Saturday, November 01, 2014

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 Bunny, Community Member, asks

Q: Husband is leaning to the right side... Alzheimer's middle stage...

My husband has been leaning to the right side for the last couple of days.  He seems more confused than before.  He was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2004.  He will be 78 on Thursday.  We have had a struggle with his memory loss and temper.  Including evening agitation and agression for what he wants.  Memory problems and repeating himself all day long.  Stubborn and strong willed behavior, more so than before.  Sundowners behavior treated with rx from Doc.


The leaning issue is a new concern.  I will take him into the doc. as soon as we can get an appt.  Is this a part of Az. symptoms or perhaps needing an adjustment on the meds. or possibly the later stages of the disease.

Patience and persevering with the symptoms and giving him direction and guidance, daily and sometimes minute to minute.


Thanks for any feedback.

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Answers (6)
Christine Kennard, Health Pro
5/25/10 4:40am

Hi Bunny


There are a number of caregivers to people with Alzheimer's reporting the same issue-leaning to the left or the right side. I think it is good to get your husband to the doctor as quickly as possible to get an accurate diagnosis so that the cause can be isolated and treatment commenced if appropriate.


Because Alzheimer's disease is an degenerative illness that affects the brain and is  possible that the resulting brain damage is the cause. It may be due to something else like a stroke.


Coping with perseveration, confusion and challenging behavior is very hard on you. Repeated questions can seem like water torture at times. Reasurrance in brief statement or diversion like 'look at that lovely flower', 'have some chocolate' are the best strategies.


Here are a couple of link that you may find useful

Caregiving skills in mid stage Alzheimer's

Aggression in Alzheimer's Disease


Hope this helps you. Do keep in touch with us all here at OurAlzheimer's



Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
5/25/10 8:53am

This could be a medication issue, but it could be a stroke symptom or any number of things - I'm glad you have an appointment. Watch carefully, as you may need to get him to ER.



NC, Community Member
5/25/10 10:40am

Hi Bunny,


Like what Christine and Carol mentioned, this could be Alzheimer's or other illness. It is indeed very common for moderate/late Alzheimer's patient to lean to one side. My father-in-law has late AD (stage 6) and he has been doing that for 3 years now. Not very serious and can be told or helped to make him sit up straight again. Now he walks with a little leaning on the side not being balanced at times.

So the leaning problem is common. They do have posture problems at the moderate/late stage because the brain fails to tell the body how to function. The muscles cannot be adjusted by himself. The caregiver now has to tell him or help him to be in the right posture again. This happens too when he goes to bed in a wrong position and we had to move him or tell him to move to the right place to sleep.


I am sorry he is only 78. My FIL is 89 now. But he was diagnosed quite early in 2004. By now, things could go downhill as well. My FIL is going downhill badly this year although he can still talk or walk. He has swallowing problem now and is not eating properly anymore.


Leaning problem itself is not very bad as long as you can tell him or help him to be in the right position again. Be sure you check with the doctors.


Take care,


mdn, Community Member
5/31/10 1:56pm

My Dad has had this issue (a new development for him) since Thursday last week.  He has had Parkinson's for many years and in Feb 2010 begain using an Excelon patch.    This leaning condition seems to be somewhat intermittent and dramatically exacerbated in the past couple days.  I watched a Skype video of them walking across the living room yesterday afternoon and he could not walk unassisted.  His balance seems to be disrupted--he says he feels like she is "shoving" him to the left when she is assisting him to walk upright.  But then she just mentioned that he got up at 5 AM this morning and walked to the bathroom and back to bed by himself!   So is your husband's condition intermittent?  


He saw his primary care physician on Friday but he really had no suggestions.  

Dorian Martin, Health Guide
5/31/10 5:56pm

Hi, Bunny,


My mom also leaned. I think in her case, it also may have been her Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (which weakened her) as well as the Alzheimer's. Have you found out from the doctor what the cause is?

Also, my mom was very stubborn and had a mean temper as the Alzheimer's progressed. I found that if I stayed calm, cool and loving, she'd tend to "mimic" my behavior. However, if I started yelling at her, she would have a bigger -- and meaner -- reaction. I also found that as the Alzheimer's progressed, it was better not to constantly correct her. I tended to pick my battles, figuring that only something that was hazardous to her safety really needed to be addressed. And I also found that she reacted to what was on TV; therefore, I tried not to turn to news programs or other types of shows that would cause her to be agitated.  That made a big difference as well!


Take care and keep us posted!



Smudge, Community Member
7/24/11 12:48pm

I read the answers to this question with interest as my wife also has Alzheimers and I took her to  the doctors as soon as she started doing this. I thought it was a stroke. He told me this is one of the things that occur during the illness. I found that as my wife walked around the house and would not sit down this leaning started. What I do now is if she will not rest, I get her in the car and take her for a drive, this more or less forces her to rest. It works for her. So I have come to the conclusion the leaning is due to tiredness. Does anyone else agree?



faithy, Community Member
8/ 9/11 9:08am

hello all,


My husband had a massive stroke at the age of 56 due to a kidney infection of all things, it will be five years in November..anyways, he has had mini strokes, seizures, and long story short I couldn't care for him and he is in a wonderful health care center- he has gone "down hill' since then..he is paralyzed on the left side, since the stroke, but now I find he is leaning in bed to the right, and when he is in his wheelchair he is leaving towards the right also (the staff called me)..what is this? and why is he doing this? I noticed and accept he has gone down levels since the stroke but he still calls me every morning before I go to work, but is confused, I just want to understand more as I do see him 3 or 4 days a week and I need to know how to take care of this, and ask the correct

questions, thank you!

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By Bunny, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/25/13, First Published: 05/25/10