My 88 year old mother cannot walk and talk at the same time. Is this normal at her age? She seems to space out.

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No blank look, just can't multi-task when we are outside of the house. I'm taking her to podiatrist next week as she has a rather large callous on the bottom of each foot. I'm hoping that helps.

Thank you! This helps so much.

I didn't realize UTI could cause problems like that! She was unable to leave a specimen at the doctor's last week so I have the items needed to collect a sterile specimen which I will do today.
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Reply to plshatley
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In heavy traffic, I cannot drive and talk at the same time. I have only so much attention to give, and it better be to driving!

With mobility issues, it may be that your mother needs all of her attention on walking. Respect that.

What is the "spacing out" like? Does it happen only in the walk-or-talk situations or at random times? How long does it last? Does she have a blank look on her face? (I might stop talking while I'm driving, but I don't space out!)
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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We dealt with this often with my MIL. Even in the early stages of her vascular dementia (before we fully knew she had it), this was a big issue. It just took too much brain function to do both at the same time. If there was no rush in where we were going, we would just stop with her and let her finish her thought, then gently prompt her to keep going. If we were on a timeline, we would tell her that we would be happy to listen when we got to where we were going, so she could “sit in a comfy chair and tell us all about it”.

Since we started dealing with it, I have heard from many others that this is a “thing”. Doing multiple tasks at once becomes more and more difficult as cognition weakens.
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Reply to 499HopeFloats
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plshatley, I see from your profile that your Mom has mobility issues. If what you are seeing is out of the norm, then a visit to Mom's primary doctor is needed quickly. One thing the doctor can check on is for an Urinary Tract Infection which can cause all types of unusual issues with an elderly person. This can be treated.

The space out look, maybe it is a side effect of whatever medication Mom is taking. Even if she had been taking the same pills for a long time, sometimes pharmaceutical manufacturers use different material as fillers in the pills to make the pill large enough to handle..... binders to keep the pill together...... and coatings to make the pill easier to swallow. Some people are sensitive to those items.

It could be that your Mom is now only able to concentrate on one thing at a time. Thus she concentrates on walking only. Then when she stops, then she can concentrate on talking.
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Reply to freqflyer
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