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Old 03-23-2013, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
64,442 posts, read 71,724,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qlty View Post
Its very important to have some sort of reminder system for taking medications,small containers with the days of the week is one example. At least have him write down the day and time he takes any pill.I some times write it down but then forget to take the pill and I am 74, perhaps some one will chime in with a better way.
That is a great idea. I have trouble remembering and I only take 3 things, 2 in the morning and 1 at night. Over medicating can cause all kinds of side effects. OP, there are so many reasons dad could be falling, maybe you need to try and talk with his primary care doctor? it doesn't sound like your dad is terrible cooporative...am I right?
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:21 AM
 
797 posts, read 974,847 times
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a long shot )...............His condition could be ALS.

Many times the first signs are clumsiness and tripping over things.

It will take an appointment with a neurologist to diagnose it, though.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,458 posts, read 16,612,098 times
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Allow me to chip in here. I'm 81 and had spinal surgery not too many yrs back and presently have a numbness problem in my right side. Feeling is about 70-80 % so when I pick up my right leg in walking the toes in my foot drop downwards and I catch anything over one inch above the ground. Have caught my foot many times and as a result bruises on my arms hitting a doorway etc.

In walking our senses will tell us one thing while in reality the body reacts differently thus an occasional stumble or tripping will have bad results. I am prone to this problem.

In addition do feel I have my facultys otherwise so on a 10 scale I've reached step TWO of Alzheimers problems.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:29 PM
 
1,003 posts, read 1,134,596 times
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Thank you all for your responses. I think he has been tested for Alzheimers. He doesn't not live alone. All of the feedback makes me think it's all of the above. (Lack of exercise, back/hip/heart surgeries, refusal for physical therapy, meds, ect.) All my mom and I can do these days is make him meals and drive him to the doctor, I guess.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:21 PM
 
797 posts, read 974,847 times
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----IF---he has ALS, he will get worse fast and there is nothing can be done about it.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:07 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,263 posts, read 31,757,476 times
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Also, ALS isn't shorthand for Alzheimer's (in case that confused you). ALS is shorthand for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - otherwise known as Lou Gherig's disease. It's a degenerative disease that shuts down the body a little at a time, leaving the patient unable to function without machines, but still conscious and of full mental faculties. Essentially - they become a "brain in a jar" (to coin a phrase a friend of mine who has ALS uses to describe himself).

Falling, dropping things you were holding are symptoms of the earliest stage of ALS. But they're also symptoms of simple nearsightedness and astigmatism, which is easily corrected with eyeglasses. It's also a symptom of age, when the elderly's bodies have shifted and their balance isn't what it used to be, because their bones and muscles are no longer where/what they used to be and their minds haven't yet caught up to the shift.

ALS usually hits long before someone is in their 80's - the most common age range for onset is between 40-60 years old. So while it's -possible- your dad is showing the first signs of it, it's very very unlikely. The more likely problem is his depth perception is off a little and a good pair of glasses will get him through his "golden" years
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:10 PM
 
797 posts, read 974,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
Also, ALS isn't shorthand for Alzheimer's (in case that confused you). ALS is shorthand for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - otherwise known as Lou Gherig's disease. It's a degenerative disease that shuts down the body a little at a time, leaving the patient unable to function without machines, but still conscious and of full mental faculties. Essentially - they become a "brain in a jar" (to coin a phrase a friend of mine who has ALS uses to describe himself).

Falling, dropping things you were holding are symptoms of the earliest stage of ALS. But they're also symptoms of simple nearsightedness and astigmatism, which is easily corrected with eyeglasses. It's also a symptom of age, when the elderly's bodies have shifted and their balance isn't what it used to be, because their bones and muscles are no longer where/what they used to be and their minds haven't yet caught up to the shift.

ALS usually hits long before someone is in their 80's - the most common age range for onset is between 40-60 years old. So while it's -possible- your dad is showing the first signs of it, it's very very unlikely. The more likely problem is his depth perception is off a little and a good pair of glasses will get him through his "golden" years

( regarding last paragraph)--------"before someone is in their 80's"

OP's father is 72

My wife got diagnosed at 66 and is near the end of her battle now at age 68
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:04 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,263 posts, read 31,757,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wolf View Post
( regarding last paragraph)--------"before someone is in their 80's"

OP's father is 72

My wife got diagnosed at 66 and is near the end of her battle now at age 68
I see that now - not sure why I thought he wrote his dad was 82.

Regardless, the facts remain - and it's MUCH less likely for someone in their 70's to develop ALS, than it is someone in their 60's - since it's also less likely for anyone over 60 to develop it at all. The further you are away from the 40-60 age bracket, the less likely you are to develop ALS. That works in reverse too - it's *possible* for a 30-year-old to develop it, but it isn't likely.

There's a thing called a "relavent alternative theory" which goes something like...

If you're in a zoo and see hoofprints, you should rule out the zebra before searching for the cleverly-disguised mule.

This is particularly apt in medicine. Rule out the obvious first. THEN start contemplating the unlikely. The man needs to get his depth perception checked, before anyone even -mentions- ALS as a possibility and scares him out of his wits.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:35 PM
 
16,487 posts, read 18,907,658 times
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I think his age has a lot to do with it. As we grow older we lose our balance easier and you often see elderly people "shuffle". This is because they know they can fall and trip easily, so the shuffle and take small, more controllable steps. I am 59 and notice I fall easier and I suspect that will only get worse in time. My mother died in her late 70's over a year ago and she fell soooo easily and so many times. She fractured her hip on of those times. You might want to have your father use a walker to help stabilize himself.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:47 AM
 
258 posts, read 613,323 times
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Another terrible disease which has some of these symptoms is Multiple Systems Atrophy
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