How To Manage Mobility Problems In The Elderly

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The advancement of science has resulted in an increased life expectancy of humans. The United Nations data estimates the life expectancy of both sexes in the United States to be around 79.1 between 2020-2025. However, an increased life span also invites age-related issues.

The aging population not only battles a host of diseases but also faces mobility issues in their day-to-day routine. Statistics show that seniors are at an increased risk of falls due to mobility problems, resulting in poor health and sometimes disability. 38% of the elderly in the United States face mobility issues, which amounts to almost one in every five seniors.

Read more: Why is Mobility Important for the Elderly?

Therefore, it becomes imperative to address these mobility problems so that their confidence, independence, and overall well-being do not take a hit. Early intervention with the introduction of preventive mobility devices for seniors helps older adults lead a comfortable and healthy life while aging in place.  

Table Of Content

How Can Seniors Prevent Mobility Issues?

To tackle elderly mobility issues, a few lifestyle changes and activities incorporated in one’s daily living will help restore and maintain mobility in older adults.

Stay physically active to Prevent Mobility Issues

1. Staying physically active.

Taking up an activity regime after consulting your doctor or medical caregiver is an excellent way of improving mobility in the elderly. Simple, age-friendly exercises help improve balance, enhance coordination, increase muscle strength, and ease pains.

2. Ensuring a healthy weight and diet.

Being overweight is an adverse factor at any age. Maintaining a healthy weight and diet ensures lesser complications. Obesity, a common concern among older adults, increases the load on joints, escalating stress and pain, and decreasing mobility. 

3. Being aware of your medication and its effects.  

All medications have some side effects or the other. Common side effects in the elderly could be giddiness, weight loss, or weight gain. This can cause falls, weakness, or reduced ability of functioning. It is beneficial to gain complete knowledge about your medications and the effect they can have on you.  

4.Taking the help of walking aids. 

Seniors may face a bit of instability or balance issues. Consulting a medical practitioner to select an appropriate walking aid will contribute to a senior’s mobility.

5. Zeroing down on the risk areas of your home and making home improvements. 

As more and more seniors opt to age in place, it is necessary to make home improvements to ensure a safe, movement-friendly, and hazard-free living. Following are a few instant changes to adopt:

  • Confirm that the main entrance is well lit and has no obstructions.  
  • Clear off the clutter.
  • Keep the floor dry.
  • Make sure that there are no loose wires or cords in the way.
  • Avoid rugs and carpets, as they can be a slipping hazard.
  • Rearrange the furniture if it is causing impediments.
  • You can also follow a home safety checklist to cover all your bases.
  • Ensure you modify all the rooms to make them senior-friendly. For instance;
Bathroom modification:  With wet and slippery floors, bathrooms easily top the list of trouble zones at home. People above 65 need to be extra careful in the bathroom, as studies show that falls near the toilet or while getting in and out of the bathtub account for more than 2\3rds of fall-related accidents. Appropriate precautionary measures will safeguard your loved ones. Installing anti-skid mats, grab bars, or bath step stools will reduce the risk factors in the bathroom. 


Bedroom modification: If your house has levels, ensure that the bedroom is on the lower level to avoid climbing a flight of stairs. Getting in and out of bed, too, can be cumbersome. Mobility devices for seniors like a bed step stool or bedside grab rail are safer options that guarantee greater senior mobility. In addition, opting for a bed step stool with handles offers greater stability and balance.


Kitchen modification: Slips, falls, and injuries also occur in the kitchen due to spills, high cabinets to reach, sharp objects, or even hard-to-open tight containers. Installing anti-skid mats, lowering the height of shelves, ensuring that the cooking and surrounding areas are well-lit, safely storing away sharp objects, and adding a sturdy chair helps seniors maintain their safety and mobility.

6. Combining activity and social connection. 

Encourage seniors to socialize and participate in community activities that keep them busy and active. Ask around for programs specially designed for seniors.

7. Sharing concerns with a medical professional. 

Carefully observe your loved ones and keep assessing for any obvious changes. Keep in touch with medical experts and report your observations and concerns regularly. 

Final Thoughts:

More is less when it comes to what you can do for the safety of your loved ones. As the elderly are more prone to accidents and falls, you can avoid all untoward incidents with all the necessary precautions in place. When opting for assistive devices for seniors, make sure that they are of superior quality, reliable, and senior-friendly. Being independent with solutions to their mobility problems is sure to bring a smile on the faces of your loved ones!

Read to know more about mobility issues and what causes mobility issues in the elderly.

FAQs

How can you help the elderly with mobility issues?

One can ease mobility issues in seniors by helping them stay active and fit. Additionally, the introduction of mobility devices, like bed step stools, simplify routine activities and make them much safer.  

What are some mobility issues?

Mobility problems make it difficult for seniors to accomplish daily tasks, such as walking steadily, climbing stairs, getting in and out of the bed, bathtub, or the toilet. It also increases joint pains and aches.

What are the symptoms of mobility problems?

You know the elderly have mobility problems when you notice that there is pain and unsteadiness while walking, discomfort while moving, gait disorders, limping or dragging the feet, fear of falling and actually falling due to imbalance. 

How many elderly people have mobility issues?

Studies reveal that almost 30 to 40% of senior adults face mobility issues. 

Vince Baiera

Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.

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