How can i help Mom with mobility decline?

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And is it inevitable, especially with dementia? She is so afraid of falling!!

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Countrymouse, hand sanitizer is a great idea except my mom has super sensitive skin. We have to use specific soap, shampoo, lotion, etc. Or she has severe excema outbreaks that have in the past (under brother's care) gotten infected badly.
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Well, you could pop a bottle of hand sanitizer next to the toilet, so that she can use that while she's still sitting down.

I would also try not to get this out of proportion. I agree about the sadness around lowering of standards; but in terms of actual health risk..? Not so much, as long as the bathroom fittings are cleaned regularly (I'm sure they are!).
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Mom is currently using a standard walker. I've noticed she won't move from toilet to sink without grabbing something with both hands. She usually "forgets" to flush - I believe because that requires a step and a reach. She reaches for her walker before washing her hands because even if the sink is within arms reach, that's not enough for her confidence. This adds to the concern of germ transfer. I've even watched her flush AFTER she just washed her hands. In public restrooms i mean. She was always so germ conscious in the past, it's disheartening for me. But I try hard to "pick my battles" & this is one feels too much like instructing a child. When I have said something, she seems to feel embarrassed.
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Countrymouse, umm, duh, why didn't I think of that!?!?!
You are so right, I need to have a one on one with the PTherapist!! Ha, "slightly mangled", that's a great description, how could I be so naive? I seriously think I'm getting dementia being around parents so much but I have really backed off a lot!
But they both are off
balance/dizzy/weak...I understand increasing body strength helps...dad has fallen (I'm brain dead, is a word?) 3Xs in a month/no injuries.
Anyway, the Therapist is awesome,we will have a little chat!
Thanks friends!
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My husband fell often early in his dementia, even while correctly using a walker. Once he got a wheelchair he had a new lease on life! He could scoot around the house using his feet and with no fear of falling. Like MsMadge, our goal became retaining enough strength for transfers.
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Last I heard walkers and canes were mobility aids not mobility hinderances! I do see the PTs point in not relying on artificial support but once one reaches the stage of being unsteady and falling then they become essential safety measures. PT can be enormously helpful in building up muscle strength. Upper body strength is just as important as leg strength in walking. All of this depends on the co=opertion of the patient.
Gait belts can be very helpful for the caregiver but as a patient I found them to be rather unsettling. I felt much safer with a friendly arm to hold on to
As far as collators and walkers are concerned I personally prefer the rollator because it has the brakes which make it more secure when getting up for a chair.
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CR, using a gait belt might also help your parent feel more confident that she won't fall while you are assisting her.
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Bella, I'm very, very surprised that the PT would tell them that. Are you sure that's what was actually said? Not a slightly mangled interpretation of what they thought she said?

Frames and walkers and rollators are better than canes because they don't make you twist your back, but in any case what really matters is keeping mobile and - yes, as you say - avoiding falls, which is also what any PT experienced in elder care will tell you. If I were you I'd have a discreet, friendly gossip with the PT and see if you can't persuade her to clarify to your parents what she meant.
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Both my parents are off balance/dizzy from strokes...got mom a cane, and dad a walker with a seat. The PT at AL told them they will get weaker using them. Mom gave up cane, dad uses walker now and then. I want them used all the time. I see the PTs point but I think them falling is worse!?
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What mobility aids is your mother already using, CR? I remember trying out a variety with my mother and finding that some felt a lot steadier and more reassuring than others.

Your mother's fear of falling may reflect a sensation of being off-balance coming from changes in her brain, so in that sense yes it is inevitable with dementia and unfortunately won't go away no matter how tightly she's holding on to a walker or rollator. Letting her take her time when she gets up is important - there's a tendency I've noticed to grab elders' arms and help them up, but that rushes them and makes them feel more anxious. Let her hold on to you, and put your arm around her waist or hips to keep her securely balanced and upright. You soon get used to being more up close and personal than you have been, maybe, for years! :)
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