Independence should be timeless. Once we reach adulthood or even adolescence, it’s hardwired into our makeup to crave autonomy. People want to be able to take care of themselves, and they want to move about freely, wherever they please.
As we age, this desire for autonomy does not diminish. Even despite our bodily decline, we want to maneuver our daily lives and our daily routines without the assistance of others, but there are certain health factors that may make free-range mobility difficult. With age comes different health and mobility barriers. Due to muscle weakness and degenerative conditions, seniors can begin to lose our balance. When this happens, these seniors are susceptible to falls.
Falls can be very serious for elderly folks. If bones break, healing can take up to a year, and serious complications can occur. With that in mind, elderly individuals need to find mobility solutions that allow independent movement, with as little assistance and supervision as possible.
The marvels of innovation
A benefit of the information age is that we have more technology than ever at our disposal. These advancements in technology can be beneficial for patients of all ages struggling with mobility issues.
When it comes to extending the range of movement for the elderly, mobility aids such as walkers, crutches, wheel chairs, shower seats, and bedside commodes have been life-changing. With innovations in upright walkers and power wheelchairs, senior citizens and those suffering from movement disorders are now living more full and independently-driven lives.
Medical advances have not only amplified the quality of life of millions of Americans but have helped patients stay informed on the small lifestyle measures and positive steps forward they can take to improve their health.
When it comes to our own health and the health of the elderly loved ones, we should take the initiative to investigate some of the budding developments in mobility aids and medical rehabilitation that can grant those seniors struggling with mobility with more independence. Here are a few ways to help a senior in your life become more mobile.
4 Ways to Help a Senior Become More Mobile
1. An upright walker
The upright walker was invented in the late 1950s. Since its creation, there’s no doubt that millions of people’s lives have been positively impacted by this innovation in mobility devices. Over time, the upright walker has evolved into more comfortable and ergonomic models for its users. Standard walkers force its users to bend over and contort into back-aching positions, causing a person to suffer from back pain and long-term discomfort.
In order to improve posture and encourage a greater range of mobility, upright walkers are recommended. Unlike other competing models, an upright walker allows its users to look straight ahead while walking, instead of arching their neck towards the ground. Upright walkers not only increase the range of mobility of elderly patients, but these devices are also very affordable.
2. Mobility chairs
While an upright walker can be a great option for elderly loved ones who need to travel short distances, a mobility chair is essential for long-distance travel. A mobility chair permits an elderly individual to have the independence of movement without exerting copious amounts of energy.
With a mobility chair, an elderly individual is able to move from place to place without experiencing shortness of breath or bouts of weakness. Because falling and sustaining a life-altering injury can be a major concern for elderly patients and the loved ones of these elderly folks, this device gifts a user and their family the reassurance needed to move about their day. No longer are the days of debilitating anxiety. A mobility chair will stabilize and protect a senior from any life-threatening injuries other mobility aids could expose them to.
3. Physical rehabilitation
There isn’t a substitute for physical movement. As a person ages, one will notice a loss of strength and flexibility. If an elderly person experiences weakness or has fallen in the past, it’s wise to seek out the assistance of a professional.
A physical therapist is a healthcare professional who has been trained to help his or her patients to improve their mobility and gain strength in the areas where they’re experiencing weakness. Because this person has medical training and experience, he or she knows how to move an elderly individual in a way that is safe and isn’t straining.
Along with their ability to safely maneuver a senior suffering from mobility impairments, this trained professional can also prescribe an elderly individual with a set of safe exercises that can be performed at home. More exercise means more flexibility, and more flexibility means better balance. Better balance means less propensity to fall.
4. Get evaluation for a possible replacement
Wear-and-tear on the body is another natural part of aging. Because of years of consistent use, our joints and bones can become worn out. This wearing can cause elderly folks to experience extreme pain as they age. This pain, if severe enough, can actually inhibit movement, reducing everyday freedoms.
There are a variety of invasive and non-invasive procedures that a specialized surgeon can perform on our joints and bones. A complete replacement, such as a hip replacement, may be just what a senior needs to stay mobile and independent as they age.
Great health for the aging
Whether we are worried about our own health or the health of someone who we love, we should proactively investigate measures that can be taken in order to maintain happy and mobile lives well into the elderly phase of life. Aging doesn’t imply stagnation. As long as we have the mobility devices and access to physical rehabilitation that we need to thrive, a full-range of mobility is within the realm of possibility.