My Mum can no longer stand unaided

Glad

Registered User
Jan 13, 2007
13
Surrey
My Mum was taken into hospital three days ago (Wednesday) with intermittant muscle spasms and she can no longer stand unaided. The hospital have checked her out and she is physically fine, but she has been taken off Aricept and her anti depressants just in case they are the cause. Her consultant has said he doesn't think Aricept is the problem, but they can't find anything wrong with her. Has anyone out there heard of anything similar? She is extremely distressed as she does not know where she is. Can anyone offer any advice? My Dad cares for her full time, but can;t cope with getting her to the loo on his own. When she comes out, if she can't walk or stand unaided what will he do? Any ideas? This is the first time I have posted to this forum, I really hope someone will help.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Hi Glad, and welcome to TP.

I am currently going through a similar situation with my own mother (although perhaps a few days ahead of you - mummy's out of hospital now). Not muscle spasms though - she simply couldn't weight bear on one leg. I imagine the hospital OT will make recommendations. However, the usual suggestions are 1) a walker if she needs extra support 2) a commode (because it can be easier to locate one of those in a more accessible place) or 3) a wheelchair (with all the problems that that involves). Depending on your parent's location, if you have to go the last route, it may (repeat may) be possible to get financial help from social services to make a bathroom accessible, although you may also need a hoist.

Jennifer
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Glad

Welcome to TP. Sorry to hear about your mum, it must be terribly worrying for you.

I can't help with the problem, but I'm sure someone will have some ideas.

Your mum should have a full assessment by social services and occupational therapy before she leaves hospital, and a care plan put in place, so I shouldn't worry too much about how your dad will cope until you know more. He should get all the help he needs

Take care
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,678
Kent
Hello Glad, I`m so sorry your mother has taken a turn for the worst. I hope the medics find the cause and are able to help her.
I haven`t any experience of this inability to stand, but I do remember my mother becoming very rigid, and this affected her balance and movement. She could only walk with someone holding each arm, otherwise she`d have fallen.
Please let us know how you get on. Sylvia
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
Dear Glad,
My Mum had several episodes of suddenly being unable to stand and being taken to hospital as an emergency. The doctors could find nothing wrong and usually after a rest, she was well enough to stand by the following day. She did have severe rheumatoid arthritis and these problems usually ocurred when she was having a flare-up of the condition.
However she also had bad days when she was very confused and seemed to lose a day. I think this was due to her Vascular Dementia and she was having a tiny mini-stroke in her brain. Again, by the next day or so she was usually better. Mum was basically fine until she broke her hip just over a year ago and now she is wheelchair bound.
Kayla
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
When my mother couldn't stand I think it was malnutrition/dehydration.

Lila
 

ann60

Registered User
Nov 24, 2006
21
Australia
Hi Glad my dad has been carer for my mum but she recently had to go into a home. Before she went into the home she was getting harder to walk around and it got to the point where she couldn't be left standing unaided because she would just decide to sit down. It might have been when dad was trying to shower her or when she was being dressed and when she decided to sit there was no stopping her. The next problem was trying to get her up again. Trying to lift someone who didn't want to stand is not easy, it happened to me on a number of occasions. Our main concern was that she might hurt herself as she would go down very hard sometimes. Mum has been in the nursing home since september and she can't stand on her own at all now. We were lucky to get a place for her as dad couldn't cope any longer. Unfortunately in my mums case it seems to be just a progression of this terrible disease. Love to you and your mum ann
 

Jann

Registered User
May 24, 2006
39
tingewick, bucks.
Glad said:
Her consultant has said he doesn't think Aricept is the problem, but they can't find anything wrong with her.
I'm so sorry to hear of the problems you have been having with Mum, Glad.

Since last summer, my mother started to have fainting episodes which, at the beginning, were sporadic and lasted a minute or so; becoming more frequent and a faint lasting longer. She was tested and they too, like your mother, could not find the reason for this. Since then, things had been better and just before Christmas, her mobility rapidly deteriorated, as well as many of her other faculties. A brain haemmorhage was discovered and once, operated on, she regained her mobility but had a seizure in the last couple of weeks and is now at times, unsteady on her feet. The consultants aren't sure whether its AD, as a result of further damage to the brain from the haemmorhage or a combination of both.

When she was completely immobile and needed the loo - and frequently through the night - he used a wheelchair he got from the Red Cross (was asked to just give a donation) to get her there. This helped alleviate his back. The OT also suggested installing a bar for her to hold onto and various chairs, a commode and a walking frame were offered up. The wheelchair has been a godsend. As they live in a bungalow, it has been easy but if your parents live in a house, your Dad may find using a wheelchair to get her everywhere, a little more problematic.

Speak to SS to find out what your Dad's entitlements are.
Take care and let us know how you get on.
 

Glad

Registered User
Jan 13, 2007
13
Surrey
I am overwhelmed by all your support, following my first posting yesterday. In the meantime, I have heard that Mum managed to get out of bed and walked to the nurses' station, so I am even more bewildered than yesterday. This may mean that they will let her back home soon and I am so reassured by your advice to get help for Dad with commode, wheelchair etc., if necessary. However, what is an OT? I'm sorry to be so dumb about this, but there are two references to this and I have spent a few minutes trying to apply various medical terms to the letters, to no avail. I am off to the hospital now and will ask if there has been any result back re: the brain scan they did. I'll let you know how I get on. Thank you all so much for your support. I cannot tell you how much it means to me. xx
 

English Lady

Registered User
Jan 14, 2007
23
Essex
See if you can get your mum a standing hoist. I'm not sure how you can get hold of one in a home setting (I work in a care home). Perhaps Social Services might help, or your GP.
 

Glad

Registered User
Jan 13, 2007
13
Surrey
It's Monday morning and we're hoping that the consultant will visit today. I have been awake since 3am turning all sorts of problems over and over and not coming up with any answers. Firstly, what happens if the consultant visits when my father or I are not there i.e. before Dad gets there. Mum can sometimes sound surprisingly lucid, I hope he doesn't ask her any questions. Secondly, Dad is not leaving her bedside to eat. She gets so distressed he is embarrassed to leave her. Can I ask the nurses to make him stick to the official visiting hours? They are allowing him to stay all day and evening to keep her quiet, but he'll make himself ill if he goes on like that any longer. Even if my sister or I are there he won't leave her. Thirdly, they have a holiday booked in May, a cruise that they are taking with a family friend. What happens if Mum takes a turn for the worse? Anyway, got to get the kids off to school now and then get off to work myself. Will try and visit them later to see what's happening.
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
Yes, ask the nurses to make your father go for a short rest and meal break if possible. Ask when the consultant will be coming round, and if you can speak to him/her.

They may not do as you ask but at least go on asking.

Lila
 

Glad

Registered User
Jan 13, 2007
13
Surrey
Was just dashing out of the door when I remembered another thought. I found out that in the last year or so, Mum has taken to only drinking decaffeinated coffee, no other fluid AT ALL!!. For the last ten years she has drunk only that, but had the odd glass of water too. But recently she only has sometimes 2 cups of decaff per day and no other fluid! Dad is inclined to allow her to eat or drink what she wants, but I just read another forum about vitamin deficiency and I am wondering if anyone has any comments about the effect of permanent dehydration on the brain?
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
One of the biggest problems with my mother was getting her to drink adequately.

I don't know which was cause and which was effect, probably the not drinking was a result of the dementia as in most of adult life she'd have known that we have to drink enough for health's sake.

And she was so worried about becoming incontinent, (we found lots of unopened packages containing mattress protectors, incontinence knickers which she'd obviously got to prepare herself), that was probably one of the reasons why she was so reluctant to drink enough.

(The nurses brought her nutri-drinks and told her to have 2 a day, which she generally did because she liked the nurses, but then suddenly they said they'd stop coming because she was "so much better".)

Lila
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
You make an excellent point, Lila.

Very many people who don't have dementia don't drink sufficient quantities each day [me, for instance!].

When someone has dementia, they can lose track of time so easily that they can't remember when the last drink was taken.

They also can't remember they should be drinking anyway or why, and of course, they become lacking in confidence in their own toiletting.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,678
Kent
This is a really interesting point.
My husband used to drink gallons. Tea and water, mainly. Now, if I`m in the kitchen, I find him pouring tea down either the bathroom bowl or the toilet. When I ask what he`s doing, he says `It`s only a bit`.
Out of habit he asks me if I want a drink and makes one, but sometimes, just for me, and I think it`s often for something to do. When I ask him where is his, he says he will make one later, or he`s had one or he doesn`t want one.
When I make him a drink, I often find he`s left it to go cold. I thought he`d forgotten about it, but after reading previous posts, I wonder.
Thanks everyone. You have given me some new insight. Sylvia
 

Harriett

Registered User
Jan 15, 2007
2
Norfolk
Hello Glad, I'm a new member today as well. I need to get the feel for this. I picked out your message because my Mum falls regularly. I have tried to get information as to whether this is part and parcel of Alzheimers and assumed myself that it must be. Having read various messages today this only confirms this. Mum was also taken into hospital some weeks ago (3 week stay) and taken off Aricept so that they could try to ascertain if the medication was the reason for the falls. After a further 'mental agility' test by the local 'MIND' clinic it was decided not to reinstate her medication. Mum has deteriorated since her hospital stay and has had 10 falls since the 1st January. I am her fall time carer and it is very distressing and a constant worry. I really do feel for your Dad. I hope you/he can get help from Social Services, even for short periods during the day. Mum now has carers to wash and dress her in the mornings (half and hour) and again in the evening to wash and put her to bed. I could go on, but feel I may have taken up too much space already! I do wish you all the best, King regards Harriett
 

Grommit

Registered User
Apr 26, 2006
2,127
Doncaster
I also found that drinking was a problem. My wife used also to pour everything in the sink as soon as I had left the room. She was under the hallucination that she was being poisoned and actually hated me at the time. She would only drink something made for her by the Soc.Services dinner lady that comes in once a day for half an hour.

Eventually my wife was put on Ebixa and, although the paranoia is now controlled, the hallucinations persist. They are, fortunately, "friendly" hallucinations and she has no problem drinking once the hallucination has given her permission to do so.

A recent development is also stumbling when accompanied outside. Uneven ground causes great problems.
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
MY mother also was falling a lot getting very dizzy, would also , like someone said in this tread would stand up then just sit down sleeping a lot being sick I thought it was down to bang on her head, , she had another CT scan and all was ok.

They done a urine test and put it all down to not drinking enough water, I make my mother cups of tea and she just leaves it , what I do is buy 2 big bottle of water and make sure my mother drinks the 2 bottle a day , then I fill them up with tap water and put them in the fridge as I can forget to keep giving her water , so like that I know how much she drinks of water a day she does complain a lot that she keep going to the toilet, but I keep saying its good for her and keeps her active .

And I must admit that over time I do find when she drinks lots of water I see an improvement in her bales (sp) movement, walking (still with Zimmer frame) talking , not sleeping to much