As we age, issues arise that we may have never given a second thought. Like getting up to get a glass of water or going for a walk around the block. Immobility is one of the most common problems amongst the elderly and can lead to even more progressive issues if left ignored. Consequences can range from a social, health and even mental level, which is why it is imperative for family members and friends to recognize and act.
Symptoms of Immobility Issues
Having mobility issues is not a proud moment for anyone, and some may not want share or be completely honest about the problem. If you are concerned about a loved one’s mobility, here are a few signs and symptoms to look for:
- Frequent Falls
- Lack of Balance
- Trouble getting up and down
- Unexplained cuts and bruises
- Swollen calves, ankles, or feet (mostly found in people with diabetes)
Common Causes of Mobility Issues for the Elderly
Mobility issues can be tricky, as there is not a specific age or singular cause for the problem. One of the most common causes that we see is a lack of activity. It’s no secret that our bodies need to move and stretch to maintain strength, which is even more imperative the older we get. Impaired balance or dizziness is another common reason for falling. That can be a result of continuous illness, blood circulation problems, inner ear infections or vision impairment. Chronic diseases (Diabetes, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, etc.) are also one of the leading causes of mobility issues amongst senior adults. Keep in mind; it is vital to discover what the cause of immobility is, as it might be something that medical personnel can address and treat.
What can you do to help?
Fear not, mobility issues are a problem that no one wants, but there are solutions. Below are a few ideas for you to address the issue with — for yourself or a loved one.
- Don’t ignore the situation: Whether you are noticing the problem with a loved one or with yourself, you cannot find a solution until you’re honest that there is a problem.
- Talk to your doctor: Immobility is a medical issue, and your doctor can help you find the cause behind it, and help you work towards a solution.
- Provide Mobility Aids: Mobility aids may not be the most stylish accessories, but they will decrease the frequency of falling. The most popular mobility aids include:
- Occupational Therapy: This area of physical therapy focuses on the betterment of a person, whether it be to improve mobility, motor skills, chronic pain, and mental state. Physical therapist design exercise plans that get patients up and moving, focusing on strengthening the muscles and joints, within a positive environment — for the mind and soul.
- Assisted Living Communities: These communities provide help via professional staff, ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents. In an assisted living environment residents do not receive around the clock care. Instead, they are given help with daily tasks while still maintaining an independent lifestyle. Sunset Communities is proud to offer this service at three of our facilities in the West Michigan area.
Why is it important to address mobility issues?
Immobility or falling is not an easy issue to address, however, if the problem goes on ignored, it can lead to even more significant effects. Falls can result in serious injuries, which can create a world of issues all on their own. Mobility issues also affect a person mentally and emotionally, as they may struggle to partake in their daily and social lives. Keep in mind; we are not sharing this information to scare you. At sunset, we believe that more available information leads to more solutions.
If you or a loved one is having mobility issues, reach out to Sunset today. We believe that focusing on a healthy mind, body, and soul creates the highest quality of life — especially in our later years. Remember, any medical issue should always be discussed with a doctor or qualified medical personnel first.