5 Ways To Help A Loved One With Mobility Issues
If you have a loved one in your life who faces challenges moving around, you might have contemplated ways of assisting them. Reduced mobility can significantly impact a person’s confidence and independence, whether it has occurred gradually over time or suddenly as a result of illness or injury.
Supporting a loved one with restricted mobility empowers them to maintain autonomy and actively participate in life decisions.
So, how can you help a loved one with mobility issues? Read on to learn more.
What Causes Mobility Issues?
Your loved one may be experiencing limited mobility if they have trouble walking, balancing, or maneuvering everyday objects. This condition can be caused by several conditions, including:
- Aging: Our bodies change as we age, and our physical capabilities typically decline. We usually undergo a 1% yearly reduction in muscle mass starting around age 55. Decreased mobility is a common side effect of aging, but it is not always the case.
- Chronic Health Conditions: Mobility is often affected due to chronic diseases like diabetes and arthritis. Additionally, breathing difficulties brought on by lung disorders like COPD can also limit movement.
- Visual Impairments: Mobility becomes a significant worry for visually impaired people since they may have trouble orienting themselves and securely navigating their surroundings.
How Can You Help A Loved One Facing Mobility Issues?
1. Find a Suitable Mobility Device
Assess your loved one’s current mobility status first. Do you have any immediate options for enhancing their mobility?
There isn’t one device that works for all people with mobility issues, especially seniors, who may have specific needs. For example, a rollator walker is an excellent option for those struggling with lifting a regular walker in confined spaces. This mobility aid is made to be readily propelled, much like pulling a cart, giving users more freedom and flexibility to move about their environment. However, if you feel that this is not the right mobility device for you then you can check out the other various types of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles available so your loved one can live independently.
By determining their particular demands, you can investigate suitable mobility solutions to improve your loved one’s mobility and general quality of life.
2. Make Home Modifications
Making potential home alterations makes it simpler for your loved one to move around the house and increases their sense of freedom. The size of these changes can vary, from modest alterations to more extensive undertakings. However, the main objective of home modifications is to maintain the patient’s independence in their own house while ensuring their comfort and safety.
Here are some changes that families can consider:
- Add grab bars to the restrooms.
- Install more or brighter lighting fixtures in regions with low lighting.
- Rearrange the furniture to make safer and more direct passageways.
- Remove debris from flooring to reduce the risk of falls.
- Take down or fasten rugs to eliminate trip risks.
- Relocate kitchenware to places that are simple for people to access.
- Install banisters close to unsupported stairs or steps.
- Widen entrances to make them accessible for wheelchairs.
- Add ramps over the thresholds of doors and existing steps.
- Modify closet rails to improve garment accessibility.
3. Respect Autonomy and Ensure Safety
It’s essential to preserve the autonomy of your loved one and refrain from providing immediate assistance without first getting their permission. It is polite to inquire if your loved one would like assistance walking if they require it.
Start by assisting with particular motions or traveling from one location to another. If you see that they are having a rough day, recognize it, tell them it’s acceptable, and emphasize your willingness to assist if necessary. Empathizing with their frustration and grief is essential because losing independence can be emotionally challenging.
Using the proper body mechanics while moving a loved one is vital to avoid accidents. Therefore, engaging certified caregivers qualified to do these jobs is strongly advised to ensure your loved one’s safety and care.
4. Establish a Workout Routine
Regular exercise is essential for people of all ages, especially those with restricted mobility. A physical or occupational therapist might offer essential insights into suitable workout routines if you are unsure what exercises suit them. Involving friends and family can also offer the support and motivation they need.
To ensure joint safety, moderate-intensity, low-impact activities are ideal for seniors with moderate mobility. Yoga, for example, is just as effective at lowering the risk of heart disease as running.
On the other hand, promoting muscle-strengthening activities that can be done at home with the assistance of a chair can be beneficial for individuals with limited mobility. Calf raises performed while balancing on the back of a chair illustrate such an activity. Older adults with mobility issues can keep an active lifestyle and enjoy the many health advantages of regular physical activity by customizing exercise programs to individual preferences and capabilities.
5. Medication Management
The management of medications can be complex, particularly if there are several prescriptions or complicated dose regimens. You can actively participate in organizing their drug regimen to aid with this. Utilizing pillboxes or medication organizers and arranging the pills by day and time will help ensure that they are taken as directed. You can also set reminders on their phone or other devices to remind them to take their prescription. If needed, help them track their drug supplies and replenish their prescriptions.
You can lower the possibility of missed doses or medication mistakes by taking on these duties to ensure your loved one takes their meds correctly and on schedule.
What are the Benefits of Encouraging Mobility?
The health and general quality of life of your loved one can be significantly improved by encouraging and empowering them to increase their mobility. Even minor adjustments can have a huge impact. Increased mobility has several advantages, including:
- Enhanced sleep quality
- Improved circulation
- Better mood
- Increased bone density and muscle strength
- Greater opportunities for socializing and outdoor engagement
There are several methods to help a loved one with mobility issues, enabling them to keep their independence and improve their quality of life. You can make your loved ones’ environments safer and more accessible by identifying the factors contributing to reduced mobility and taking appropriate measures to address them through home modifications, assistive technology, and considerate support.
By performing these actions, we may significantly impact their life, enhancing their mobility, self-assurance, and general pleasure. Remember that your support and kindness may go a long way in helping them on their path to increased mobility and enhanced confidence.