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I was thinking today when I tripped going up the handicap ramp in the garage, is this a part of getting old? Or is it just the stress of caregiving for hubby, financial disaster and/or having to work 25 hours a week?


It seems like for a few years now, if there is anything I can trip or stumble over, walk into or slip on, I will. If I can knock something over or drop something, I do.


I have become downright clumsy. I work in a daycare with the babies. Last week, I was carrying a baby and got my foot stuck in a bouncer on the floor. I almost went down, with the baby in my arms. Scary! I saw myself walking in a parking lot, toward the big windows of the store. I looked like I was stumbling and staggering. There was no grace in my gait. It was embarrassing.


Have any of you noticed this? Is it age...or something else? I have inherited clumsiness from Mom and Grandma, but neither one of them, to my memory, was this bad.

It is a lot of things.
Stress
Tired
We do not pay attention to what we are doing, where we are going.
We forget that you have to pay attention to what we are doing.

There are things that can be done to increase balance and strength. That will help a lot
Paying attention and not multi-tasking
Getting enough rest

Many hospitals have a program designed to help prevent falls.
I was just at a Conference and there was a program about this. Here are some interesting facts that I learned.
30-35% of people 65+ fall each year
1 in 5 falls causes a serious injury.
Leading cause of death from injuries among people 65+ in 2010
Leading cause of non fatal injuries

Interesting thing is The fear of falling can cause you to restrict activities, but restricting your activity may actually lead to more falls. Inactivity results in muscle loss, loss of balance. It can also compromise social activities, increasing isolation, depression. So the far of falling can contribute to falling.

I would call the local hospital and ask if they have a fall prevention class, or ask at your local Senior Center.
Also ask the next time you are at the pharmacy if any of the medications you are taking can cause you to be drowsy, unsteady when you walk. (no one reads that huge piece of paper they give you with the medication)
And make sure you get your eyes checked as poor vision can be a problem.
Make sure you have bright lights, switch to LED's.
Remove area rugs
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Reply to Grandma1954
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 25, 2019
Lots of great advice! Thanks.
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Stress will do this. I've had tons of accidents and "senior" moments when dealing with high stress of care giving. Make sure you take princess level care of yourself,
esp. going to all recommended doctors appts, eat right, exercise, meditate, get
support, and I'd say as important connect with church or whatever type spirituality
you align with. I've also gone to Naturopathic doctor with amazing results. Although buyer beware, alot of them are quacks and are also not as well covered by insurance. I get around this by going to regular doctor for most of my visits, xrays and labs, then skip the pills, procedures (if I can) and then get occasional second opinion and recommendation for supplements from Naturopath. Which I believe if proscribed by doctor can be deducted at tax time (I'm just about to find out) I highly recommend, it's made huge difference for me. Far fewer accidents and memory lapses now. And bladder incontinence, severe heart palpatations are much much improved as well.
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Reply to bettina
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Try yoga. I have been practicing for 8 years and it has improved everything for me -- balance, focus, flexibility, core strength. And it is a great escape.
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Reply to lulugirl
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Hi Ahmijoy.  I am 72. At what age do we become elderly, and falls become normal?  I was sure I had beginning Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's like my brother, so I went to a neurologist. He cleared my worry in one visit, and had a few suggestions. If someone you were caring for had your symptoms, would you get them checked? Maybe a simple answer. God bless you, I enjoy your posts, and you deserve some care too.
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 25, 2019
Grannie,

Parkinsons is something I fear due to my mom having it. Always in the back of our minds, isn’t it?
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It sounds to me as though you have Ataxia. I have it and that is how I walk. When I asked what it is, I was told by my PT that it means my brain can no longer tell where my feet are. She said your brain always can tell where every part of your body is but sometimes, like when you have too much to drink AND THEY ASK YOU TO CLOSE YOUR EYES AND TOUCH YOUR NOSE, you cannot do it. Well that is what ataxia is only without the drugs or drinks. If you find out what to do about it let me know. I have asked several doctors and never received an answer.
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 21, 2019
Mary,

Wow, interesting. Okay, is this ataxia? I have developed a phobia where I can no longer go on escalators going down, I feel dizzy, I feel like I will miss the steps. Not going up. I do fine stepping on it going up. Going down is the issue so I have resorted to using the elevator for that.
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Stress and anxiety could cause a change in your balance and gait while walking. I can only imagine how much you do for your husband every day. How much are you doing for you? (As if there's time for us?) You're probably mentally and physically drained which could cause this. The other end is that could you have injured yourself in some way and possibly pinched a nerve? Best to have it checked out while you can still repair any damage. May be as simple as stretching exercises or a visit to the chiropractor? Sometimes you start to stagger when your body is saying enough, I need to rest, I've been pushed too far physically and mentally. Wish I had a better answer for you.
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Reply to Takincare
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Ahmijoy Feb 21, 2019
Thanks, Takincare. I’ve wondered about a chiropractor. I have to do something. My PCP refuses to write prescriptions for Ambien or Xanax any longer so I’m pretty much on my own. I’ve started journaling, so when I remember, it does help to put my thoughts down. Also, I really like my job. The people I work with are very nice and I love working with the babies, even the ones who scream all day. 😏
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I don't have an answer but I have followed your posts since I joined here last summer and have been amazed how you cope. I was sick over the holidays and lost my glasses. I felt like I was losing my mind. I went back to every place I had been to no avail. Maybe you could have a simple test. Stress is just the worst. Hope you feel better.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Ahmijoy Feb 21, 2019
Thanks, Riverdale. Sometime I wonder how I cope, too. 😊 Thankfully, hubby is pretty easygoing and I know if he had a choice, he wouldn’t chose disability and immobility.

I feel you about the glasses. My dog chewed mine up a few weeks ago and I had to wear an old pair with no nose pads. Very uncomfortable! Did you find them?

Thanks again!
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Yes! I find out I don't pick up my feet. I can hear my Mom in my head "pick up your feet Jo Ann!". I think it comes from being tired.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 25, 2019
I do too. When I am tired I get clumsy.
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You can ask your doctor for a PT assessment. They can evaluate your walking gate and see if there are any defficiencies
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Reply to MACinCT
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Are you meeting your nutritional needs? When caregiving, there can be a tendency to eat sweet instead of eating sensibly. It goes with the stress. This is why so many of us caregivers gain weight.

The last 6 months of my DH's live were extremely difficult for both of us and I practically lived on Ice Cream. It was the only thing my body wanted to eat. I regained 50 lbs in 2+ years.

2 weeks after he passed, I decided to lose the weight again and here I am, 9 months later, and 50 lbs lighter again. Nutrition really is #1.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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NeedHelpWithMom Mar 21, 2019
Sometimes I don’t even want to eat. Is that normal? I always feed my mom and husband but not always interested in eating due to caring for mom on a daily basis.
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