My mom has Parkinson's and cannot sit in a chair without falling over to the side. Any suggestions? - AgingCare.com

My mom has Parkinson's and cannot sit in a chair without falling over to the side. Any suggestions?

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My mom has Parkinson's Disease and at this point cannot walk, stand, dress or bathe herself without assistance. I put her in her wheelchair from her hospital bed each morning and take her to her lift chair where she spends most of the day. When she needs to go to the bathroom, I take her in her wheelchair and assist her to the toilet and back to the wheelchair. She has no strength to do anything other than feed herself if it's something she can eat with her hands. I'm concerned that she could be having mini strokes causing her to be weak on the left side. Any suggestions would be helpful at this point.

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Marymerry it is amazing what you can do when you think outside the box
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I took stiff foam cushion (not the pillow stuffing) and made a "filler" between her and the armrest of the chair. You can make it whatever height she needs and however wide she needs. I made 2 "pillow slips" the correct size to cover the foam and sewed a strip of coordinating color to the base of each one, making it the exact width she needed. It is
an insert in her chair custom sized to hold her erect. The foam cost $7.00 and it was
simple to do and a major improvement for her. It did not completely solve the problem but it helped a lot.
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Ask a Neurologist, but for my husband I was told Pisa Syndrome. Still, I think PT will help the person from losing muscle tone which would create even more problems.

Pisa syndrome: A condition in which there is sustained involuntary flexion of the body and head to one side and slight rotation of the trunk so the person appears to lean like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Pisa syndrome is an adverse effect (a side-effect) of some medications. It occurs sometimes following the long-term use of narcoleptics (drugs used to treat schizophrenia) or cholinesterase inhibitors (a class of drugs used to treat Alzheimer disease).
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Thanks Anniessong - it's always so helpful to hear from someone who has the syndrome - more suggestions and ideas than those of us who look from without. I'm a caregiver helping a man who with PD who is active in many ways, like he rides a recliner bike at times, and also attends a university class, but he walks very slowly with a walker, and otherwise sits. He has started leaning to the left very often. I don't know if it's enough, and his PT will come today, but I think we all have to do counter balance actions as we age - I have to reach up and stand against the wall, and remember not to slouch over. And do more weight bearing activities, to slow osteoporosis. Perhaps some of it becomes a habit after sitting so much of the time - I think repetitive, still gentle home remedies would likely help some, no matter what the cause, thanks.
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should add i have PD twenty years
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i do the same leaning, one diag was Pisa syndrome, sometimes seen with PD. however i am trying physio. leaning against wall arm up with side to wall that i curve towards, stretching it. a few weeks later i am developing some resistance towards falling over while seated. also opening out chest by leaning in doorway with arms on frame either side and mmoving forward holding on...
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Thank oyou for your suggestions. She sits in her lift chair most of the day and that's where she has trouble sitting up. I'll mention it to her Dr. the next time we go and see if she has any suggestions. In her condition, it would be very difficult for her to have a PET scan or Ex-ray.
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There are many accessories for the wheelchair including wider arm rests, trays that wrap around, and torso supports. Ask the MD to send out an occupational therapist who can recommend the right stuff.
Mini strokes would be diagnosed or ruled out with a PET scan or similar brain imaging. Parkinson's can be an ascending paralysis, but brain imaging and bloodwork done right after a stroke will confirm or rule out that as a cause. A good neurologist is a must.
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Isn't there some type of elastic strap to attached to the chair? I'm thinking like a bungee cord type of thing. Or maybe something like they a strap that is used when moving furniture. Thinking out loud.
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My mother has PD, she uses a walker, not as dependent on me for daily tasks as your situation, but she has a similar problem of always leaning to the right. Her neurologist said that it is very common for people with PD to favor one side, they often don't even realize they are doing it. If she isn't in danger of falling and she is comfortable, it should be ok.
My mom was recently seen by an occupational therapist after leaving the hospital and they suggested I gently remind her of her leaning whenever I notice she is toppling, and advised her to lean the other way on purpose, e.g. prop herself on the left arm of a chair as soon as she sits.
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