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My dad is having physical therapy to help with his balance. We are given weekly exercises to practice at home. His dr ordered it & Medicare pays for it. Make sure she has good fitting shoes & uses a cane or walker. Good luck!
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In addition to the great suggestions already given, maybe have your mom checked for an inner ear issue. If she's otherwise strong, it's worth checking.
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My Mom uses one of the rolling walkers with a seat that has storage underneath, and she loves it. She calls it her "filing cabinet" because it can hold so much stuff. She even helps me carry groceries inside!
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There are two ways to help your Mum. The balance system is so important but yet is a major 'sense' that is neglected and never really appreciated until it starts to disappear. The vestibular (balance) system is so important in movement. As one gets older and so less active, the sense of balance starts to be impaired. An inefficient balance system not only affects movement but also hearing, speaking and seeing. One exercise to help your Mum's balance is with you standing by her side and Mum in her bare feet on a stable fixed floor surface, plain carpet ideal. (Bare feet for good proprioceptive feed back). Ask Mum to stand with feet together and arms out parallel to the floor. Mum to start spinning round really SLOW - no quicker than one circle in 5 seconds. Keep going for 10 seconds. No more than 2 circles. One's fine if movement is constant. Say to Mum 'Stop, feet together and arms by your side and CLOSE YOUR EYES' (Closing the eyes takes away 70% of information to ones brain that helps balance, so your brain has to work even harder connecting to your balance system to receive movement information.) Reassure Mum your hands are by her side so she will be stopped if overbalancing happens. Mum's brain will be picking up the movement in her semi-circular canals in her inner ear which are stimulated by her circular movement. Mum has to rest with eyes closed for 15 seconds and then begin again . This time, spin round the opposite direction for 10 seconds and repeat everything as before.You will probably see Mum very unstable and you will be able to stop her overbalancing. This neurological movement only needs to be done once a day. This is a very powerful movement and should improve Mum's balance. Movement of any kind during the day will stimulate the balance system. remembering if if you don't use it you will lose it. It's a good idea to check if your mum is dehydrated or not. That's really another subject. If the balance movements work then I can give you a movement sequence to stimulate the ottolyths (vestibular system) which measures acceleration forwards and backwards and gravity. I hope this message gets to you to help your Mum. God bless Paul The Kinesis Consultancy
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is it possible for an elderly lady to regain her reflexes?
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My dad was given this amazing light weight, and slim walker that has a seat when he gets tired. It just hand locks when he needs to sit, and the seat is right there for him. It s a God send. He was very unstable which was a huge problem. Plus, our house is small, and has small door openings. This thing is very light, and maneuverable for getting into tight spaces. Hope this might help.
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A rollator works great for my mom! The 4 wheels allow much smoother walking, which actually encourages her to keep moving far more than a walker did. We got a prescription for it through a physical therapist, so Medicare covered it. It will pay off to get one with a seat (for resting/less anxiety about getting "stuck" somewhere) and a basket (to carry mail, a magazine, tissues, purse, whatever). It's no big deal to fold it and put it in the car trunk or backseat. I insist on taking it whenever we go out. Without this, she might not even leave her room!
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Check the meds. My 84 year old mom was doing well with her walker but started making mistakes and falling. I found she was still doing oxycodone from her hip surgery months before. Once I weaned her off the pills she is doing great.
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I'd get her a walker, not a cane. Mom refused to use the walker and finally fell which put her in a nursing home. So many people at Mom's facility had the kind with the seat and compartment for storing things and had hand brakes. They all loved them. What kind you get depends on her mental capability so ask the PT person or doctor what they advise. The PT people recommended a simple one for Mom, very light, with 2 wheels that slides ( only because with her dementia she would not be able to figure out or remember how to work hand brakes).
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I would suggest getting her a walker. You can either get the simple kind that has only 2 wheels, or the fancier kind with 4 wheels and a seat.
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