Freezing


#1

Can anyone offer me some advise on freezing?
My mum was diagnosed last year and this is her biggest problem. She is doing amazing in this daunting journey but i would love to be able to help with some ways she can try to help herself when she does freeze. Thanks so much on advance.


#2

Different things work for different people but -

Taking a deep breath (trying too hard makes freezing worse).
Counting/swinging arms before stepping sometimes helps.
Rather than thinking about walking forward, stepping back/sideways first can help or thinking about lifting knees high or toes, thinking about kicking a ball, singing

Tea dancing can really help as the music helps the timing. May start off barely getting round the room, but gradually during sessions it can really improve as the system of steps help.

Sometimes you find one thing works for a while then you need to adapt. Good posture also important to prevent falling (leaning forward encourages shuffle and then loss of balance)

Good luck. Hopefully the above will give you some ideas to find something that works


#3

Thank you so much for responding. I saw my mum today and feeling very low as feel i can’t help so good to have something to offer her.


#4

Very welcome. It’s so tough, but taking a deep breath and just finding good things to smile about makes it easier on you both.

I video! I video anything that I know makes dad happy. The changing seasons from the conservatory. Their dogs, animals, the birds in the garden, their singing, the heron etc. So on hard days we can watch them.
I video him achieving things - at moment he is in hospital, so every visitor gets pictures and videos with him. On his good days that he can get walking, I video him so he can look at what he managed (& see his posture etc).
I look up music on google to play him as he requests (even though he has an iPod with 15 days non stop music) and we listen to it. He tries to think of ones he thinks I can’t find :joy:.
I find funny/cute clips from Internet for us to watch etc. Things we can do together to enjoy and have conversations (limited) about.

Find “your thing” and you can both enjoy each other’s company, even on a bad day. I only just joined here a few days ago, but definitely useful


#5

Thanks definitely going to do the videos and photos. As a family we laugh a lot and it is hard when there are bad days and laughter is harder to find. Just got to make sure we keep doing that.


#6

Hello Gemk99
I would like to ad it is important knowing from my own experience observing other that freezing increases the chance of falls. Especially if it is what I call the momentary stop and go type. When this happens you tend to fall forward with momentum. When this happened your feet do not take a long stride. But they start a very short stutter shuffle. The tired one is the more likely you don’t catch up. Face first nose dive the result. If your mom(USA) does not have a cane or walker it is time to get one. Falls and the injuries they cause are hard to come back from. At my therapy here in the states the cane is part of my avoiding a freeze. I was taught to use the canes anchor point as a reference to step forward and my foot lands even with it. It is wise when your mum is walking not to talk to her. Her attention must focus on walking. For me a distraction halts my brain communication to my feet.
As was mentioned there are many ways is avoid freezing. The learning which one works best takes some time. The main event to avoid first is the fall. A walker or a cane helps. Hope you find what works PWP Tom.


#7

Thank you for this. I think i will have to urge towards the use of a stick as she is the first type you said with the momentary stop and go. I saw a video about encouraging her whrn it happens to stop, stand straight and then different ways to try and get her to restart again but i do worry she will fall. Only trouble is PD is bringing out the stubborn side in her where she doesn’t want to appear weak and doesn’t want people to make a fuss of her so it may not be quite so easy to get her to do it. I will try though. Thanks for your advise.


#8

Also good to get Physiotherapy. They are good at helping to find the ways of coping and “unfreezing” with the benefit of having bars etc to hold.
Cane/walkers will give confidence and help prevent falls, but still need to learn the tools/tricks to cope


#9

She is still waiting for her physio appointment. Must make her chase that up if it can offer help for the freezing. Thanks.


#10

Freezing is my main problem too. I find that whistling or humming a nice rhythmic tune like a marchworks quite well but it depends on your taste in music I suppose.