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Can dementia affect mobility?

Tue Aug 31 2021

At Wheelfreedom, we have been supplying mobility equipment for over 13 years. During this time, we have provided expert advice and support for those living with conditions such as Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis and Diabetes. Some customers also have other health conditions as a result from accidents or injuries.

On a regular basis, we meet people living with dementia, as well as their loved ones. Whilst many people would assume that there wouldn’t be a direct correlation between dementia and mobility, reduced mobility is a common symptom, particularly in the later stages of dementia.

What is dementia?

Dementia is defined by the NHS as a ‘a group of related symptoms associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning’. Research shows there are more than 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia and it is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will be more than 1 million.

There are many types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Often, the disease is associated with memory loss, but there are many other important symptoms to consider. Here are the main symptoms of dementia:

  • Memory loss

  • Ability to think fast

  • Difficulty with language

  • Change or lack in Judgement

  • Changes in mood and personality

  • Mobility

  • Difficulties with daily tasks

How does dementia affect mobility?

Dementia can affect the body in various ways. As the disease attacks brain cells associated with movement and muscle awareness, there can be a reduced control of muscles. Reduced control of muscles can cause a person living with dementia to move considerably slower and cause difficulty to perform basic day-to-day tasks, such as getting in and out of a chair or brushing their teeth.

Sometimes, muscle memory that controls the bladder may also become impaired, causing incontinence. This is common amongst those living with later stages of dementia.

Dementia also causes short-term memory loss and can therefore cause an individual to overexert themselves, going beyond their physical abilities, unknowingly.

Risk of falls for those living with dementia

Because of these mobility complications for those living with dementia, the risk of having a fall is significantly higher than most.

The combination of reduced balance and coordination, reduced control of muscles and memory loss can cause a person to fall, even in the safest of places. Therefore, it is important to have mobility aids in the home, whilst also assessing any potential trips or hazards.

At Wheelfreedom, we understand that many individuals wish to keep their independence. Not only do we have a range of equipment suitable for indoors, but we also have equipment which can be used outdoors, such as rollators and wheelchairs.

What support is available for dementia sufferers living with mobility issues?

There are various charities and support services for those living with dementia and their loved ones. Charities such as Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society have some very useful resources and helpful guides.

When it comes to mobility, you may be able to receive support through your local council. They may decide to offer an assessment at your home, suggesting a package of care and additional mobility equipment.

Mobility aids for those living with dementia

At Wheelfreedom, we specialise in a broad range of mobility equipment. Whether you need a wheelchair temporarily following an accident or require something longer term, we sell and hire the following equipment:

Dementia is a condition that can often feel difficult to manage. If you are looking for extra support and need advice on specialist mobility equipment, you can call one of our in-house product advisors on 0800 025 8005.

Rather speak to someone face-to-face? Why not visit our industry leading showroom, based in Surrey? Here, you can try out our products and have products tailor made to suit you and your needs.

Contact us today.