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Staying mobile in the senior years is critical. Having the ability to get around in some capacity means independent or semi-independent living. Maintaining mobility at an advanced age has some challenges.

Some individuals may require professional help while others can get by with at-home programs or special equipment to assist them. There are many things to factor in besides age, such as medical conditions and eyesight. Here are five tips that can help keep older individuals as mobile as possible.

1. Checkups

Having routine examinations from a healthcare worker can spot issues that might start causing movement issues. Finding medical problems early means physicians and patients can take care of it before it becomes extremely difficult to handle, or treatment can begin to stop or slow the progression.

Some seniors develop balance issues, which can affect standing up and walking. Infections, circulatory problems, or medications may be the culprit. Through a physical checkup and possibly some other tests, doctors can help remedy the dizziness.

2. Hydration

Everyone needs to stay properly hydrated no matter what his or her age. Heat, excessive sweating, and medication can cause dehydration in older people, and they may not feel thirsty, even when the body needs water. Symptoms of dehydration are lightheadedness and low energy, which limit movement and mobility.

The body needs water to stay flexible and keep the tendons and joints moving. Drinking water is the most common way to stay hydrated, but sports drinks, fruits, and low-sodium broths can help replenish the system too. Individuals prone to dehydrations should limit or avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

3. Nutrition

Some forms of vitamin deficiencies can cause imbalance and mobility issues. Older people have different nutritional needs than their younger counterparts. A major cause of immobility in seniors is broken bones. Lack of calcium is one reason for this. Medications, lifestyle, and hormones can impede bone health. Once a bone breaks, it can take a long time to heal, and even after mending, motion can be limited or painful. Eating a well-balanced diet is one action that can help prevent breaks.

4. Exercise

Exercise is another method to build bone hardiness and increase mobility. There is an exercise program suitable for most everyone, no matter what level of fitness a person is at. People who are severely limited in motion can seek the help of physical therapists. Exercise can be performed in bed and sitting in a chair. Movement will increase circulation, lubricate stiff joints, and move oxygen. Simple moves can improve moods and mental states.

When most people think of exercise, they think of walking, running, or bicycling, but many other effective forms of exercise can increase range of motion and strength. Some nontraditional ways are yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi.

5. Alternate Mobility Options

Scooters are a piece of equipment that can keep seniors active and aid in mobility. The machines allow freedom and independence, which fosters mental health, and they are very functional, because of mobility scooter accessories like baskets for groceries and cup holders for water. Scooters can keep a person socially active as well.

Walkers and canes are other tools that can aid in walking and standing. Walkers have four legs and offer more support than canes. Owners attach bags and baskets to the front bar to carry items, and some models have fold-down seats. Four-prong canes come in right and left-handed styles, so be sure to select the right one.

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 10:07 PM | Back to top

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