Apr 28, 2011

Dotty Can't Wiggle Her Toes, Still Not on a Walker Though

Dotty can't wiggle her toes. You might be surprised to learn that the ability to use your toes is a major factor that effects your balance and gait...
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Recently, Carole Larkin wrote -- A Different Take on Walkers. Good article, lots of good and important information. Who knows, I might need it some day.

Dotty is not on a walker. Not on a walker even though over 100 people said to me, "you should get her on walker". By the way, that started seven years ago. Still no walker. Still getting unsolicited advice.

Still no walker in spite of the fact that seven years ago Dotty was falling almost every day. Fell once, and broke her pinkie finger.

No, I never considered a walker.

Let me interject here. I am the ONE. I am the only ONE that knows what Dotty can and can't do. I am always open to advice and new ideas. I am not open to: you think you know what you are talking about with little or no evidence to support the conclusion you already made. I am not a fan of conclusion leading to evidence logic.

Here are a few things that those of you that are new to the Alzheimer's Reading Room should know. First, I am a problem solver. I have been solving problems all my life. Not only my own problems, but the problems of a long list of others. I like problems, well most problems. Problems are an important part of life. Effective problem solving teaches you how to live your life more effectively.

Second, I have a great ability to look beyond the obvious. This explains in part why I often hear statements like this: you do things exactly the opposite way of what it says to do in the books. Well, I didn't read those books. I did read Bunkhouse Logic. Built a bunkhouse in my mind a long time ago. This is where I go to find the "simple" solution to a problem.

Here we go.

Dotty can't wiggle her toes. You might be surprised to learn that the ability to use your toes is a major factor that effects your balance and gait. I first learned this while doing research, and while I was trying to figure out how to get Dotty to stop falling.

There were four major factors in curing Dotty of falling.

First, I started getting her to wiggle her toes each morning. After a week or so, she started wiggling them a bit.

Second, I put Dotty on a treadmill. Not only strengthen her legs, but also to improve her balance. Yes, walking on a treadmill improves balance.

Third, I had Dotty do stand up, sit downs (SUSD). You have to use your toes to do them. The SUSD improves balance and also improves confidence.

If you wanna see the stand up, sit down you can go to this video and watch Dotty in the gym. You will notice that I also give Dotty the forehead tap. Just another example of how you build confidence and rapport. You will see Dotty on the treadmill; and next, you will see the stand up, sit down around 25 seconds into the video. I will write more about this soon.

Fourth factor in curing Dotty of her falling, the Aerosoles shoe, Mr Softee.

Sadly, I forgot about the toe wiggle for a few years now. But, thanks to Carole I'll have Dotty walking better and more securely in two weeks.

I intend to put Dotty back on the program with full force of determination. She will be walking much better in two weeks.

Why I am I so confident? I'm confident in Dotty. Dotty did teach me an important lesson -- "more there". She also convinced me that "more there" applies to everyone on the planet. This applies not only to Dotty, but also to you and me.

Here is a tip for you. What is the furtherest point on your body from your brain? Toes? I wiggle my toes every morning as soon as I wake up. I wiggle them vigorously. I have been doing this since I started with Dotty. Now when I wake up, I start wiggling my toes automatically without thinking about it.

Why? Well I consider this to be an excellent way to exercise my brain, and a good way to help prevent or stave off Alzheimer's. The toes are a long way from the brain, and the signal from the brain has to travel a long distance. No science here folks -- Bunkhouse Logic.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,560 articles with more than 412,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Diag­no­sis and Treat­ment for Mem­ory Prob­lems
The 36-Hour Day A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room