Seniors with limited mobility don’t have to let their health limit their ability to enjoy life. Today, older adults can use mobility devices such as wheelchairs and walkers to continue to get around. Use these five tips to help your senior loved one accomplish his or her daily routine.
1. Clear the Main Pathways in the Home
Whether your loved one uses a cane or a walker, the mobility device helps him or her maintain balance. However, mobility devices could still get caught on clutter on the floor and cause your loved one to fall. Wheelchairs can also be too wide to fit through doors or hallways cluttered with furniture. Take a tour of your loved one’s home and remove any items that interfere with the ability to move freely.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional in-home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
2. Practice Proper Lifting Strategies
At times, you may need to help your loved one move from one place to another. For instance, he or she may require assistance to get from the bed to the wheelchair. Always encourage your loved one to do as much as he or she can independently. If you must lift your loved one, use safe lifting strategies, such as using your leg muscles rather than your back. When possible, have another caregiver help you team lift your loved one to reduce the strain on your body.
3. Make Daily Necessities More Accessible
Your loved one’s mobility challenges may hinder his or her ability to reach high shelves or bend over to pick up items in a lower drawer. Work with your loved one to find the ideal spots to put items he or she uses every day. For example, your loved one may be able to prepare meals independently if pans, dishes, and ingredients are all stored at waist height.
In Clearwater, senior home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
4. Preserve Current Abilities
Your loved one relies on his or her current abilities to stay independent, and staying active is one of the best ways to retain the ability to move around. Ask the physician for a list of safe exercises designed to target the muscles and joints necessary for movement. Often, doing some simple stretching exercises with a caregiver’s help is all it takes to stave off a greater decrease in mobility.
5. Keep Social & Emotional Needs in Mind
With so much focus on your loved one’s physical abilities, you may forget to think about how diminished mobility could affect his or her emotional health. For instance, seniors who can no longer drive may have difficulty maintaining social lives. Alternatively, your loved one may be depressed about no longer being able to enjoy favorite activities. Reach out to your loved one and suggest strategies to maintain his or her social and emotional health. Joining support groups, eating lunch with friends, and getting involved in hobbies are all ways seniors can maintain their emotional wellbeing.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Clearwater seniors can depend on. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862.