Informative Masterclass
How to Protect your Family’s Assets and Leave a Lasting Legacy
Save Your Spot Now!

White Plains & New City, New York Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm

Is Losing My Balance a Sign of Dementia?

October 28, 2022
David Parker, Esq.
Balance and Dementia
David Parker, White Plains and New City NY Estate Planning Attorney
David Parker, Esq.
David Parker is an attorney who specializes in Estate Planning and Elder Law and has been practicing law for 30 years. Be it Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies, or Medicaid Planning, David provides comprehensive and caring counsel for seniors and their families. A large portion of David’s practice is asset protection strategies so that families do not lose their hard earned savings to nursing home care costs. He also handles probate administration for the settlement of estates.
Changes in balance and gait could be indicative of either late-stage Alzheimer's or early-stage vascular dementia.

Neurological changes frequently occur at the onset of cognitive decline. However, physical changes may also be telling. Researchers have built a concise understanding of the complex relationship between physical performance and the onset of dementia. Their findings suggest changes in a person's balance or the way they walk could reveal a lot about their cognitive status.

The (UK) Express’ recent article entitled “Dementia signs: Two changes in a person's walk that can precede diagnosis by 'six years'” says these changes are a sign that cells in the brain and neural communication are slowly deteriorating. This deterioration will progress until late-stage dementia, eventually affecting a patient's ability to walk freely or process information about their physical environment.

Having difficulty seeing and processing information about the physical environment is likely to contribute to balance issues. Although it’s usually a sign of late-stage dementia, loss of balance can be attributed to early-stage vascular dementia in some cases.

Dementia Care Central explains: “In early stages, or even before other dementia symptoms develop, losing balance while standing or walking can indicate an increased potential to develop Alzheimer’s.

“It may also be a good sign that your loved one is suffering a kind of dementia other than Alzheimer’s.”

“Vascular dementia, for instance, is different from Alzheimer’s disease because the illness is caused by a lack of blood flow carrying oxygen to the cerebellum," adds Dementia Care Central.

“Some people with vascular dementia will actually experience feelings of vertigo before they have trouble with thinking and memory.”

When loss of balance is characteristic of late-stage dementia, patients will sometimes adjust by changing their gait, or how they walk. This can involve shuffling, instead of lifting each foot to make a step, making falls more likely.

Research published in the Journal of The American Geriatrics Society in 2016, even suggested that signs of dizziness and loss of balance earlier in life could mean a person is more likely to get Alzheimer’s as they get older. This supports earlier findings published in the journal Neurology, which suggest that being prone to falls could cause a build-up of amyloid in the brain and tau in the spinal fluid. These proteins build up in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia and damage the parts of the brain associated with learning and memory.

Reference: The Express (Oct. 4, 2022) “Dementia signs: Two changes in a person's walk that can precede diagnosis by 'six years'”


Share This Post
Stay Informed
Subscribe To Our FREE Estate Planning, Probate and Elder Law Newsletter

Book Your Free Initial Consultation With Parker Law Firm Today
Get Started Now

The 15 minute initial phone call is designed as a simple way for you to get to know us, and for our team to learn more about your unique estate planning needs.

Book an Initial Call
Book A Call With Parker Law Firm
Parker Law Firm
White Plains Location

222 Bloomingdale Rd #301,
White Plains, NY 10605

New City Location

120 North Main Street, Suite 203,
New City, NY 10956

IMS - Estate Planning and Elder Law Practice Growth Advisors
Powered by