How Dementia Can Affect Mobility
Dementia is an all-encompassing term for a range of conditions that lead to the deterioration of brain tissue, including Alzheimer’s disease. Most cases of dementia affect the elderly and are diagnosed by observing and testing for associated symptoms, which are often related to the mind (such as memory).
The mental effects of dementia are well known but the condition can also affect a person’s mobility. A lot of what causes decreased mobility may be attributable to age but dementia certainly is a known cause as well. To manage and reduce these problems, there are various mobility aids that help with getting around, inside and outside the home.
How Does Dementia Affect Mobility?
A person with dementia may have their mobility affected in a number of ways, most noticeably by slower movement due to reduced control of muscles. The term for this is Parkinsonism, which relates to the disease of the same name, but is distinct in that someone with Parkinsonism will not necessarily have Parkinson’s disease.
Also common in dementia sufferers is the increased risk of having a fall, as issues with balance and coordination can develop. In the elderly, injuries from falls are commonplace and dementia, which affects the elderly the most, just exacerbates the risk.
When someone has difficulty with movement after sitting down or standing still, this can be one of the first noticeable signs of dementia. The symptom is known as apraxia and is caused by damage to tissues in the brain that relay messages for movement. Sometimes, a carer of a dementia patient will help to reduce this difficulty of movement by providing external stimuli, such as arm-touching.
Lastly, a symptom that can affect mobility that is associated with Parkinson’s is stiffness, which can result in a limp or awkward posture. Although stiffness is connected to Parkinson’s, it can also be the result of other conditions, such as arthritis. Dementiauk has lots of useful information on this condition.
What Can Be Done To Help with Mobility?
Whether it’s in the home or outside, there are various ways in which dementia sufferers can improve their mobility. In the home, stairlifts are particularly effective for moving between floors in a safe manner, as are wheelchairs for moving about. At Stechford Mobility, we have various stairlifts available that can be fitted to straight and curved stairways, ensuring many specifications can be catered for from the latest and most trusted manufacturers.
Outside the home, it’s important to be able to take in the outdoors in a relaxed and fulfilling manner, which is why Stechford Mobility also offers a variety of wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Finding the right solution is simple thanks to the help of our experts who will offer friendly advice on the best option for each individual’s circumstances.