What Are Common Mobility Issues In Old Age
Mobility & Disability

What Are Common Mobility Issues In Old Age?

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What Are Common Mobility Issues In Old Age? According to the Commonwealth Fund, two-thirds of Americans over age 65 require assistance with activities of daily living (ADL). According to Harvard Medical School instructor Dr. Suzanne Salamon, the effects of common mobility issues may be profound. Seniors may become increasingly isolated because they can’t go shopping or visit friends.

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Exploring common mobility issues in older people

Relying on others to assist them causes many seniors to feel a loss of independence. These lifestyle changes make older adults more prone to depression.

Dr. Salamon also notes that a lack of mobility can lead to medical issues. Simple daily activities like bathing and using the bathroom become more difficult. Patients sometimes develop UTIs and infections.

What Are The Common Mobility Problems for Elderly People?

In the beginning, an older person may notice that they cannot walk as far or stand for as long as usual. Older adults may feel less fit than they once were. It’s easy to mistake a lack of mobility for declining fitness levels at this stage.

The primary difference is in the remedy. If an older adult is unfit, an exercise program should help them regain their previous activity level. However, if the problem is a mobility issue, exercise might improve the symptoms but not necessarily reverse them.

Declining muscle strength is another sign of the onset of movement difficulties. For example, older adults may find it difficult to lift objects or even pull off a sweater. Navigating obstacles can become more of an effort.

Older people might find it harder to complete tasks that they’ve been accustomed to performing. For example, it may take them longer to walk to the corner store and back.

Other common symptoms include diminished dexterity and loss of balance. It may become more challenging for older adults to fasten buttons or stay upright, for example.

Is Limited Mobility Unavoidable In Old Age?

According to a 2013 review published on JAMA, there’s much that people can do to limit decline associated with aging:

  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle
  • Exercise regularly
  • Seek help for depression
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Be wary of drinking to excess

According to a 2013 review published on NCBI, preventative action should start as early as possible to stand the best chance of success.

Recognize the Early Warning Signs

Older adults should watch for these signs:

  • Difficulty rising from a seated position
  • Repeated dizzy spells or feeling unsteady when walking
  • Problems with climbing stairs or stepping over objects
  • Difficulty keeping up with house cleaning or personal hygiene

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Study of Aging Life-Space Assessment makes it simple to diagnose issues at home. People should seek advice if:

  • They find it challenging to climb ten steps or to walk a quarter of a mile
  • They’ve changed the way they accomplish either task because of physical difficulties

Dealing With the Issues

If an older adult believes they have mobility issues, they should seek professional advice. A medical practitioner will be able to rule out underlying causes for unsteadiness or dizzy spells and will be able to suggest exercises or aids to assist the person. A doctor may also recommend physical therapy or medication to address the symptoms.

Improving Quality of Life

Many people are unaware that they can do a great deal to improve their quality of life.

When Out and About

Walking sticks are small devices that can prove very helpful in the early stages of mobility issues. A walking stick is useful both in the home as well as when out and about. It can help steady someone with an unstable gait and provide leverage when climbing hills or stairs.

In the Home

Clearing clutter from the floor will make it easier to move around the home. Residents should also consider fastening carpets and runners securely to the floor so that they won’t slip underfoot. Anti-slip mats in the bathtub and bathroom are also essential to prevent slips and falls.

Seniors who prefer to maintain their independence will find support and grab bars indispensable. A support bar makes it easier to climb stairs, while a grab bar makes it simpler to get into and out of the bath.

Final Notes about Mobility and DisabilityIn Seniors

With advances in modern medicine, people today are living longer than ever before. SonderCare supplies North America with a range of beds, mattresses, and furniture for people who need a little assistance. The range includes:

  • Chairs with a built-in lifting feature to assist in standing up
  • Mattresses with memory foam to provide deep pressure relief
  • Beds with built-in grab bars, removable sides, and smooth electric lift capability

For those with advanced problems, installing a chair lift can make managing the stairs more straightforward. A shower bench or chair will make showering safer for those who feel unsteady.

Common mobility issues may cause some discomfort during the golden years and might seem unavoidable. With care and the correct advice, however, older adults can now delay the onset of these problems. Regardless of what is causing those aches, pains, limited range of motion, and signs of stiffness, no one should allow themselves to feel incapacitated by mobility issues when a better quality of life awaits.

Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Disability in Seniors

In seniors, reduced physical activity, obesity, decreased balance and coordination, and chronic conditions including diabetes and arthritis are all significant causes of physical limitations.

Maintaining an active lifestyle as well as a healthy weight and eating habits. Being aware of the side effects of medications. Identifying potential fall hazards in the home and consulting with a doctor about mobility aids and other home health equipment such as hospital beds.

Fatigue/low endurance, foot drop or dragging as well as deconditioning and tightness are major symptoms. There can also be signs of a specific weakening of the leg(s) and lower body.

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