With age comes decreased muscle control and response for some seniors as age-related muscle degradation results in the body’s ability to process protein and convert that into energy.
Dietary changes in senior citizens and the presence of chronic disease and other factors also contribute to the problem.
This is why senior assisted living experts, like Scott Hemenway, encourage socialization and exercise to help prevent decline.
How to Create a Better Environment for Seniors with Mobility Issues
Regular exercise as long as it is allowed by the physician can help an elderly individual that you care for overcome some mobility problems.
Walks and yoga are perfect for helping improve flexibility as well as encourage the development of muscle.
Increased muscle mass results in better balance and control and therefore addressing mobility problems in the elderly.
A poor diet results in wasted calories not to mention the toll on one’s health.
Aging adults need to eat more healthy meals and be more discerning in their food choices as their bodies lose the ability to process nutrients.
A healthy diet also means gaining or losing the right weight which will make it easier to move around.
Seniors need to add good protein sources that their bodies can digest like fish, eggs, nuts, poultry, and beans.
Prevent Fall Hazards
According to the latest data, most accidents occur in three areas namely: the bathroom, stairway, and kitchen.
Placemats or rubber appliques to prevent slips while handrails or raised toilet seats can help prevent accidents in the loo.
Get rid of clutter in the home such as loose wires and rugs that can lead to trips and falls.
Hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms should have adequate lighting.
Regular Doctor’s Checkup
A physical assessment from a physician along with regular evaluations of medications can help prevent mobility problems.
Some meds cause drowsiness or balance problems that can increase the risk of falls.
The doctor might be able to prescribe other medications or identify health problems and treat them.
Regular checks for vision and hearing are also vital.
When an elderly member of the family suffers mobility issues and lives alone, a good solution to think about would be assisted living communities to help the elderly achieve activities of daily living in a safe and secure environment and with other residents of the same age for social support.
It is vital to talk it over with the elderly member and explain to them their options as living alone might cause more harm than good to their health in this stage of their life.
Home Safety Checklist
Older people need ease of movement while staying safe inside the home.
If you’re caring for an elderly patient with degenerative disorders, like different types of Parkinson’s disease, home safety should be your priority.
Check out this helpful safety checklist suitable for caring elderly at home.
Promoting Safety Throughout the House
All floors should be stable by installing non-skid mats on wet or slippery surfaces.
All furniture pieces should be sturdy and secure. Chairs should have adequate seat height and armrest with stable feet.
There should be proper lighting to minimize shadowy or dark areas. Minimize glare by adjusting blinds and curtains.
Widen walking paths by removing obstacles on the path for walkers or wheelchairs.
To avoid fall or tripping risk while moving and walking, phone, computer, and appliance cords and cables should be out of the way.
Make sure that the stairs are in good shape with railings. Block them for safety as needed.
Promoting Safety in the Bedroom
Redesign the bedroom to make it a more relaxing environment.
The height of the bed should be adjusted to allow the feet to touch the floor whenever the senior is seated at the bedside.
Make the lighting in the bedroom easily accessible. It will prevent the elderly from walking around the room at night.
To help with getting up and rolling in bed, use a bed pole or half side rail.
Fully light the way from the bed to the bathroom.
It’s a good idea to place a flashlight near the bed as an emergency light source if a power outage occurs.
Use smooth rugs and carpets to minimize falls and promote a safe walking surface.
For easy nighttime access, place a clock and telephone on the nightstand.
Promoting Safety in the Bathroom
Install grab bars in commonly accessed bathroom areas, such as near the tub, toilet, and shower.
Ensure that the toilet has grab bars or armrests and an elevated seat within easy reach.
Make seating available for performing tasks such as shaving or brushing teeth.
Keep floors debris-free and unwaxed.
Promoting Safety in the Kitchen
Install cabinet handles to open and close kitchen cupboard doors easily.
Store commonly used kitchen items in easily accessible drawers.
Use a single handle sink faucet with easy to use control.