My Mother is 96 years old and is diabetic, has high cholesterol and high blood pressure. She has been living alone all these years until recently. She fell down 5 times this week. She has no strength in her legs. We took her to urgent care where she had a cat scan and 10 different x ray done of her body. She is coherent but is not able to walk. She complains about pain in her arms and under arms, legs and ankles-like a burning feeling. What can it be?

My brother had terrible neuropathy from diabetes. He died in his sixties. He used a cane at first, then a walker.

I know a woman who has Down’s syndrome that suddenly stopped walking when she was diagnosed with dementia. It’s strange. She just turned 51. She used to walk fine, even dance to music, then completely stopped walking. The hospice nurse said they have seen this before with other patients. She is now in a wheelchair.

I am so sorry. Best wishes to you and your family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I agree with BBS about the possibility of neuropathy. Has any MD given you a supposition as to what has been going on. In the latter stages of dementia it is not uncommon to elders to stop walking, stop eating, and etc. If things go on long term with a healthy heart, lungs and kidneys elders can end emaciated and in a fetal position in bed, all but non-responsive. All the tests have been done at this point, and your MD is the best one to "guess" at what is going on. People always expect medicine to "have answers" and often enough it is, as my oncologist told me "anything but an exact science. At this point we are just becoming smart enough to know what we don't know.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Diabetics develop something called diabetic neuropathy, which causes pain in the extremities. If she lacks strength in her legs, and has hypertension and elevated cholesterol plus the diabetes, she may have something called peripheral vascular disease, which means she is not getting sufficient blood flow to the legs and feet. Medication can help alleviate some of the symptoms but nothing is going to reverse the process at her age.

And inactivity, like sitting all day, allows the leg muscles to atrophy and weaken.

If she's fallen 5 times in one week, that is a bad sign. 50% of elderly who start to fall die within the next two years. That's a statistic I learned when I worked for a life and disability insurance firm for 40+ years. Living alone is no longer an option for her. She probably needs a nursing home, since assisted living facilities cannot keep residents who fall continually.
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Reply to BBS2019

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