Anyone else had a person with dementia develop a fear of falling?

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Sseems recently she is trying to hang onto anything.

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I'd have her checked out by her physician because a UTI could be at the root of this. This is especially important if the fear of fallying came on suddenly. My mother-in-law was very dizzy from an undiagnosed UTI.

Another problem can be that she doesn't understand the pattern on the floor or how to "get across" a simple change in rug color, texture or pattern. These changes can be perceived as steps or something that can trip her. Getting over the gap for elevators is often frightening to people with dementia. It's a matter of not recognizing the change. Optical illusions may seem like different levels therefore presenting a risk of falling.

Also, of course, there could be cataracts or other eye changes so it's possible that she needs her eyes checked.

Please check back and let us know how things are working out.
Carol
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No UTI, we have been checked for that, sometimes I think her brain is not telling her eyes and legs what to do.
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Smeltzer my mother has vascular dementia and she did go through a phase where she was very clingy. I wish she still was, actually, because her sense of balance is shot to pieces and now that she's stopped being so afraid she is a terrible falls risk.

Spatial skills can go, balance and co-ordination can go - these would fit with dementia. But if it's sudden could it possibly be an ear infection? Has she had a cold or similar recently? It could perhaps be worth asking someone to check.

My mother was given balance exercises by a physical therapist. Sigh, I can't say they make a huge difference; but on the other hand your mother may be able to work on them more conscientiously than mine does. It can't hurt to give them a go, and at least you'll feel like you tried. Does your mother already use a walking frame to get around with, by the way?
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We do have a walker, but I find she is much safer if I direct and let her hold my hand. Her focus is very bad I think she would be more dangerous using it.
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You need to have this addressed by a physician. There may be a reason; too numerous to go into. Please do this ASAP & please let us all know how your doing. Many questions come to mind but I am not into playing doctor with you.
Please get back on site. I know I try to get on here at least every other day.
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My husband has Parkinson's with Lewy Body Dementia, plus extensive brain damage from an old TBI in 1988. Since December he has escalated quickly and that is also one of the things I have noticed. He also has seizures. So if he feels like that is coming on, he holds tight to whatever. Even if he is going down to the floor. Makes it difficult. The comment about the rug and patterns makes sense too. He seems to falter when he reaches the are rug in the living room.
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YES, after my mom's 2nd hip replacement operation she simply refused PT and is now completely in a wheelchair. Some of the CNAs are able to lift her out of bed, some us the "lift machine" to get her in and out of wheelchair, etc.

Just another one of the heartbreaking changes to see in her. I should be used to it by now but of course I am not.
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Part of aging. Worse if someone has already had a fall. We all get less steady on our feet as we age. The better shape we've been, the less of a problem (reason to keep fit when you're younger!). The most important thing is to keep moving. There are exercises that help with balance and stability. At some point, a walker may become necessary... the problem is that it encourages them to lean forward and not stand up straight and find their center of balance... but if she's hanging onto things, it may be time. A cane is an intermediate step to a walker and you might want to give this a try first.
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