My mom has Parkinsons and lately is also affected by dementia. All of a sudden she can hardly walk. Is this normal? - AgingCare.com

My mom has Parkinsons and lately is also affected by dementia. All of a sudden she can hardly walk. Is this normal?

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About 10 days ago. She used to do most things alone....bath (supervised), go to the loo and fetch things etc. Now she cannot even walk. She looses her balance and shuffles her feet, almost like she wants them to walk but they don't obey. It has happened so suddenly. Is this normal. I live in Maputo, Mozambique and we have basically no help centers etc here. any advice and info will be most welcome.

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The Dr came to the house to see mom yesterday and has altered her meds slightly. He said that after so many years of taking the same Parkinsons meds with the same dosage etc the body sometimes gets used to it. He increased 1/2 a tab only twice a day. He said we must watch her for a couple days and see if there is any change. After just 2 dosages, I notice she is slightly better....lifting her feet a little more than before, which gives me great hope. The Dr had substituted the Quetiapina with Risperidal, and we found her much calmer. But right now he decided to stop it just to see if it is the thing causing her to stop walking. He says in his opinion it is not, but wants to see all the same. Am trying to keep positive and hope for the best. Thank you all for your messages. xx
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Patricia,

The shuffling may occur because your mom feels like she's going to fall if she walks normally. However, there are other reasons why someone may shuffle. This is just an opinion.
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what your mother is experiencing is the progression of Parkinsons. My dad had this and the shuffling etc was part of his life for a while. What you may also encounter is that she "freezes"... which simply means that she will try and walk and not be able to.. what I found was helpful when this happened (by this time I had gotten my dad a walker) was to let him stand there for a moment and then TELL him to put one foot in front of the other and go slowly. He would eventually get it, but it is very difficult to watch this downward progression in mobility. They become extremely slow, and unsteady so please get her a walker, even if she fights you on it - she will need it.
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Patricia
Two months ago we replaced mom's seroquel (quetipine) with risperdal - she's more confused but much more calm - at 93 with a history of falls and compressed vertebrae she can still walk a bit with her walker

Seroquel is used as a sleeping aid as well and can cause dizziness - generally they start with 12.5 mg - did your mom start at 25 mg?
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Thank you so much for your answers. I am going to see my mom's neurologist to ask about these issues and see what he says. We did start her on a new med, but am at work and cant remember the name right now to tell you what it is. She was having aggressive panic attacks and getting very distressed when the Dr put her on Quetiapina 25mg. This made her even worse so we stopped it and he changed it to this new med. Her state of mind improved but if I think about it, it was after this that she started having difficulty walking. Will let you know what he says. My mom was diagnosed with Parkinsons over 8yrs ago. She only had the shakes though. When we lost my dad in May 2015 she was sad but only from Sept has she gone totally down hill. I suppose 57yrs with the same person does make one loose hope. Her condition deteriorated rapidly since Sept this yr.....that is when she started getting attacks, threatening suicide, and having bouts of meanness that was so unlike my mom it was super frightening. Am praying this new med is the cause and she starts being mobile soon......am not ready to face any other result...xx
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Do you have access to any doctors? How was she diagnosed with Parkinson's? I'd try to get her evaluated to see what is going on, since this did happen rather suddenly.

Did you notice if she fell down or seems to have any stroke symptoms?

My cousin who has Vascular Dementia, went from walking with a cane, then to a walker in a couple of weeks, then to a wheelchair in about a month. She had drastic decline from multiple strokes. She never had Parkinson's though.

I'm not of any way to diagnose her without a doctor who can do scans, give exam, etc. What does she say about how she feels?
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I did a little web searching about sudden decline in Parkinson's and this quote pretty much sums up what I have read:
"Parkinson’s declines slowly, and not over hours, days or weeks. If PD symptoms worsen precipitously over a short period of time, then it is critical to search for secondary causes for these worsening symptoms. Potential causes for worsening Parkinson’s symptoms may include medication changes (which may be intentional changes or due to medication error), infections (such as a urinary tract infection, cold or flu), other medical problems (e.g., dehydration, problems with the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, etc.), and/or stress, sleep deprivation, etc. " (from the Parkinson's disease foundation-secrets, myths and misconceptions)
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