My mother is 88 yo with a dementia. She walks very slow with an unusual gait. For three years she has been talking about something being wrong with the floor, that it feels like it's giving way under her when she walks. I hear the sounds of an old wooden floor when I walk, but have noticed nothing out of the ordinary. We had the floors supported in the middle of the rooms three years ago. It has been since that time that the problem with the floor comes up. She wants to have someone come in to do floor work and is very insistent. I realize that she is to the point of calling behind my back -- she does that sometimes.
My brothers, nephew, and I have told her that the floor is okay, but she forgets and won't believe me. I'm wondering could it be her ears or is it something else that causes the feeling. Has anyone else had problems with an elder feeling like the floor was moving under them when they walk?
Could she be saying she is slipping on the floors and then would only need rubber bottomed slippers?
A stroke patient often repeats a word replacing it with their own word, but that is not what they mean to say. Something similar could be going on with your mom, but I don't know about dementia. I do hope she feels reassured.
Could someone tell her she is right about the floors, but we are just going to live with them because we like old floors?
Maybe they just need waxing?
Just another perspective, but you know your Mom. You seem to have been very thorough with checking her gait on a video. Good job!
Cwillie, are you okay? There you go again, testing our spelling skills!
(except to wash one).
Isn't it strange that she'll believe him that the floor is okay, but she'll get mad at me for saying the same thing. I lack credibility, I guess. :(
Windy, you're the expert on construction - can you help us out??
Stage floors for dance are floating floors; I'm sure the floors in grocery stores are not because they're so hard and inflexible.
Perhaps you could tell your mother that, in an effort to address her concerns, you checked with the contractor who did the floor support work a few years ago and learned that he used a special sub floor construction especially for her so that she wouldn't have to walk on hard floors, and could feel a little bit of "give" that makes it easier on older feet and legs.
I wish there was some medication or something that would make it easier on her. I know it is a terrible feeling, but I don't know how to help.
It is the dementia. I know that doesn't help a lot. Would it help to have an inspection and a certificate that the floor is safe? Or would she just want another opinion? Since her phobia is not reasonable I guess we can't expect reason to persuade her.
Depth perception is impaired by dementia. That might impact how far she is expecting he foot to move and when it moves more or less than that amount it feels like the floor is receding or advancing. If you've ever climbed a flight of stairs where the final step was shorter or taller than all the others you may have had that experience yourself.
I'm trying to think how to "go along" with this to comfort her. If it were my husband I could have said, "That darn dementia fools with your depth perception sometimes. That's why the floor seems to move. I'm so sorry. It is not your fault, and the floor is safe. Do you want the wheelchair while you are feeling this way?" But I seem to remember that your Mom is not too keen on acknowledging her impairments.
How about something along the lines of this ... "Mom, I think I've finally found something on line to explain the floor problem. It is not about the floor at all! It is about a change in barometric pressure! Only very sensitive people can experience this. It is perfectly safe and normal, but it does feel very weird to those who can sense it. Usually it is women past 60 who are sensitive." Just some malarkey to help her feel special and convince her the floor doesn't need fixing.
Hugs to you, dear lady. If you ever figure out anything that helps, share!
You have a very good point about shoes. She wears old house shoes that I wouldn't wear. They give very poor foot support. Trying to talk her into wearing better shoes may work. I've not been successful with that in the past, but it's always worth another try. Thanks for bringing this up. (I just went back to her bedroom and suggested it to her. Fingers crossed it has some results.)
Does she look down while walking? Poor depth perception?
Neuropathy in her feet? Balance issues?
Any new carpeting and new padding? Sometimes too thick padding gives an uneasy feeling. Decades ago new home builders use to put in super thick padding in their model homes, but it made many of us walking on the carpet, and especially the stairs... oh my gosh, the stairs... I felt like I was going to fall.
Ok, shoes? Any removable insoles that make's one feel like they are walking on a cloud? Yikes, give me hard floors, please.