My mother has lost strength and mobility. What comes next?

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My 90-year-old mother has severe arthritis, depression, anxiety and some other issues. She also has a history of many falls, balance issues, TIAs, etc and has used a walker since last year. We have caregivers in her home. After a bout with pneumonia in January, she has had a steady decline in strength and mobility. She is no longer able to get up out our of a chair. Someone else has to lift her entirely without her help. More recently, she seems unable to walk with her walker. I don't think any of this is helped by the fact that she really wants to go join my dad in heaven. We are wondering where this is headed. Do people fade away and die this way? Do they get bedridden and then linger on in a weakened condition? My siblings and I are discussing options like continuing the in-home care, nursing home, etc. Would she be headed to a bed unit at a nursing home, too far gone for assisted living? She still feeds herself. I guess we really want to know what to expect with this kind of decline.

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Coping, my mom took to her bed three years ago. At the time there we no obvious signs of dementia and the only diagnosis I got from an ER doc was 'sometimes they just get tired'. I was at my wits end and ready to place her in a nursing home as she went from needing a little assistance to total care over night. With help she improved somewhat, but trying to figure out her prognosis is something I still struggle with today. She has obvious dementia, some days she doesn't even know her own name, but others she remembers quite a lot. Physically she sleeps up to twenty hours a day and only eats when fed. In these ways she would be assessed at stage 7, yet in other areas she is not near end stage yet. The thing about vascular dementia is that it doesn't follow the alzheimer's script and every person is different.
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We have asked the doctor for a prognosis and they can't really give us any idea. That is why I thought I'd look for any experiences anyone on this board can share just to give us some frame of reference. In answer to the questions being asked, she has been diagnosed with early vascular dementia. She would easily pass the mini mental, but her confusion shows up in other ways. Her handwriting has recently become illegible, but not suddenly like in a stroke. We do already have 24/7 care in the home. We are trying to get a feel for if the decline will progress slowly or quickly so we can make the right decision about continuing with in-home are or heading to a nursing home. I really appreciate your comments and any experience anyone can share. This is all so different than what I went through taking care of my father.
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Has your mum been diagnosed with dementia? With the TIA's she may have vascular dementia. The pattern of weakness that you describe is similar to my mother who has vasc. dementia. She is being cared for in a facility where they have a lift to help get her up as she is a dead weight now. She is declining quite quickly now - it is noticeable every few months, She still eats but only pureed foods and gets tired feeding herself. I don't expect my mother to last out the year and do expect that she will continue to decline as the disease progresses. She is on comfort care only. .I agree that a prognosis from your mum's doctor would be most helpful.
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I know you may want to see her more active, but if she's falling a lot, it might be a blessing that she's not getting up a lot and falling. Falls in people that age often end up being fatal from complications.

With her being totally unable to help with her transfers, I'd look at the options, unless you particularly want to bring in outside help around the clock and have the means to do it. I'd try to make sure she wasn't in pain. Sometimes pain can cause people to be less mobile and depressed. I might explore those things with her doctor and see if it might help.

Does she have dementia? Some people with dementia seem to forget how to walk. Most of the ones that I have seen with advanced dementia are in wheelchairs and are not able to move much.

There is no way to predict your mom's future, but I might talk to her doctor and see if he has a prognosis. There are some patients who linger that way for years. There is no way to know for sure that I am aware of.
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See if you can get her doc to order some PT. The exercises my mom did were very simple, mostly seated leg raises etc, and made a big difference.
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Yes, she has 24/7 care. I live in the neighborhood and am in and out all the time as well.
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It sounds like your mom needs a higher level of care than assisted living provides.

Does your mom have caregivers 24/7? If she can't get out of a chair on her own she needs 24/7 care.

Your mom will continue to decline. No one can say for how long or in what phases she'll go through. I'm sorry. I know this is hard for you to go through.
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