Helping Your Loved One Manage Mobility
An important aspect of quality of life includes being able to do the things you love. For some, that involves being mobile, which can include walking, playing sports, and even driving around. As we age, our bodies may be unable to support the lifestyles to which we have grown accustomed. As a result, our independence may decline as our mobility declines. For aging populations, this is a serious issue as decreases in mobility can lead to declining health, isolation, and decreased mental health. Family caregivers should keep this in mind as their loved one’s age, allowing modified activities in their caregiving routines to ensure their loved one’s are living the most satisfied life they can live. In this blog, we will cover ways you can implement strategies to modify activities for your love one, as well as ways to keep your loved one mobile for as long as possible.
Things to Keep in Mind
Mobility Exists on a Spectrum: Perhaps your loved one may not be able to play a pick-up game of basketball, but that does not mean they are unable to enjoy being active. Likewise, if your loved one is having difficulty walking for long periods, there are certainly other things they can do. Think about what issues or challenges your loved one faces now and see if there are replacement activities you can introduce.
Rely on Technologies: One of the more serious consequences of being immobile is reducing social interactions. With the global COVID-19 pandemic, isolation has been a consistent feature of this Social isolation can lead to loneliness and depression. Fortunately, there are myriad ways to overcome loneliness by relying on technology. Using smartphones and computers, it is very easy to contact friends and family through video conferencing.
Understand Your Loved One’s Medical Situation: Understanding what physical or mental limitations your loved one is living with can hep you plan accordingly. Also, understand the effects of certain medications. Being aware of these factors can help you accommodate your loved one and to find appropriate activities for them.
Fall-proof the home: While mobility declines as we age, accidents, like falls, can create even more mobility issues more serious than pre-existing issues. Look around your loved one’s home to remove obstacles through walk ways and to place non-slip pads in areas that get wet, like the kitchen and showers.
Activities for Those with Limited Mobility
Walking: If it is available for your loved one to do, walking is a pretty low impact activity that is good for maintaining muscular strength and cardiovascular health. Talk to your loved one’s health care provider about walking aids, as they can help less mobile seniors get around more easily.
Going outside: The great thing about this one is that most people will be able to do it regardless of their physical limitations. Even if your loved one is confined to a wheelchair, it is still possible to go outside and to go for strolls around the neighborhood, as well as to visit local spots like libraries or café’s. You know your loved one best and finding the right outing will depend on their interests and their tolerance levels to the particular situation and environment.
Gardening: Gardening is also a low impact activity that is both healthy, sustainable, and fun! If this activity is available to your loved one to do, then consider adding it to your list of activities.
Make outings social: If possible, try to find a community club or a group of which your loved one can be a part. Socializing is an important part of mental health and emotional wellbeing, so it is important to prioritize this. While COVID-19 is still a threat, this can often be replaced by socially distant outdoor events or, even safer, relying on technology to communicate with those you love. Consider going to your loved one’s favorite outdoor park, find a quiet place to sit and use your device to contact family members to make use of the time.
If you have any other questions, fell free to call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.