If you have a home care aide, you probably already know whether your loved one has mobility issues or not. However, it is still useful to know how mobility issues are defined and diagnosed.
Mobility issues can be defined as any problems that make it difficult for your aging loved one to move around. A limp, disorientation, an injured arm, tremors, chronic stiff muscles, arthritis – any and all of these things can cause mobility issues. Unfortunately, though mobility problems don’t just stop at impairing your loved one’s ability to move: they affect their mental health too.
Not being able to get around by themselves, or as well as they would like to on their own, can make seniors feel frustrated and depressed. Put yourself in their shoes: how would you feel if you needed help every time you wanted to get up from the couch or walk a short way down the hall to the bathroom? Or if a thirty second walk down the driveway to the mailbox now takes you ten minutes or more because you can’t move that fast? It can feel embarrassing, and it can cause a lot of anxiety, stress, and depressed feelings.
Before we get to that point, though, let’s stop for a second and take a look at how mobility issues are diagnosed. Usually, mobility issues are relatively easy to spot. According to researchers from the University of Alabama, though, there are two simple questions you can ask your aging loved one to diagnose them yourself at home, without having to consult a doctor. These questions are:
- Do you have trouble walking up ten steps or walking ¼ of a mile due to physical or health-related reasons?
- Have these physical or health-related problems made you change the way you walk or climb stairs?
If the answer to one or both of these answers is yes, your loved one should go and see a doctor. This means that their ability to move properly has been compromised, and a doctor may be able to help them to find a way to make getting around easier. A walker, cane, or other mobility tool might be prescribed, or, depending on the severity of the issue at hand, certain physical exercises might be recommended to help your loved one stay active, and to help them to regain some of their stability and strength.
If your aging loved one has mobility issues, you and your home care aide can also help them by making some modifications around the house, such as keeping walkways clear so they don’t trip, installing ramps over the steps leading up to the house outside, or putting rails beside the bathtub and/or bed to make getting in and out of these places easier. The first thing to do, though, is to consult with a medical professional to see if there is any treatment available for the condition that is causing the mobility issues. If so, they may be able to get their former level of mobility back.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from home care in Alamo, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.