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Having a senior at home can be a delightful thing, as not only would you have a companion to care for, but their stories about the past can be engaging and immersive. However, caring for a senior at home isn’t easy, and it comes with its own set of challenges and recommendations. Here are power tips on helping to improve seniors mobility when aging.
According to World Health Organization numbers, falls are perhaps one of the greatest threats to seniors when it comes to mobility. Seniors over 65 can suffer a lot if a fall happens to them, as after all a fall doesn’t simply cause injuries, but also disabilities and even death. In fact, 646,000 people become fatalities as a result of falls, with 37.3-million cases being too severe that they need medical attention to be addressed. So how do we protect a senior from such a threat?
- An active lifestyle helps a lot. This is regardless if they’re planning on starting one, or if they have to maintain one. It’s often said that an active lifestyle can help anyone avoid problems with mobility in their Golden Years, but seniors themselves can still start having a healthy lifestyle if they’ve slacked a little while they were younger. Being “active” doesn’t necessarily mean undergoing intense fitness, but rather activities such as taking walks, or even jogging if it’s possible.
- Be sure to work on balance. Like in the active lifestyle segment, try to make sure a senior allocates time each day to work on their balance. Breaking balance can break mobility, and can therefore lead to trouble such as slips and falls. Try to find exercises that manage the hips, butt, back, and core muscles such as standing on one foot, side leg raises, and back leg raises.
- Strength training matters. Aside from training endurance and balance, make sure your senior works on their strength as well. While there’s an obvious limit to the kind of strength training they can do, light weights with the right form can do a lot to make sure not only they can carry their own weight, but even some measure of independence when holding heavy objects as well.
- Diet can greatly be of assistance. Being overweight or underweight still has a lot to contribute to how best they maintain their mobility and avoid mobility issues. More weight means more bulk for knees to support, and an untrained knee can also take a lot of strain from this. Some tips to maintain weight are to track what is being eaten, and letting go of soft drinks and junk food in favor of water and healthier snacks.
- Assistance counts, especially the right one. Seniors are often seen with various kinds of canes and walking aids, and these aren’t for show. If a senior has been prescribed a particular walking aid because of concerns on balance, you have to make sure they use the right one for them. For instance, if a cane is enough assistance, avoid walkers as they might make the muscles lax too much.
- Consultation can be of assistance, especially if there are special considerations in mind. If a senior has a particular disability or health condition, consulting a physician and/or a therapist can offer a great deal of assistance in order to get proper guidance on the tools a senior should be equipped with to improve mobility.
Having a senior at home can be a delightful experience, but perhaps helping a senior regain their mobility can be a more fulfilling endeavor. Making sure the household can tailor to their needs can give them a kind of independence that they may crave for to motivate them to do other things they like in life.