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Movement problems for frontotemporal sufferer


New member
Nov 26, 2020
My wife has frontotemporal dementia which impedes leg movements. She has not been able to get in and out of a bath for some months, but can walk well on level ground but today was completely stuck on walking up stairs, just saying she coudn't move, as was the case. When I helped and lifted her to crawl the last 4 steps she not stand up. A friend and I managed to get her upright after half an hour. I haven't yet talked to the GP but should be grateful to learn of experiences with stair lifts for dementia patients. I imagine that with this progressive disease there could be problems fairly soon in using even a chair lift.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @DRS. Welcome to Dementia Talking Poinbt. I hope you will find it helpful and supportive.

I have no experience of a stair lift but my husband who had Alzheimer`s also had difficulties understanding how to use his legs.
We don`t have stairs but when I had grab rainls installed to help his balance, he would move his hands along the rail while his feet remained unmoving . The same happened when he was introduced to a walking fram. He would push the frame forward while his feet and legs stayed where they were.

I hope you get some comments about using stair lifts. It`s a bit late now, so maybe tomorrow.


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
Welcome to the forum @DRS.

We had a stairlift fitted our house for my mum (who had vascular dementia) and after she died my husband eventually used it when his Alzheimer’s progressed. Mum got a grant for the stairlift from the council and Occupational Therapist was the one who referred her for it. I know that I’ve read that stairlifts are not normally recommended for people with a dementia but the OT accepted that mum would never use it unsupervised. With both mum and my husband either myself or the carer helped them on to the chair and put the seat belt on them. We then operated it and walked up or down the stairs with them. I can understand that there would be safety issues if there was a chance that the person with dementia might try to use it unsupervised. Both mum and Bill used it happily right until the end but again I can imagine it might be scary for some people.

We also got an electric bath seat for mum. When she died t was removed then another was fitted when my husband reached the stage of not being able to get into the bath. Eventually I had a wet room shower fitted for him as the he couldn’t get into the bath seat.

I’m sorry your wife is facing these problems but I’m glad you’ve found this forum.


Registered User
Apr 4, 2020
Good morning
Like Izzy I also had a stairlift fitted for my husband to use. It was the best decision I have ever made as it makes it so much easier for him especially when he is tired and just wants to go to bed. Whilst he can operate it himself most of
the time there are occasions when he gets confused and having the remote control I can take over. As his illness progresses he will need more supervision but I would certainly recommend that you explore the advantages of having one installed.
Good luck