Changes in Balance and Mobility in Seniors
We often see a gradual change in our parents or our friends as we age. Often it is a stiff knee, a sore back, hip pain or onset of plantar fasciitis that makes us start wearing more stable shoes or even make people move less. Maybe it is the moving less that really brings on the changes. It could be a fear of falling that makes seniors stop moving as much.
The reality is that moving less could be a sign that you need to move more; but be sure you are safe. We all know that something in motion stays in motion and something at rest will stay at rest. If we can prevent mobility issues, or correct some mobility issues, we can improve our lifestyle. Research shows us that when seniors become less active, they can become more isolated and a downward spiral can begin. To try to prevent this spiral, we have a few tips to try to prevent mobility issues, or to try to prevent them from getting worse. The key is to always consult your doctor. They may have some tips like getting some physical therapy and/or occupational therapy to start you off right! Of course, Affinity Home Care Agency can help with that. Let’s try these ideas that can work simultaneously to keep us active as we begin to face cooler temperatures.
- Stay active: This is our goal, right? Regular exercise can increase strength and balance.
- Maintain healthy weight and healthy diet: A healthy diet promotes healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight puts less stress on bones and joints.
- Check if medications have side effects: Any medicine can result in drowsiness or distraction, which can lead to unsteadiness or falls. Discuss this with your physician.
- Eliminate fall hazards in the home: Pay special attention to safety equipping the bathroom and kitchen. Clear clutter and loose rugs or wires. Use night-lights in bathrooms, hallways, and bedrooms. Affinity can help identify some risks.
- Is it time for a walking aid? Would you feel more comfortable with a cane? First check with a doctor or physical therapist to find out if it is needed or what type is needed.
- Remember to test your vision and hearing: Seeing poorly or not hearing well can cause mobility problems and lead to falls.
- Wear sturdy and well-fitted shoes: If you wear comfortable and stable shoes you can reduce the risk of falling.
- Be social: During the time of covid-19 safety it is increasingly difficult for seniors to be social. Be creative! While the weather is nice, take a stroll. Learn how to use technology to reconnect with people. Companions from Affinity can facilitate these calls.
- Speak up: Tell your doctor about mobility concerns, problems, and mention any falls.
During self-quarantine and concerns around covid-19, seniors are becoming more and more isolated. This is especially true for people needing in-home care. Making sure people are as mobile interactive as much as possible is a tough balance sometimes. Affinity works very hard to create safe, social interactions for people trying to stay as safe as possible. Working on mobility at home is a key component to staying young at heart! Having a great home care companion is a wonderful resource!