Living with an older adult who has mobility issues can certainly be challenging. Your natural instinct is to help him/her so that he/she doesn’t get injured. As you’re likely aware, seniors are prone to slips and falls. Many of those falls lead to hospitalizations.
“Falls result in broken bones, bruises, and fear of falling,” reports HealthInAging.org, “Older bones break more easily than younger bones and they heal less quickly and not as completely. If a hip is fractured, canes, walkers, or wheelchairs might be needed permanently. Falls are a major cause of injury and death, so prevention is important.”
For many caregivers, there is a concern that their caregiving tactics may not be sufficient. How do you know if you’re actually helping your loved one or making matters worse? Here are three smart steps for helping an elderly loved one with mobility issues:How To Expertly Care For Someone With Limited Mobility
1. Contact a physical therapist.
There is absolutely no shame in reaching out for help. In fact, it is highly recommended that you consult a professional. A physical therapist can provide you with some very valuable insight on how to assist a loved one who has difficulties with mobility. It is a physical therapist’s job to assess your loved one and then develop a treatment plan to improve his/her ability to move. Such a professional understands techniques for reducing and managing pain, restoring function and preventing mishaps.
Zareena Khan of Edmonton’s Home Care Assistance insists that caregivers contact physical therapists. “One of those medical professionals can assess your loved one’s situation and help you come up with a long-term treatment plan that increases his or her strength and mobility,” she writes, “If your loved one can’t make it to a therapist’s office, you can schedule weekly in-home visits with one of those professionals.”
2. Encourage physical activity
All seniors require a little light exercise. It helps to improve blood circulation as well as overall strength. Not to mention, inactivity leads to other health problems that will only exacerbate one’s mobility issues. With regular activity, an older person will strengthen bones and muscles, improve balance and avoid falls.
“One of the most important things you can do to help someone with mobility problems and fear of falling is to encourage physical activity,” insists HealthInAging.org, “Sometimes older people are afraid they will not be able to get up from a fall. It is important to learn how to get up from a fall before the fall occurs. In some cases it can be helpful for the older person to practice getting up from the floor. A physical therapist can help with teaching a person how to do this.”
3. Utilize a mobility device.
There is no question that an older person with a mobility issue should make use of a mobility solution. Among some of the most common are walking canes and crutches, walkers and rollators, scooters and wheelchairs.
According to Khan, “every senior with mobility issues has slightly different needs, and there isn’t a single device that works for everyone. Some seniors will benefit from simple canes or walkers, while others are going to need wheelchairs or motorized scooters.”
This is true. That is why, at Advantage Home Health Solutions, we always ensure that you have the complete picture to make an informed decision about the mobility solution you need. You’ll know all of the possible options so you can choose which solution is best for you. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!