When it happens
At any point, especially moderate- to severe-stage dementia
Why it happens
Initially, a shuffle may be caused by a fear of falling due to changes in depth perception or orientation; the person takes more tentative steps. 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.