Professional athletes offer us direct insight into the capabilities of the human body. Witnessing an international basketball superstar, such as Lebron James, spin 360 degrees in the air before thunderously slamming a ball down through the hoop elicits reactions of pure astonishment. These “highlight reel” plays permeate pop culture on a regular basis. Unfortunately, not even these premier athletes are impervious to the effects of aging.
It’s a humbling experience witnessing these once seemingly effortless talents begin to waver in the latter stages of a career. Lack of mobility is often cited as a key contributor to this decline and these complications are common among many people as they age.
What is mobility?
At its core, mobility is a person’s ability to move around. However, it’s broader spectrum is exposed as it declines. For example, an elderly person with decreased mobility may find difficulty getting in and out of a chair or bringing their body upright after a fall.
According to HealthinAging.org, common ailments among the elderly such as muscle weakness, joint problems, pain, disease and neurological conditions can hinder mobility.
A decrease in mobility can be frustrating as activities such as shopping or cleaning may become laborious. Fortunately, there are proactive measures that can be taken to address this issue before significant problems arise. Medical Island has provided some suggestions for improving mobility in the elderly.
How to Improve Mobility in the Elderly
- Balance is Key – Mobility relies heavily upon balance. Seniors can improve balance through simple exercises such as back leg raises or walking heel to toe.
- Remain Active – Regular exercise can help the body build strength and remain limber. A moderate exercise plan such as a brisk walk 3 times a week can improve mobility and ultimately promote a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, try making a concerted effort to (safely) complete menial tasks around the house before you seek assistance.
- Eat a Healthy Diet – As you age, energy levels can decrease. A healthy diet can provide the boost necessary to remain active throughout the day.
- Maintain your Vision – Good vision is crucial to mobility. Ensure your glasses or contacts remain up-to-date and incorporate foods into your diet that improve vision such as carrots or salmon.
- Utilize Walking Aids – Using a walker or cane can play a key role in overcoming the impact of decreased mobility and ultimately reduces the risk of falls.
- Shoes Make the Man (and Woman) – The importance of investing in comfortable shoes that fit properly cannot be overstated. Cheap shoes with worn-out tread can impede mobility and become a hazard for the elderly.
- Prevent Falls – A strong focus should be placed on fall prevention as taking an unexpected tumble can often create complications in the elderly. Each of the suggestions listed above also serve to decrease your risk of falling.
- Age is Just a Number – Getting older does not automatically render you incapable of living your life as you desire. Do not allow your age to impact your mind and discourage you from remaining active and healthy.
- Understand your Limits – Although the importance of challenging yourself was previously stressed, it is equally imperative to recognize your boundaries. Do not be weary of asking for assistance if you encounter a task you cannot handle.
Every person’s body is different and these tips are only a general outline for tackling the challenges of decreased mobility. Even with these suggestions, daily functions such as traversing the stairs of your home may become difficult in the later stages of life. Mobility chairs, otherwise known as stair lifts, can help overcome these obstacles. A Stannah Stairlift will ensure that, even if you experience a decrease in mobility, you can still safely and independently navigate your home.