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How Can I Help My Senior Parent with Mobility Limitations?

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Certain lifestyle choices and preexisting health conditions can contribute to mobility limitations in seniors, which can diminish quality of life. Here are some ways to manage your aging parent’s mobility limitations so he or she can anticipate a brighter future.

Use Mobility Devices

Mobility devices can greatly enhance mobility. For example, if your loved one is unable to ambulate, a wheelchair allows him or her to move about freely. If he or she has poor arm mobility or diminished range of motion in the upper body, a motorized wheelchair may be a better option than a manual wheelchair. Conversely, if your loved one is able to walk but has an unsteady gait, a pronged cane or walker may make falling less likely. 

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 manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Ft. Lauderdale families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Address Weight Issues

Excess weight puts pressure on the bones and joints in the hips, knees, and ankles. Losing weight eases this pressure, increasing mobility. Excess weight can also trigger a systemic inflammatory response, which may exacerbate the symptoms of degenerative joint and bone conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis. When this happens, pain and swelling increase, diminishing mobility. If your loved one is unable to lose weight, make an appointment with his or her physician, who may recommend visiting a nutritionist to discuss healthy eating habits.

A trained professional caregiver can help your loved one prepare meals that meet all his or her specific nutritional needs. In Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, home care service 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.

Consider Prescribed Pain Medications

If your parent experiences pain, he or she may have severe mobility limitations. Make sure your loved one takes all prescribed medications before any anticipated activity so range of motion increases and pain decreases. If your loved one has new pain, make an appointment with the physician for a complete medical evaluation. Once the source of pain has been identified and treated, mobility limitations may resolve. It’s important to note that while degenerative bone and joint disorders are often responsible for limited mobility, other chronic illnesses such as renal disease, diabetes, circulatory issues, cardiovascular disease, and even vision impairment can cause mobility limitations.

Suggest Physical Therapy

Mobility issues caused by an event such as a stroke or recent hip surgery may resolve if your parent enrolls in a physical therapy program. Physical therapy increases strength and mobility, and a physician can determine if your loved one might benefit from this form of therapy. While seniors often notice increased mobility after only a few therapy sessions, it typically takes a couple of months before they meet their rehabilitation goals. If your loved one is unable to travel to the physical therapist’s location, the therapist may make a house call, which could be a better option, especially if the home has more than one level. The therapist can work with your loved one on navigating the stairs, which may reduce the risk for falls.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Galt Ocean Mile, FL, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (954) 909-0370 today.