Alzheimer's Symptom: Can't walk


When it happens

Severe-stage (usually end-stage) dementia

Why it happens

Lack of muscle control because of brain impairment may be so far along that the person loses the ability to walk at all.

What you can do

  • If at home, rent a hospital bed, which can be raised for feedings. There are also special mattresses that contain air or gel to distribute body weight evenly.

  • Use pillows to cushion and support the body, especially at bony spots.

  • Clean face, hair, and hands daily but avoid daily sponge baths to avoid drying out the skin.

  • Inspect skin daily for signs of pressure sores (bed sores or pressure ulcers): red areas where the bone pushes against the skin for long periods from being in one position. The skin can break and become infected. The lower back, hip bones, and heels are common spots in bed-bound people.

  • Move the person every one to two hours.

  • Ask the doctor for advice on bed-bound care. Consider hiring a nurse or care aide to help with hands-on care or, at minimum, to show you the proper way to change, lift, and bathe a bed-bound person.

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