The Middle Part is the Hard Part

On Sunday, when we had our conversation via Skype, I noticed that Mom had to turn and help Lyn up from her chair.  It actually took more than a minute for her to stand from an armless chair.  When she sits on the couch or in the rocking chair, she has to use the arms to push up and even then struggles with it.  When she sits at a table, she relies on the table for balance and support as she works to stand.

I asked Mom how long had that been going on as a regular occurrence.  I had seen it once or twice when I was there in the summer and again in November.  Mom indicated that Lyn needs help getting up more and more now.  Once she's up, she can initiate walking forward independently still.

As I was reading through some articles in connection with this topic, I kept thinking back to my sister's walking.  I believe I have mentioned that she needs either a helping hand or a railing to take a step up or down even if it is only one step, such as onto or off of a sidewalk curb.  Lyn also now will frequently reach  out to hold onto the shoulder of the primary care giver with her at the moment.  Lyn's stride has dramatically shortened and she now must take a series of steps to turn around.

All of this puts her at a greater risk of a fall.   Unfortunately, this will only continue to get worse and will lead to immobility.  This is just another aspect of the deterioration of the brain.

In discussing this with Mom, she said "Maybe, I'm just in denial over where we are in this.  The start of this was over 10 years ago (when she was diagnosed with Sundowners).  The middle part is the hard part."

Additional Information:
Dementia Guide: What to Look For? Mobility
Social Care Institute for Excellence: Movement and Exercise


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