Mobility issues can arise as a result of illness, injury, or age. Aging parents and other seniors who are experiencing mobility issues can ward off isolation and depression with your help. Here are some tips for handy, active people on helping seniors with mobility problems, for friends and caregivers.
Build a Ramp
Many seniors object to an obvious, outward signal to the world that they have lost their ability to climb the steps to their front door. Be sensitive about offering this assistance. A wheelchair-bound parent may make a fuss about the neighbors seeing them at what they think is less than their best. But a ramp becomes a valuable convenience, offering freedom to get out of the house, even if it is only to the front yard to enjoy the garden.
Add a Railing and Remove Tripping Hazards
Even if a senior can still go up and down a stair or two, the steadying effect of a railing can preempt dangerous falls. If your parent or friend permits, take a critical look at their home to remove tripping hazards like electrical cords that are underfoot or area rugs that can slip.
Encourage Exercise and a Healthy Diet
Movement is good for the body and the mind. Even if a senior cannot stand, fun seated exercise routines are available free online. For seniors who can stand and move without balance issues, walking, dancing, gentle aerobics, and stretching can help preserve the mobility they still have.
Seniors experiencing mobility issues may need help and guidance about what kind of mobility aid is right for them. Be supportive and proactive in helping them determine what sort of device might offer the best result for them. There are different choices among scooters, walkers, and canes. A physical therapist or doctor can provide advice on things like the type of cane, cane handle, and base, and what height of walker or cane is appropriate for the individual’s condition.
Advocacy also comes in the form of working with local officials, nonprofits, and senior centers to ensure transportation is accessible for seniors and sidewalks, parks, and gardens accommodate those with mobility problems. The ability to get safely to the doctor’s office and the grocery store when you can’t drive should be available to all people with disabilities. If your community doesn’t offer transportation for the disabled, you can lead an effort to get them to start.