Growing old can be hard. Some people are lucky enough to retain most of their physical functions after they become senior citizens. But for other seniors, they are not so fortunate.
The National Institutes of Health revealed that 28% of people over 65 have problems walking 0.25 miles, while it is an impossibility for 17% of them.
Medical problems and physical disabilities can occur anytime but most notably in your golden years. Something simple like walking around the block outside might be done with lots of ached and pains.
Older adults will become more dependent on their younger adult children to cope with these issues.
It is difficult for an adult child to watch their parents suffer from limited mobility. Parents always seem invincible to their children until the day comes when they are no longer healthy and robust.
Where the situation arises that your parents are struggling with mobility issues, then you have the power to help.
Below are five ways in which you can help your parents stay mobile longer.
Determine How Much Help They Need
If you want to help your parents, the first thing you must do is make a list of all their ailments and disabilities. Do they have trouble hearing, seeing, walking, bending, or thinking? If so, come up with solutions to assist them with these issues.
Mobility is the biggest issue that your parents will probably face in old age. Can your parents walk on their own? How far can they walk? Does it cause them pain? Get a sense of their level of mobility and how much assistance they will need each day to get around.
A lot of seniors only have a minimal level of mobility issues. They might have one weaker leg compared to their other leg or any other impairment that makes it difficult for them to balance their bodies as they walk.
Canes are a simple solution for these types of problems. They allow seniors to continue walking on two feet, but with additional support. As they walk around with the cane, more of their body weight is placed onto it with each step taken.
The rule of thumb is that a cane should support no more than 25% of the person’s total body weight. So, if a senior can balance the other 75% of their body weight on their own, then a cane is an excellent choice for them.
A doctor or physical therapist can determine balance levels.
If a senior cannot support at least 75% of their body weight without assistance, then a cane is not a viable option for them. They will have to go with the next best choice, which is a walker.
A walker can support as much as 50% of the person’s total body weight. They will be required to use both hands and arms to walk with it.
The bottom of the walker will have either two legs or four legs, depending on how much help the person needs to walk. Most walker models have four legs.
If a senior does not have the strength or capability of walking long distances, then mobility scooters are the best solution. They are motorized wheelchairs that allow people to carry heavy items and move around without any strength or effort needed.
There are several different scooter designs available. Some scooters have two wheels on the bottom and a small basket in the front. Other scooters look more like wheelchairs because they have four wheels on the bottom.
Scooters are meant for long-distance travelling only.
When a senior wants to move around their home or travel small distances throughout the day, then a wheelchair is the best choice. It is not meant for long-distance travel like scooters.
Many newer wheelchairs have small electric motors, but they are only meant for people who do not have the arm strength to move the wheels themselves.
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