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walking problems
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 7:26 AM
Joined: 12/24/2016
Posts: 202

Good morning, all- My mother is almost 80-years old, is at about stage 5 of Alz, and lives in a memory care facility. Overall she is content and still somewhat oriented to time/place. She has some arthritis pain in her knees and hip, but takes regular doses of tylenol arthritis as prescribed by her doctor.
We had her to our house for dinner last night and it was really striking how unsteady and slow she seemed. She has always been really vigorous! I had not noticed that degree of shuffling and uncertainty when visiting her in MC, although she is definitely slower than she used to be. 
She did not seem to have any pain: I was watching her face and saw no signs of discomfort. I asked her, though, and she said that her arthritis was bothering her. I will say though, that arthritis pain is her "go to excuse" for not participating in things. So, I think that her response is somewhat scripted.


So, here are my questions:
1) is this shuffling a normal progression of the disease, given what stage she is in?
2) if so, does this signify foretell that she is going to decline in other areas soon?
3) could it be because she was in an unfamiliar setting? She rarely leaves MC because she gets others notice that shuffling/uncertainty when taking your LO out?
4) she has a dr appointment scheduled for May 22. It is with her primary care. Does this change warrant me getting her into the doctor sooner?

I will call the MC facility today to see if they have noticed a decline in her walking.

Thanks for any advice/insight!!


Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 7:39 AM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 400

That sounds completely normal to me + no, I would not go to the DR specially 

for that.  If she looks/feels unsteady, I would encourage her using a walker.  My mom

would never use one + went from walking, shuffling, falling numerous times to 

a wheelchair.

Rescue mom
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 8:56 AM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 890

All sounds normal to me. I have family in ALF and DH at home with AD.

IME they get unsteady, and it was worsened (along with other probs) when going out. How quickly other abilities decline is....almost impossible to predict. Some things go faster than others, depending on the person. Combine arthritis and aging with the losses of Alzheimer’s, and the unsteadiness/slowing down seems totally normal IME.

A doc might make you feel better, and might be able to help with some things, but....ditto to what Terei said.

My DH became agitated in groups and unfamiliar settings early on, but his mobility is good. For others I know, mobility went earlier. 

Katy sue
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 9:12 AM
Joined: 9/24/2016
Posts: 280

My husband is stage 7 in a NH. He started walking differently around early stage 5. Slower pace as if his legs were made of cement. Later on in that stage he developed a slight hunch and his neck protruded. It became more and pronounced as time went on. As he entered stage 7, it was a very bent over shuffle and very rigid. . He doesn’t understand a walker and it would only cause him to fall more. He is still a wanderer. We’ve had several calls about falls and so far they have been minor cuts and bruises. They cannot put him in a wheel chair until his brain can no longer tell his legs how to walk. We and the staff try to make it as safe as possible as he walks and walks til he is so tired and unstable they try to redirect him to sit and hopefully fall asleep. 

We just hope for the best. He has AD with LBD.  All part of the diseases.

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