One of the best pieces of advice I received at the beginning of Marshall’s Alzheimer’s symptoms was not to anticipate what happens next. So many factors are involved that it’s impossible to predict the exact course. Worrying about what may never happen is pointless.
One situation I never considered was Marshall requiring a walker. I realize many of his peers are in walkers and wheelchairs but hadn’t thought Marshall would ever need mobility assistance.
Well, now he does. Marshall is leaning forward which puts him at risk for falls. He has difficulty with depth perception. This is particularly noticeable when he steps from carpet to tile or down a curb. A walker helps him to maintain balance across all flooring.
The problem is likely caused by amyloid plaque in the cerebellum, which regulates motor movements. Located where the spinal cord meets the brain, the cerebellum coordinates voluntary movements such as posture, balance, coordination, and speech. Damage to this part of the brain can lead to imbalance, slower movements, and tremors.
The walker is a necessary aid for Marshall now, but getting him to use it will be a challenge. He told me I should take it, that I could use the help. Let’s wish the physical therapist luck!
(Have you read Navigating Alzheimer’s? If so, please write a review.)