As your loved one ages, it’s common for them to experience a loss of mobility. When they’ve spent their entire lives unaided, learning to walk with a walker, cane or even using a wheelchair is a struggle. As a caregiver, it may be hard to know how to help them. At Caregivers Connection, we would like to offer four tips that can encourage them to increase their mobility.
Use the proper walking aid:
Being able to walk unassisted is great, but, if your loved ones’ balance is impaired, the worst thing they can do is not walk with a walking aid. Using the correct aid offers maximum mobility while working the muscles properly. Here’s a tip, if they just need a cane to walk, don’t allow them to use a walker. If they use an aid that provides too much assistance, they will use less muscles, and rely on the aid too much.
Work on their balance:
A lack of proper balance can lead to slips and falls. Proper balance is the key to mobility. Standing on one foot will improve their balance, but, make sure that they are doing so in a safe environment, like by a wall or countertop where they can easily reach out to steady themselves. Side and back leg raises are both done using the hip muscles. As with standing on one foot, ensure a safe place, in case they need to grab onto something.
Strengthening exercises builds muscle and increases the metabolism. Stretching exercises increase freedom of movement. Stretching exercises do not build strength but they are an important part of any exercise routine to prevent injuries to muscles and joints. Aqua aerobic exercise is a wonderful solution for your loved one with mobility issues. The water’s natural buoyancy often permits more movement than would be possible on land.
The correct shoes:
Cheap shoes with little or no tread can hinder their ability to be mobile. Take your loved one shopping for a pair of comfortable shoes that fit properly. Also, make sure they aren’t wearing a pair that is worn down, as they can quickly become a hazard.
Once you’ve added these simple ways to help them improve their mobility, don’t let them give up. Even on days where they seem fatigued, encourage them to complete at least ten minutes of physical activity. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.