• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Walking and stumbling

annb1897

Registered User
Aug 26, 2020
13
0
My mum is 94 and reluctantly started using a stick before the diagnosis. As the dementia increased we found she could fall with or without her sticks, which she refused to use in her home. She is in a wonderful home now. Initially they were having to hoist her everywhere, but gradually with OT and Physio she has regained balance . The carers have said they call her speedy and have to watch her like a hawk, as she can quickly climb the stairs to her room or try to visit the kitchen. Her previous job was a cook. She does still have stumbles but not as often and noway as dangerous as when she was in her home.
 

Mahonia

Registered User
Apr 17, 2017
3
0
I'm looking back and remember my Mum coming back from a walk a few years ago and said she couldnt stop or slow herself down the hill.
It was quite an odd thing but I think it was the dementia that caused it. Her brain wasnt able to give the right instructions to her legs?
 

GillP

Registered User
Aug 11, 2021
1,405
0
I'm looking back and remember my Mum coming back from a walk a few years ago and said she couldnt stop or slow herself down the hill.
It was quite an odd thing but I think it was the dementia that caused it. Her brain wasnt able to give the right instructions to her legs?
I recall my husband doing that too, it was as if he had no brakes. Scared me.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
1,192
0
I am a stick user myself (a crutch from childhood). When my Dad got a bit more wobbly I got him a Flexifoot stick (other brands available). This is sturdy, brightly coloured, with a cushion grip handle, adjustable and has a really good ferrule (the rubber endy bit). Having used a lot of walking aids over the years, this is one of the best I have found.
Daddy was not keen to use it initially (he saw me as the disabled one, and not himself), but now he does accept it makes things easier and he enjoys waving it at people in a vaguely threatening manner in Waitrose.
We have two of the same model - one he has in the house, and one I keep in the car, so that we have one if he forgets to bring it.
It is a good idea to get a physio or OT to suggest aids and adjust to suit, though sadly the sort of choice you have of aids outside the NHS is much better - not just colour or personal taste, but in my view better designed.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
11,664
0
Southampton
i have a stick and it has a palm shaped handle which is very comfortable. it does fold up as well and rubber on the end that a shoe repairer has supplied a new one. ive had 5 years and though i only use it ion the house if needed
 

RuralTownie

Registered User
Oct 11, 2021
16
0
My dad's been using a stick for a while. I thought he'd be resistant but has taken to it very well. He's always been a keen walker though, so think he understood that it was for the best.
We have his 'town' stick which is a Hurrycane (it folds up easily when getting in the car and has a nifty 3-pronged foot that is much better on slopes and cobbles, and also stands up by itself so you don't need to lean it in a corner).
Then there's his 'country' stick which is a regular hiking pole with a pointy end for when we go on rural walks.

They've made him much more confident and able. The only difficulty is that he can't concentrate on more than one thing at a time, so if he's faffing about trying to check if he's got his wallet or look for a hanky, he'll continue tottering along but forget to use the stick.
 

SueBo

New member
Apr 6, 2020
6
0
OH loves taking the dog out, but he will only go on very short walks now. We used to go on a circular one that took about half an hour, but he keeps saying he doesn't want to go that far now, I wondered if it was to do with his alzheimer's because he is quite fit otherwise, gets breathless, had chest xray etc nothing wrong. I'm thinking it is anxiety
My husband has a shuffling walk now & can't walk far before near collapse. I think it's his brain signals that aren't reaching his legs. I use a wheelchair to still get us out and about.
 

SERENA50

Registered User
Jan 17, 2018
135
0
I'm looking back and remember my Mum coming back from a walk a few years ago and said she couldnt stop or slow herself down the hill.
It was quite an odd thing but I think it was the dementia that caused it. Her brain wasnt able to give the right instructions to her legs?
Hi

That is exactly how Dad started off. He felt like his legs were going to fast for the rest of his body, couldn't get them to slow down and ended up in a few hedges when he was out for his usual walks. He of course says now that never happened. His walk is what is mostly affected and we are faced with may be a diagnosis of NPH where basically fluid in the ventricles prevents the messages getting to places, brain atrophy and mild cognitive impairment. We still don't know properly until more tests are done. Still waiting for an appointment for those but either way he went from someone who used to walk all around the village, cycle etc up to about the age of 72-73 to someone who can hardly stand some days and whose walk is shuffle shuffle. He is almost 78. So I would say roughly about 5 years this has been gradually ever so subtly going on for. He has had a few falls in the house and outside but not hurt himself - yet. He has walking sticks with three prong things at the bottom, walker etc but forgets his sticks or puts everything away as he doesn't need them. I think that the messages to his legs don't get through and although some days are better than others , he has more bad days than good now sadly and is currently poorly with a chest infection (he has COPD) Such a cruel illness x
 

Mahonia

Registered User
Apr 17, 2017
3
0
Hi

That is exactly how Dad started off. He felt like his legs were going to fast for the rest of his body, couldn't get them to slow down and ended up in a few hedges when he was out for his usual walks. He of course says now that never happened. His walk is what is mostly affected and we are faced with may be a diagnosis of NPH where basically fluid in the ventricles prevents the messages getting to places, brain atrophy and mild cognitive impairment. We still don't know properly until more tests are done. Still waiting for an appointment for those but either way he went from someone who used to walk all around the village, cycle etc up to about the age of 72-73 to someone who can hardly stand some days and whose walk is shuffle shuffle. He is almost 78. So I would say roughly about 5 years this has been gradually ever so subtly going on for. He has had a few falls in the house and outside but not hurt himself - yet. He has walking sticks with three prong things at the bottom, walker etc but forgets his sticks or puts everything away as he doesn't need them. I think that the messages to his legs don't get through and although some days are better than others , he has more bad days than good now sadly and is currently poorly with a chest infection (he has COPD) Such a cruel illness x
Gosh it's hard to watch them sometimes. Mine was resistant to any kind of walking aid, so I got her a fancy stylish (expensive) rollator and she liked that. So it's been about 10 years since shes had the rollator, progressed to a wheelchair now though. What helps is exercise, proper physiotherapy. Walking isn't enough, so I try to ensure she does exercises which I think helps to keep neural connections working.
 

SERENA50

Registered User
Jan 17, 2018
135
0
Gosh it's hard to watch them sometimes. Mine was resistant to any kind of walking aid, so I got her a fancy stylish (expensive) rollator and she liked that. So it's been about 10 years since shes had the rollator, progressed to a wheelchair now though. What helps is exercise, proper physiotherapy. Walking isn't enough, so I try to ensure she does exercises which I think helps to keep neural connections working.
That is really true however getting someone to do specific exercises is a whole other ball game. I agree the walking is hard to watch and I have become a bit obsessed by watching other people walk as well lol. He had a few incidents , legs would not move and he slipped down two steps on the stairs at the gym so he no longer goes. He went for social things as well but his usual one closed so the routine he enjoyed and coped with went too.
 

Knitandpurl

Registered User
Aug 9, 2021
155
0
Lincolnshire
I suppose the trouble is that he could just as easily stumble/fall in the first few yards as the last few. But then he could fall whilst using a stick or rollator too, or in his own home. A rollator is more likely to steady a wobbly person than a stick, I think.

Really, the only answer is constant vigilance. And even then, falls will still happen :(
For me the constant vigilance is trying to stop him walking into things, especially banging his head. My OH has PCA which has given him massive blind areas, like with the sticks and walkers he refuses to carry a white stick. He still goes to the local shop and occasional walk on his own, has to cross a busy road, I am on tenterhooks all the time he’s out. I feel so guilty when he hurts himself…….