How Aging Affects Mobility

How Aging Affects Mobility
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Nowadays numerous older adults continue to actively participate in society well into their senior years. But, there may be a point where age-related challenges, particularly limitations in mobility, become more noticeable and more difficult as we get older. This can cause an issue for aging seniors who are wanting to stay independent in their homes.

Joints may experience wear and tear, leading to conditions such as arthritis, which can hinder any fluid movement. Decreased flexibility, decreased bone density, muscle mass, and strength, and coordination often accompany aging, making it more challenging to perform activities that require a full range of motion, like walking up the stairs holding on a handrail.

Our nervous system also undergoes changes which affect the speed of nerve impulses and reflexes, further hindering mobility. As a result, older individuals may find it harder to maintain balance, navigate uneven surfaces, and engage in activities that once seemed effortless.

Over time, common mobility issues like deteriorations in balance and coordination can lead to further restrictions in walking or even an inability to stand without assistance. Below are a few tips for caregivers to consider to keep in mind when assisting those who want to stay and live independently in their homes.

Assess
Before doing anything it’s important to take a look at their home. Look for potential fall hazards like rugs, cords, lack of hand rails, etc. National Council on Aging provides a printable checklist that you can view and download if needed.

Modify Home for Safety
Once you’ve gone through figuring out what needs to be fixed for safety, work towards putting those changes in place. Common modifications include:

  • Remove any rugs that could potentially cause a fall
  • Adding handrails and grab bars to bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Widen doors and walkways
  • Raising toilet seats
  • Adding ramps or a lift to access home
  • Investing in a home elevator or stair lift to access multiple floors
  • Improved lighting
  • Replace knobs with levers

Consider AmeriGlide
We offer a wide range of products that help with accessibility around homes. Think of us as an appliance installed in your home — we help make life a bit easier. Some of the products we offer are: stair lifts, vertical platform lifts (also known as wheelchair lifts), lift chairs, walk in tubs, home elevators, and mobility scooters.

stair lift

Encourage Exercise
Regular exercise mixed with a balanced diet can play crucial roles in decreasing the effects of aging on mobility and independence while promoting a healthier, more active lifestyle in later years.

Offer Transportation Assistance
Sometimes limited mobility results to not being able to use their car. You can offer them rides to their appointments or set up a transportation service for them. If they do not want to lose their independence, we offer wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Provide Social Support
Aging can become isolating for some seniors. Making sure their physical health is good is just as important than their mental health. Arrange different social events or activities to help make them feel less alone.

Source: https://www.seniorhelpers.com/ok/greater-oklahoma-city/resources/blogs/creating-a-plan-for-aging-parents-who-face-mobility-issues-in-2023/