An injury, a chronic disease such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's, an amputation, or old age can all contribute to a number of mobility challenges, making it difficult to climb stairs, get up from a seated position, or walk for long periods of time. Caring for people with mobility challenges, especially when their mobility is limited, can be stressful, but fortunately, there are tools, resources, and adaptations that can make daily life a little better.
The elderly's mobility decline is quite common and progressive with age. This is why you should be familiar with new tools and tactics that make things easier and safer for loved ones to move from one location to another. That way, when the time comes to assist aging family members with their mobility challenges, you will be prepared.
So, how can we help the elderly with limited mobility? Read on to learn more.
Different ways to help the elderly with limited mobility
Assess the individual
Begin by assessing your loved one's current mobility situation. Is there anything you can do right now to improve their mobility? Changes in the types of assistive equipment they use may increase their mobility and independence. Take a look at the following mobility devices:
- Canes: Canes come in a range of shapes, sizes, and styles. Some have four prongs for increased stability, whereas others just have one. They've come a long way in terms of design, and there are several options to choose from. Canes can help people stand upright by providing a base of support, which is a great choice for those who are reluctant to using a more noticeable assistance device like a walker.
- Walkers: Walkers are offered in various styles. Walkers with sleds or wheels allow you to stroll without having to pick up the walker. Four-pronged walkers, on the other hand, involve lifting while moving forward. The ideal one will be depend on your loved one's level of ability, but consider the fact of what's about to come. Going the wheeled option may be advantageous in the long run as their situation deteriorates. There are also walkers with built-in seats and storage, which can be useful and convenient.
- Wheelchairs: These are beneficial for persons who are sedentary. Today's mobility devices market includes both electric and manual wheelchairs. If a loved one will not be able to walk alone, these can assist in keeping them safe.
Consider home modification
Look at the adjustments that can be done in their home to make movement easy after analyzing their abilities and challenges and identifying the sort of mobility device required. Remember not to feel intimidated; certain changes can be really simple, affordable, and highly effective to execute, so start with the basics.
The goal of home modification is to allow your loved one to live at home safely and peacefully. Here are some essential changes you may make to enhance your home accessibility:
- Install ramps over existing steps and door entrances. Portable wheelchair ramps are brilliant options.
- In slippery places such as bathrooms, grab bars should be installed, and consider getting bathroom safety products.
- Add handrails to staircases.
- Rearrange furniture to accommodate wheelchair and walking pathways.
- Broaden entrances to accommodate bigger mobility devices like wheelchairs, scooters, etc.
- In dark places, additional light sources should be installed.
Give mobility and transfer assistance
It's important to keep in mind that you shouldn't offer help without first asking. If your loved one seems unable to walk without support, be polite and ask if they would welcome assistance. If they just need help moving from one place to another, give it to them first; if you see they're having a bad day, express that you're aware of their difficulties and that it's alright, and that you'll be around to help if they need it. Being mindful of their frustration and grief is essential.
It's necessary to practice proper techniques when moving your loved one to prevent injuries. It is highly recommended that professional caregivers execute these actions so that your loved one receives the safest level of care possible.
Establish an exercise regimen
Everyone benefits from exercise, but the elderly with reduced mobility require it even more. You can get excellent advise on various fitness routines from a physical or occupational therapist. You can also get the help of friends and family to persuade your loved one to get active so that they don't feel alone.
Provide emotional care
For those who are suddenly experiencing mobility challenges or a shift in mobility, it can be distressing, frustrating, and often discouraging. It's necessary to pay close attention to your loved one's body language and mood signs, especially if they struggle to talk about their feelings. Encourage them to speak up and share any queries or concerns they might have. Offer comfort, motivation, and assistance as required.
Encourage family caregivers to help
You should not bear the entire responsibility of caring for your dear ones. Seeking help from other members of the family is an excellent way to lessen your stress. It's a good idea to set up a system in which other people may come in on a regular schedule to help out, keep them entertained, and so on.
Now that you know how to help the elderly with limited mobility, you need to ensure that the solutions you or they invest in are reliable, affordable, and durable. Our trusted brand partner, EZ-ACCESS, provides a wide variety of mobility solutions to make your life easier as you take care of parents, grandparents, or other family members. EZ-ACCESS products are designed with safety in mind and are easy to install.