As we grow older, our mobility diminishes significantly to the point where the simple act of walking without aid can be extremely dangerous. The risk of serious or fatal injury increases dramatically for the elderly. Catering to their mobile needs becomes crucial at this point in their life.
Understanding Mobility Issues
Mobility problems happen for a couple of different reasons ranging from joint issues, general muscle weakness, intense pain, diseases, and even neurological ailments where the nervous system or brain is impaired.
It’s also possible that movement impairment is caused by a bunch of mild issues put together. Regardless, dysfunction tends to increase as we age and this includes our ability to move around.
Falls are probably the biggest issue. Falling can mean bruises, broken bones. It often comes with an increased fear of falling and moving around anywhere. The older our bones, the more easily they can be fractured and even break. The older our bodies, the longer it takes for us to heal any injuries so risking falling can’t be an option.
Also see: Nutrition for Mobility in Old Age
Managing Mobility Issues That the Elderly Face
Taking care of the elderly and their mobile needs is simple. Once you understand their different needs and how to provide the appropriate resources, you’ll be better able to take care of the elderly.
Make Sure They Don’t Have a Fear of Falling
A great issue for many elders is not that they may even have any serious medical issues that impair them from walking. Rather, it’s more so the fear of falling and not being able to get up that stops them from being able to move.
This issue can be easily solved by ensuring they can have control of the situation if they do fall down.
To help make them feel more secure, providing a cane or walker can do the trick. Consider consulting your doctor about what type of cane or walker will be needed. They’ll be able to provide one that has just the right height and provide instructions on how to use it.
Ensure the Living Space Is Elder Friendly
One of the most important aspects is making the place elder-friendly. You want to make sure that they will be able to navigate the house easily and effectively with minimal effort and struggle.
Be sure to remove clutter. Check that all the rooms are easily accessible, the furniture isn’t bunched up, and that all the carpets and rugs are securely tightened. Make sure there isn’t any loose rugs and wires.
You’ll also want to make sure that lighting conditions throughout the house are well enough so that any obstacles or doorways can be easily visible. Make sure nightlights are installed in the bedrooms, hallways, and bathroom.
Bathrooms are where most fall-related injuries occur so making sure they’re especially elder-friendly is vital. Use mats or rubber appliqués, handrails, and a raised toilet seat are a good idea.
Consider buying chairlifts. They may be expensive but they provide an effective solution to getting up and down stairs.
If you’re worried about a possible medical emergency when they’re alone, consider a medical alert system. With it, they’d be able to contact medical with the push of a button.
Encourage Exercise and Healthy Living
Recent studies have suggested that exercising on a regular basis in older people can reduce the risk of falling enormously.
Regular exercising can strengthen muscle, increase bone density and strength, improve flexibility, increase balance, maintain weight and much more. Impairments in all these traits are the sole cause of why falls and accidents happen in the first place which illustrates how life saving exercising can really be.
A healthy diet is also crucial for mobility as weight can be a major contributing factor to the likelihood of falling.
A healthy lifestyle can generally prevent most incidents as it decreases the chances of spontaneously fainting while moving and many other possible health related incidents.
Letting Professionals Handle It
Sometimes, the best thing you can do to managing mobility issues is to get professional help. Trained professional carers understand how to provide the best mobility care for your loved one. They know how to respond in any given situation providing the best mobility care and can even advise you accordingly.
It’s important that your loved one is able to do things on their own as they still need to stay active while learning to be independent. Understanding your loved one’s mobility needs will help you be better preparing.