It may not seem like a big deal if a senior is shuffling or dragging their feet, but in reality they are at greater risk of falling. Shuffling is a common cause of falling due to the feet sliding more easily and tripping on rugs, door thresholds, or slightly uneven surfaces.
An unsteady gait or shuffling walk could be caused by something as simple as slippery floors or as serious as dementia or Parkinson’s disease. So if your older adult has started shuffling their feet when walking, it’s important to schedule an appointment with their doctor to find out what’s causing it.
Parkinsonian gait is a defining feature of Parkinson’s disease, especially in later stages. It’s often considered to have a more negative impact on quality of life than other Parkinson’s symptoms. People with Parkinsonian gait usually take small, shuffling steps. They might have difficulty picking up their feet.
From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English shuffle your feetto move your feet slightly, especially because you are bored or embarrassed Monica shuffled her feet nervously and stared at the floor.
With age, these discs harden and lose flexibility with the inevitable result of compressed total length of the spine and a forward tilt called kyphosis. These aging changes together are called senile kyphosis and are considered a normal part of aging. Muscle mass also changes with age with a process called sarcopenia.
What Are the Seven Stages of Dementia?
Why it happens A shuffling walk can also be an early sign of a loss of muscular coordination as the part of the brain governing motor skills (the parietal lobe) is affected. The brain and body don’t communicate well. The person has trouble picking up his or her feet to walk and may be unsteady or begin to stoop.
With age, there is a natural loss of muscle mass that can lead to a loss of balance and coordination and affect the way you walk. This process can be accelerated by neurological disorders, such as dementia, as well as musculoskeletal disorders.
Many seniors develop a shuffling gait after a stroke damages the part of the brain responsible for motor control. Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and diabetes are a few other health conditions that may affect how seniors walk.
Shuffling of the feet in a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia typically occurs in the moderate to severe to later stages of the disease. Shuffling is a common cause of falls in affected people because sliding feet can more easily trip on rugs, door thresholds or even slightly uneven surfaces.
Shuffling gait – Shuffling gait appears as if the person is dragging their feet as they walk. Steps may also be shorter in stride (length of the step) in a shuffling gait. The shuffling gait is also seen with the reduced arm movement during walking.
To Improve Gait Speed, Walk more
Foot drop is caused by weakness or paralysis of the muscles involved in lifting the front part of the foot. Causes of foot drop might include: Nerve injury. The most common cause of foot drop is compression of a nerve in your leg that controls the muscles involved in lifting the foot (peroneal nerve).