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Roger C

Registered User
Oct 27, 2008
Shipley, West Yorkshire
My wife Bronwyn is 72 years old, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006, and is now in a Nursing Home with later stage dementia. She is no longer able to speak and is doubly incontinent. There are lots of positives, including the fact that she is on minimal medication (an anti-depressant), is settled at the Home for the past 5 years, relates well to staff and is responsive with smiles to other people, and is still mobile.
My problem relates to the latter. Until recently she used to walk around the corridors as well as coming with me on our daily walk around Baildon. But she has now begun to sit for hours in a chair, often asleep, and her performance in walking has deteriorated.
Until recently she’s been able to climb and descend stairs, with assistance, but I’ve recently been looking more towards using a lift.
I’m very conscious that ‘if you don’t use it you lose it’ and that the physical consequences of immobility are of susceptibility to many life threatening conditions.
Walking has always been our pleasure and I’m sure that she’s benefited from the regular exercise throughout her illness.
Of course, I see the same pattern with other residents and am aware that deterioration in both mobility and eating are common features of later stage dementia due to neurological impairment caused by the illness.
I just want to slow the rate of decline.
I still take her out but she now shuffles along, is often unsteady, often sleepy, and the progress is very slow. But she gets so much out of the experience in terms of stimulation, contact with other people, cardio-vascular exercise (Baildon is hilly), and just being outside the Home. We visit the library, charity shop and supermarket and lots of people stop to talk to her and give her cuddles.
I’ve already arranged to see our GP for an assessment by a physiotherapist; I’ve talked with the manager of the Nursing Home to monitor her progress more closely and ask staff to encourage more movement; and I’m talking to as many people as I can who’ve experienced the problem to get tips on ways forward.
I don’t want to accept that it’s an inevitable, predictable problem and there’s no point in trying to do anything about it.
Any ideas?


Registered User
Nov 3, 2013
Hello Roger. Mum's CPN referred Mum to the physio attached to the Mental Health team after she came out of hospital. Sadly, after 3 weeks of being kept bed bound in hospital it was too late to get Mum walking again. We are glad we were able to have the twice weekly visits from the physio because at least that option was tried. I think you are right to pursue this therapy for your wife, even if it is just to give you peace of mind that every effort was made to maintain her mobility. Like you said in your post it may be just the inevitable decline but I would have thought physio was worth a try (I'm not an expert though!)