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5 Ways to Promote Mobility in the Elderly

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Being able to walk around, move without pain, and manage small movements helps elderly people take care of themselves and enjoy their hobbies. Though mobility loss can occur as a person ages, there are many ways to maintain or restore mobility even if the senior lives with a health condition such as osteoarthritis. Here are a few ways to increase a senior’s mobility.

1. Encourage Regular Exercise

Seniors need to perform gentle exercises that work for them. Exercise increases balance, eases arthritis symptoms, and enhances coordination. Popular choices among seniors include walking, swimming, and ballroom dancing. Those with more severe mobility issues should consult with a therapist to find suitable exercises.

Seniors who need assistance with exercise, help around the house, and transportation to medical appointments can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same home care services. Birmingham families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

2. Change the Living Space

Make sure your loved one has plenty of clear walking space in the home. Simply installing railings and ramps can make it easier for seniors to move around their own homes. Many mobility issues are also caused by difficulty seeing, so make sure your loved one’s home is properly lit.

A professional caregiver can provide your loved one with additional support by helping him or her walk through the house. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Birmingham, Alabama, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.

3. Choose the Right Walking Aid

Walking assistance tools can be a great way to restore mobility. However, overusing these aids can end up impairing mobility. If your loved one only needs a corrective brace or a cane, using a walker or wheelchair all the time could cause him or her to rely too much on the walking aid. Try to choose an aid that helps your loved one overcome limited mobility while still encouraging him or her to remain active.

4. Enhance Balance

Many seniors with limited mobility are living with balance issues. Proper balance requires the brain and body to work together. Your loved one can enhance his or her balance capabilities by regularly practicing. Encourage your loved one to do exercises like standing on one foot, climbing stairs, and gently raising and lowering one leg at a time to increase balance.

5. Encourage Eating a Healthy Diet

One of the most overlooked causes of limited mobility in seniors is obesity. Being overweight puts a great deal of pressure on the joints, making walking difficult. Seniors who are overweight may need to talk to a nutritionist or doctor to find a diet that helps them lose weight. It is generally a good idea to avoid processed foods and eat mostly fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.

If daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning are difficult for your loved one to complete due to mobility challenges, consider hiring a caregiver. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Birmingham seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If you need a professionally-trained caregiver for your loved one, contact Home Care Assistance at (205) 438-6927 today.