I have a 77-year-old woman who all of a sudden cannot stand up or walk; does anyone know what could have happened?

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I have a new resident that about 2 months ago is unable to stand or maintain her balance. She is no longer able to use a walker. Her head droops to her chest. Lat night she had me up all night needing to pee. I would stand her up pivot her to the commode and sit her down. She would pee and then right after I got her cleaned and back in bed she would say oh hurry I have to go again and I can't hold it. She would either pee herself or we would get her back on hte commode just in time. This went on all night. This morning she was shivering and said she was cold, she felt warm to the touch and she was babbling incoherently. I sent her to the hospital. They found a slight bladder infection but nother more. Oh did I mention that for the last 2 months she keeps fallin because she trys to get herself up to the bathroom and just keels over because she has no strenght in her legs. The ER found nothing wrong with her, but I know there is something wrong as well as her family. Anyone have any ideas as to what this mystery ailment could be?

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
This might be a long term urinary tract infection (UTI). When my Mother fell and broke her hip, she was rushed to the ER at Kaiser where xrays and blood tests, etc. were done. She was found to have a serious UTI, was put on antibiotics immediately, and was given blood transfusions for 2 days before they would operate on my Mother's hip. What I was told by the doctors was that sometimes a serious UTI can cause people (especially the elderly) to lose their balance, fall frequently, need to urinate frequently (causing bacteria to get out of control if they are not cleaned up well each time) and can even affect their ability to think normally due to white blood cell count being too low from the infection.
I think this lady needs a more thorough blood work-up with interested family in attendance so that the ER personnel know that someone cares. This could be very dangerous for this poor woman. If her infection is cleared up, she won't need to pee so often. Don't let her remain in her pee-soaked clothing or bedding for long either.
I should have also told you that pneumonia can cause intense shivering and shaking. They can think they are cold while actually running a fever. This is nothing to fool around with. They can fail very quickly. She needs medical attention pronto.
she just got back from the ER they said she has a very mild UTI(I am sure there is something else going on)they told her granddaughter that her blood work showed nothing! They did a cat scan because she went in with a black eye possibly from the fall in the night. Anyway we are waiting to hear from her PCP. The ER doc said thier hands were tied as far as admitting or cathing her unless the doctor gave them direct orders. so they sent her back to me. Why couldn't the ER contact her doctor tell her that her patient is in the ER and what is her advice. Oh wait that would be to easy, so in the mean time I have this poor lady that has to pee every 10 mins. and can hardly move in order for me to get her there in time. She is going through pads like crazy. Thanks for your advice it is good advice, I did already know how an UTI can affect the eldrly and I know that is not what is happening with her. Thanks again.
Did she return with antibiotics or other meds? This could take a couple of days to begin working. Poor lady. She's lucky that you are looking out for her welfare.
My Mom is 79 and was acting the same way. Her sodium level was extremely low. She was admitted to the hospital for about 3 days. I am told that this could have killed her if not addressed right away. Her symptoms came on very quickly. She was also very cold and could hardly walk. Good luck with this and keep pushing until someone figures out what is wrong. My Mom is very lucky to have an "old school family doc" that still comes to the hospital when one of his patients is taken in.
Is she on new medications that could be kicking in? My Mom gets like that on too much medicaition, takes about a month on pills. Good luck
I have had very limited use of my legs since knee surgery 2 yrs ago but have been able to pull my self up and stand and pivot to sit down - last 2 days I can't do that at all.
Slight bladder infections can have huge effects on older people. Slight UTIs can make them feel they have to urinate all the time. It can cause them to wet themselves. The behavior you described is very typical of a bladder infection.

I wouldn't try to guess what is wrong with her legs. Does she have a primary care physician? She needs a good physical and perhaps a neurological evaluation. It may be a deficiency in her diet or fluids, but it could be a weakening of her nervous and muscular system. It would be nice if the doctors could find what is causing the problem. Maybe she would be able to get back on her feet again.

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