As people age, it is very common to experience a decrease in mobility. Seniors are simply not as active as they once were. This could be due to several reasons, but it is important that caregivers and care homes strive to increase mobility as much as they can. When the elderly are more active, they are less likely to be obese, and certain health conditions, such as diabetes, will be easier to manage. Active seniors are also less likely to suffer from mental health conditions, such as depression. These tips will help caregivers increase mobility in seniors under their care.
Proper Foot Care
Proper foot care is essential to ensuring that seniors are active. Often, the skin on the bottom of the foot is less cushioned due to age. This means that conditions such as bone spurs are more likely to cause significant pain. Seniors that have foot conditions are less likely to be mobile. When they receive proper foot care and treatments for conditions, those conditions will not affect their mobility. Seniors that do not have a podiatrist are encouraged to use their Fanmi phone to find a local provider to help them keep their feet in their best condition.
Maintain Health Conditions
Certain health conditions might greatly decrease mobility in seniors. For example, patients with heart diseased might get out of breath quickly, making it difficult to participate in certain activities. Seniors with arthritis might find that they are in pain when they move, limiting their ability to be active. When these conditions are carefully monitored by a licensed physician, the elderly can enjoy things that they otherwise would not, such as a morning walk through the neighborhood.
Active Social Life
When seniors are in contact with other people, they want to be more active. Seniors will want to call their friends to go for a walk or their family to enjoy family functions. Often, the elderly enjoy participating in the same activities that they did when they were younger, including social activities.
The primary barrier that seniors experience in participating in social activities is difficulty using the phone. Due to a decrease in fine motor skills, they might find it difficult to use regular telephones or cell phones. Helping them find a senior phone with larger buttons that is easy to use will assist them in maintaining an active social life.
Seniors often experience a decrease in mobility, but most aging parents do not know how to increase their mobility. When caregivers take the time to educate seniors about ways to increase their mobility, seniors will be able to take their care into their own hands and enjoy life again. Helpful tips that caregivers can pass on to patients include:
- Daily walks are a relaxing way to exercise
- Stretching improves mobility
- Balance exercises reduce the risk of falling
- Strength training exercises are great for building muscle
- Exercising a little bit a day is enough
- The importance of not overdoing it should be stressed
Seniors can also be referred to other community resources that can help. Most communities have a community center with classes, such as water aerobics, that will help seniors get out of the house and stay in shape.
When seniors do not feel their best, they do not want to get off the couch. This contributes to a decrease in mobility and can make them significantly worse. Often, seniors do not know their daily calorie requirements, or they may continue to eat foods that are full of empty calories. Instead of attempting to give their diet a complete overhaul, caregivers can successfully implement necessary dietary changes by giving seniors these tips:
- Stay Hydrated. When seniors stay hydrated, their entire body will function better, resulting in them feeling better. This is an exceptional way to combat many of the affects of aging. Instead of encouraging seniors to eliminate their favorite drinks, such as coffee, encourage them to drink water in addition to their preferred beverage.
- Fruits and vegetables. Every person seems to prefer one group over another, but it is important for seniors to include a healthy amount of both fruits and vegetables into their diet. Caregivers can discuss these food groups, and ways to incorporate them into a healthy diet, with seniors to make guarantee that they are getting their daily dose.
- Foods to limit. Certain foods are not recommended, such as foods high in sodium and red meat. If seniors have eaten an excessive amount of salt their entire life, it can be difficult for them to eliminate it. Instead of discussing foods to avoid with seniors, caregivers can discuss foods that seniors can limit. When people are encouraged to simply limit foods instead of eliminating them from their diet, they are usually more successful.
Diet is an important part of maintaining mobility. This can also help increase activity in seniors that have already experienced limitations regarding their movements.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
One of the primary reasons that seniors experience a decrease in mobility is because they are overweight. This often causes them to lose stamina, making it difficult to walk for long periods of time. Seniors may find it difficult to move from one position to another, such as moving from sitting in a chair to standing up. Obesity can also make it harder to manage other health conditions, such as heart disease, which will further contribute to them being less active. Maintaining a healthy weight using the nutrition tips above will help seniors learn to enjoy life again.
It is vital that seniors find the perfect combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to increase their mobility. This can help them enjoy life, avoid mental health issues and live longer. Increasing mobility can also make physical conditions easier to manage. Consulting a doctor for a mobility assessment is the first step when seniors find that they cannot get around like they used to.