Mum's health has taken a sudden dive over the last week and now falling. Is this to be expected?

Mum has vascular and Alzheimer's mixed dementia. I have noticed over the last few weeks she seems to be getting frailer noticeably that is. This last week has been really noticeable and the doctor has been out. UTIs ruled out and no chest infection just her 'usual' headaches but she has had these for as long as I can remember so way over 20 years. She is finding it difficult now to pull up her depends (we have a different name but thats what I mean) and has just taken a tumble - not hurt just a tumble...but is this the start of a new phase?

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If she tries to pul them up she topples over so for now its not going to happen

She refuses to do any exercise for more than about 1 minute. She has been told to stand from sitting five times one after the other 5 times a day - wont even do that and if I try to get here to do it - well lets just say I make sure there's nothing she can throw nearby

I have a pedaller - she said why don't I use it since I'm so lazy and fat - she's right I am fat (I have a diagnosed eating disorder) but hey I'm also not going to stand there and take the abuse either. I have tried everything - even put her commode two steps further away but this change is really quite sudden and her depression has increased 10 fold as a result - if she was miserable before then you cant imagine how much worse it is now

Grins at Tai Chi - my goodness that's foreign - I would have to call it something else! please don't shout at me for that my mother is quite xenophobic but that was the norm in her day

She drinks loads each day because I nag until she does, she has 3 meals a day admittedly only 2 with protein but I make up the difference with milky drinks.

She has potatoes every day in one form or another and has bananas and egg custard regularly as a dessert and celery soup home made about once a month so I cant think it is hydration potassium etc. She has no problem urinating or pooping (for sure on the latter!)

But exercise she will not do I keep telling her use it or lose it but nope nada.

Everything is as it has always been except she is miserable as sin and can't be allowed to walk because her legs give way underneath her.

All the falls seem to occur going to or from the commode and she has a walker we have grab rails to cope for everything but she has just seemed to have lost all strength

On thing I have noticed is that her hearing has diminished but the doc checked that and said nothing needed to be done and she can hear just not as well as she used to. To be fair she has never had brilliant balance - unable ever to ride a bike even as a young woman - dad said she was a danger on the road in a car or on a bike. She has no spatial awareness to speak of.

one thing she is saying is that the back of her throat feels like its burning and her legs are burning now I cant massage the throat but I massaged the legs today and that seems to have eased them a bit. I just think this is a step down on the ugliest of all roads - I have said it before but I will say it again I HATE DEMENTIA
Jude, I'm so sorry to read this; I know it's been a long journey with your mother.

Can you tell whether her inability to pull up the Depends seems to be sourced in weakness in her arms, or confusion about what to do? Sorting that out might help determine whether the issue is mental or physical.

If the latter, I don't recall if she's getting any PT at home, or whether she'd be receptive. One thing she could do, if she's willing, is use the little home pedalers. They're like the pedals on a bike, but on a stand which can be used on a table for arm exercise or on the floor for leg exercise.

Could you get her to do exercise while listening to her favorite music? Even Tai Chi would help.

I can't help thinking that fraility is a medical rather than a mental issue. So many things could cause it - muscle weakness especially. I'm sure you feed her as well as you can, but I'm just wondering about her hydration level and any recent blood work as well. Is her fluid intake sufficient?

We finally realized we were both having weakness in our legs because we weren't eating that many potassium rich foods. I keep forgeting that I eat a lot of celery, which is a diuretic. Bananas and potatoes to the rescue!
CM she is a narcissistic old %^& and no she just wants attention. I spend probably about 4-5 hours a day actually sat talking with her. Additional to that I have:

cleaned the house
done the laundry
the garden
packed a few boxes for the move
updated on here (this is now an essential tool in my day)
done the ironing
fetched bits from the shop or chemist or both
attended appointments to make sure she tells them where she is at as opposed to her usual lies
changed clothes that have been soiled and rewashed them
emptied commodes ( I would say I could do that blindfold but perhaps not a good idea!)
sanitised everything she manages to touch with dirty hands (dirty as in not sanitary as opposed to dirty from dirt

I dont want to spend any more time with now it is me time and by Jingo I think I will just go play some Simon & Garfunkel and chill so nnite all xxxxxxxxx
Tex, can't the vet give you a quick consult while he's at it? :)
CM someone is going to ask you what Detol is. One of the many things I miss and practically unobtainable here except on Amazon at great inflated cost. Then there is treacle, marmite, bovril, horlicks and bisto.

Good idea in principle to have the vet give Tex's Mom the once over but he'd probably tell her to get a halter and a lunge line and have her trot round a few circles. Probably kill her but that might solve some of Tex's problems come to think of it. if not put her on a diet of a handful of grain and only two flakes of hay and a grazing muzzle when she goes out.
Jude, I'm following your story and gettin' it. But I have to ask one question: what is "the ironing." Maybe it is cultural thing.

Hang in there, and take every option to get some sleep! I was sleep-deprived for 10 years, and I'm sure making up for it now!
On the positive side I went shopping today and bought 5 tee shirts for your equivalent of $5 each and they were really nice ones - not ones you can see straight through. One is olive green with a lace yoke, one is wavy stripes in pink, one is lemon quite plain but a lovely material and the other one is a turquoise boob tube - I am told I mustn't get strap line although heaven alone knows who would ever see them!!!
Thanks peeps and a stone is 14 pounds - Baba 16 oz makes a pound and 14 pounds make a stone - God alone knows why we had to adopt something so silly. I tell you if God does exist then he surely is of the male variety - no woman could have made that many cock ups when building a world - I mean who except a man would put an a$$hole in that ridiculous place and why does poo have to be so messy - in fact why do we have to have food for fuel? - why can't we just ingest food and then open a flap at the side and remove it ...that way we would have gotten the pleasure of eating if we wanted to but we wouldn't be reliant on it, exactly why do we have to have babies in such an undignified position - A woman would have created a zipper structure somewhere unobtrusive and then when the time came whoop unzip and deliver.

OH Baba? I know ALL about SAGGING (lol not so much about shagging!)

But then again a man can mow the lawn (Yup I can too but why (when I was married) would I have a dog and bark myself (maybe that's why I am divorced))

I love the notice board I saw yesterday it said.


It was hanging down from the ceiling as you continued (inwardly seething) the next hanging notice said -


On my return down the same aisle I noticed that the boards were reversible



Jude, silly question but when doc checked her hearing, did he check for an inner ear infection or allergy flare up (fluid in ear)? When my mom got those, she would lean over in her chair and fell multiple times. Of course, it was never her - it was her *darn* cats. Hugs anyway.
Jude, thanks for your response and insight.

Well, if she topples over that's a balance issue, perhaps a combination of strength and stabilization if she has ear problems which don't need to be treated, or even something like dizziness or vertigo.

But that raises another issue with your comment of lifetime balance issues: weak ankles. I remember wobbling when ice skating, and my ankles still wobble if I don't do ankle exercises regularly. That can be helped but if she won't do exercises, the only thing I can think of is to get her fitted for one of those thick velcro ankle supports. However, and this is a big caveat, I don't know medically whether that would make her more dependent on supports.

Maybe there are some braces that would help weak ankles but I have a feeling she wouldn't wear them.

I don't suppose that if you did ankle exercises or even some balletic ankle moves, such as releves, that she would become interested and imitate you?

What do you think is the cause of the throat and leg backs burning sensation? I was thinking perhaps she had a sinus infection with a lot of drainage that could cause throat irritation and balance issues, but I don't think that would affect her legs.

I guess a doctor visit in in order; the burning could be something we don't even think of and it could be affecting her mood and hostility toward you as well. There are some thoughts mingling around but not connecting so I can't express this very well but I keep thinking burning, neuropathy, pain, favoring one leg or the other, loss of balance. I guess my neurons are ready for a nap so they're jut not connecting.

Wish I had better insight into this issue.

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