Mobility refers to the ability to move easily and freely and is needed for independent living and functional life. However, it’s not uncommon for people to experience changes in their movement as they age. Decreased mobility may be detrimental to the health of your elderly parents. For starters, they are likelier to experience disability, higher disease rates, hospitalization, and loss of independence. Moreover, decreased mobility can also increase their risks of trips and falls. Fortunately, you can help your elderly parents improve their mobility with the right tips, including the following.
- Sign them up for physical therapy
A good way to help your elderly parents with mobility issues is by signing them up for physical therapy. Indeed, physical therapists are well-trained and licensed to work with their patients to reduce pain and discomfort while improving their movement. This, in turn, can reduce their need for long-term medications. Physical therapy can also deal with other health conditions, including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and so on. It’s important to note that physical therapists offer a wide range of services. For instance, they can prescribe exercises and training that boosts strength and balance while reducing the risks of trips and falls. And they also offer arthritis and pain management services, so keep this in mind.
To help your parents with physical therapy, ensure they don’t miss their appointments. If possible, drive them to and fro, or make arrangements for others to drive them if you don’t have the time. Alternatively, consider scheduling in-home visits if leaving the house may be challenging for them. You should also consider the costs of physical therapy and if you can afford it. You can make inquiries to find out if this service is covered by insurance.
- Invest in the right mobility device
Sometimes, your parents need external assistance to help them with their movement. And this is where mobility devices come in. These devices are crafted to help people with mobility issues to enjoy independence and freedom of movement. Moreover, they can boost independence and self-esteem while reducing pain and discomfort. However, it’s important to note that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when choosing a mobility device for your parents. Everyone has different needs, and choosing the right option can speed healing. For instance, canes and crutches support the body’s weight by transmitting the load from the legs to the upper body. They are excellent for people with balance issues and a higher risk of falling. Other options include walkers, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, guard dogs, and so on.
As stated earlier, your parents’ needs will determine the right mobility devices to invest in. For instance, canes, walkers, and crutches can work well if they can still walk. On the other hand, wheelchairs (manual and power) and power scooters are great if they can’t walk or struggle to move for long distances. You’ll find it helpful to consult their doctor or physical therapist for more advice. Consequently, speak with your insurance brokers to ascertain whether your insurance policy covers the costs.
- Encourage them to get more comfortable footwear
As people age, certain footwear may no longer be appropriate for them due to the lack of support. These shoes can reduce movement, cause foot pain, contribute to poor posture, and increase fall risks. Therefore, getting the right shoes is essential. As a tip, invest in lightweight options to reduce aches and fatigue. You can also ensure that these shoes have extra padding to distribute body pressure evenly, reducing pain and discomfort. Slip-resistant soles and removable insoles are worth considering, so keep this in mind. You can also opt for custom-made footwear that meets your parents’ needs by working with a foot specialist.
- Arrange their living area to support mobility
To foster independence and freedom of movement for your elderly parents, set up their home in a way that ensures safety. For instance, you can eliminate excess clutter that can cause them to lose their balance. Alternatively, arrange their furniture so they don’t struggle to get around them. While at it, install guard rails, step ramps, non-slip flooring, and so on. Ideally, people with mobility issues should choose rooms on the first floor since they are easily accessible. However, if this isn’t an option, consider installing wheelchair lifts and stair lifts to help them access their rooms on the second and third floors.
Living with mobility issues can be challenging, but your parents can still enjoy their life with the right tips. Hopefully, you’ll consider those discussed above to achieve the desired outcome.