One of the best and worst periods of a person’s life is when they get old. While some look forward to it, there are many who dread growing old mainly due to the myriads of health problems that commonly affect old people. One of the problems that are inevitable with old age is mobility issues. Mobility is essential for any person to get through their day, whether they need to go to the kitchen or bathroom, out of bed, or walk to the grocery store. Caring for the elderly is an important area that one must be educated on.
Depending mainly on the person’s lifestyle and other factors, most people start developing mobility problems as they approach 70 years or earlier. But, even if you managed to eat an apple every day your whole life, you can expect mobility issues when you get to 80 years old. The following are some telltale signs that someone is having mobility problems:
Once it is clear that your elderly relative is facing disability problems, you may want to get help before they fall, get injured, or worse.
What Causes Mobility issues in seniors?
Immobility in old age is caused by a number of physical, emotional, and environmental factors, some of which are as follows:
As people get older, they start to lose some muscle mass and function. Aging affects muscles which will start degrading in your 30s and may affect the person early as 60 years depending on how physically active the person is. With each passing decade, people who rarely engage in physical activity lose up to 5% of muscle. Muscles affect mobility when they become too worn out to support the body sufficiently.
There are a lot of diseases that are common with senior citizens and may leave them bedridden or unable to move without help. These include strokes, heart conditions, gout, Alzheimer’s, among many others.
The blind, paralyzed, deaf, among other people with physical disabilities may have mobility issues from the day they are born. Others may develop physical disabilities as they grow older either as a result of diseases or accidents. Falls, which are common with old age, are a common cause of handicaps, especially because healing broken bones is harder and takes longer for the elderly.
How to help senior citizens deal with mobility issues
With most health-related issues, prevention is always better than cure. However, when it comes to mobility issues, which are inevitable, management is the best solution. Since every older person will have their unique mobility problems, the solution has to be tailor-made for each person based on their overall health. Below are a few helpful ideas:
Lack of physical activity weakens muscles and makes old people less tolerant to any form of physical activity, including movement. To avoid this, senior citizens are encouraged to engage in regular exercise to strengthen their muscles and improve flexibility. Go for easy exercises like yoga and regular walks.
To help with muscle growth, it is imperative for senior citizens to get on a healthy diet that must include a source of easily synthesized sources of protein such as fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, nuts, and beans. Since everyone is different, you should consult a nutritionist for advice on the best foods to help with muscle growth and their health in general.
Most accidents affecting older people happen in the kitchen, bathroom, and stairway. These areas need to be slip proofed and also well-lit to reduce the risk of accidental slips. Any obstacles such as rugs, toys, or loose wires should be kept out the way.
Sometimes you need a walking aid to help with age-related mobility issues. These include walking sticks, wheelchairs, walkers, among others. Also, with major advancements in medical technology, there are better apps and tools to help the elderly cope with mobility issues.
Senior citizens take a lot of pills, some of which may cause drowsiness or other distractions that may cause mobility issues. Seniors should consult their doctors to find out whether their pills may cause mobility issues.