Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Your parent has dementia? Walk the walk, safely, that is

It's better to be safe than sorry.  If your parent has Alzheimer's or other dementia, walking can present some challenges.  Here are tips to help you and your parent exercise with care.

1.  Avoid walking on shiny surfaces, as these can appear icy or slick to people with dementia.

2.  Leaving a crowded place can also be difficult, as the person with dementia may become frightened by all the movement and want to hold back.

3.  Getting out of a car can take longer, and walking into a building can become slower.  Telling a person with Alzheimer's to "hurry up" doesn't help.  You'll need to keep track of them and slow your pace to match theirs.

4.  Try mall walking, and bring along a friend or two.  Your loved one can walk with one friend while you get some needed respite.

5.  Be alert for a loss of balance when going up or down the stairs.  Stumbling can be a huge problem.

These tips were taken from A Caregiver's Guide to Alzheimer's Disease:  300 Tips forMaking Life Easier.

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