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Is your mother usually lying down in bed or sitting in a chair? In either case, picking your feet up just off the surface is surprisingly good exercise, of the hips and stomach muscles. If she is willing, she could hold her legs up just a tiny bit whenever she thought of it, and it might help. A big advantage is that it’s private – no PT workers, no ‘performance’, no medication, no danger, no nagging. Perhaps see what she thinks about that?
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Orthostatic hypotension can cause dizziness on standing.   You could buy a BP machine, take her BP while sitting down, and after she stands up, especially if she has a dizzy spell then.

Sinus problems can also cause dizziness, especially if they're infected.   That happened to me a lot years ago. 

I think the best thing to do is see a neurologist, but if she won't do so willingly, you'd have to trick her into seeing one, and that's really not an easy thing to do.  She might be more comfortable with a neurologic PA or NP though.
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If it's a matter of her becoming dizzy when she gets up from a chair or bed she may have a condition called vertigo which is is related to ear problems. An ear, nose & throat specialist examination might be helpful.
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When you said she gets dizzy from standing it made me think that she may have lived long enough for the small bones in her ears that effect our equilibrium to have dissolved. It is not something that doctors really mention, but it makes you feel like you have had to much to drink and it takes some time to adjust your gait, if you can, some people do better than others. This happens to everyone that is fortunate enough to live a long life.

I would try some dramamine for a couple days and see if that helps with the dizziness.

From the activity you described she has also lost muscle mass by inactivity and the only solution for that is increased activity.

Hopefully the dramamine will help with dizziness and then she can start doing some walks with you to increase her strength.

I have read that melatonin can lose it's effectiveness with long term, high dose use. Magnesium and zinc taken together can help her body naturally produce melatonin.

Just my opinion and thoughts.
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Although directed to medical professionals, I think this article might give you some useful information and ideas about what to explore with your mom's physician. https://patient.info/doctor/walking-difficulty-and-off-legs-in-adults
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Have you tried physical therapy? It can be quite helpful in building up her muscle strength which may help her stay ambulatory a while longer. The question is, I guess, what's causing her to lose the use of her legs? Is there a medical condition behind it? My mother has bad neuropathy and managed to avoid a wheelchair until she turned 92, at which time, chronic vertigo, pain and other symptoms caused her to need a wheelchair full time. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done to prevent that outcome. But it all depends on WHY the problem exists to begin with.

Best of luck!
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She's 91. How much muscle does she have left? What's her bone density?? What was her condition when she was in her 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s???
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catcoker Oct 4, 2019
She isn't thin or frail. Bone density is good at osteopenia. She was in good shape up until age 84. The past two years, and past six months especially, her gait is different and she has trouble walking. Is mostly sedentary for a variety of reasons including dizziness when she stands up. She lives with me. I am on top of it but looking for any help or answers people can share with me. Thank you for responding.
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My dad has very weak legs, walks with great difficulty while extremely dependent on a rollator for every step. He’s had a good number of falls caused by this. He’s had physical therapy for his legs many times, it hasn’t helped, probably due to a combination of him not fully cooperating and the weakness being so advanced. He barely picks up his feet at all, more of a slow shuffle. Some of this is due to the fear of falling. Sorry to say, for us, no solutions or successful treatments. I hope you’ll find better
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catcoker Oct 4, 2019
Sounds familiar. My mother has had several rounds of physical therapy. Like you, it hasn't helped. She doesn't take any medications at all except for 1/4 hydrocodone with 20 mg melatonin before bedtime to help her sleep. It doesn't help much. Thank you, kindly for your response. Good luck to you.
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I agree wit the above your mom should see her doctor, however doctors don't know everything and i think it;s good you reach out to the community. The reason for the loss of mobility could be many, even medications. My 99 year old dad lost his walking ability several years ago.
The doctor said he had a stroke. It turned out it was caused by his sleeping med Ambien. One week after dropping the drug he was walking fine. Now seven years later he again is losing control, coordination and strength in his legs. We went for a cane to a walker, and now are using a wheelchair at times. I will be watching your answers to see if any apply to his condition.
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catcoker Oct 4, 2019
She sees her geriatric internist every three months. She doesn't take medications other than the above mentioned 1/4 hydrocodone. She's smart. She is of the opinion that the side effects of most/many meds is worse than the condition being treated. I agree with her. She did try Ambien many years ago. It wasn't a good result as it made her even dizzier. I wish there were easy answers. I guess nothing is easy as we age! Hang in there, my fellow caregivers. Thank you for your response.
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Could you give a bit more information. She can’t feel her legs? She can’t pick them up from the bed if she is lying down? She can’t move them to walk? She can’t take her own weight on them? You probably need to be a bit clearer for the doctor that she needs to see, but let us know too.
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catcoker Oct 4, 2019
Good questions. My answer: She can feel her legs. She can pick them up if she is lying down. She can move them to walk. She can stand up. BUT ALL of this is not without struggle. She uses a cane around the house but only gets up to use the bathroom or occasional struggling walks around the dining room table. She uses a rollerator (sp?) when we go out for doctor appointments. As I mentioned in a previous post, she sees her geriatric internist every three months. They know what's going on but they don't have answers beyond physical therapy. She refuses to see a neurologist. She says, "I don't want to know and there's nothing they can do for me anyway." I think she's right. However, if anyone has other thoughts or positive experiences with doctors - I'm all ears! Thank you for your response.
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Hello. Please keep in mind that this is an anonymous forum and even if we were medical professionals, we should not attempt to diagnose someone. We can make suggestions and share experiences, but this should not preclude a visit to the person’s doctor or even the ER if she’s losing her mobility and it came on all of the sudden. Good luck. I hope you find out what’s going on.
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catcoker Oct 4, 2019
Yes, I hear you. I'm keeping an eye out for things like stroke. It's been a progressive thing with her legs over a long time. Good luck to you too. Thank you for your response.
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