While mobility issues may seem mild at first, they can become debilitating over time, causing everything from unsteady walking, to difficulty sitting and standing, to trips and falls.
Treating Physical Obstacles
Unsafe home environments lead to the majority of falls for older adults. Not only can trips and falls cause injuries and further limit mobility, but they can also result in death in some situations. Conduct a safety check to ensure that your aging loved one's home has adequate lighting and is free of tripping hazards. Pay careful attention to bathroom safety precautions, as this is where most accidents occur.
Proper, well-fitting footwear is also essential. Seek out sturdy shoes with low heels, rubber soles and arch support. Avoid high heels, sandals, clogs and slippers as these may slip off. Choose Velcro instead of laces for easy dressing as well as to avoid the potential hazard of untied shoe laces.
Learning how to recover from a fall is as important as prevention. A physical therapist can offer advice on the best techniques for getting up from the ground. Also, check in with local community centers and hospitals to learn about fall prevention courses and/or exercise programs for seniors.
Your loved one’s physician plays a valuable role in maintaining mobility. Certain medical conditions -- such as arthritis, poor eyesight and impaired hearing -- can affect mobility, as can some medications. Treating these issues can enhance mobility with minimal intervention. Be sure to inform the doctor or nurse about any mobility issues and ask about walking aids designed to help with mobility, such as canes and walkers.
A medical alert service and/or a senior living community can provide valuable peace of mind for seniors who live alone.
Consult with your aging loved one’s primary care physician as mobility issues can be caused by medical conditions and certain medications.
Encourage aging loved ones to share their concerns in order to foster a sense of self-worth and independence.
About Marissa Salvesen
My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!
Connect with Marissa Salvesen
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.