Functional mobility is crucial for older adults who want to live in their homes for as long as possible. As long as a person retains mobility, they can live relatively independently, interact with friends and family, and remain in good emotional, mental, and physical health. This article will delve into more detail about the importance of mobility and how to increase mobility.
The Importance of Mobility
The human body naturally declines over time. As people reach age 65 or older, there are certain physical challenges that their bodies can no longer avoid. However, it is still possible for them to live relatively normal lives and fulfill the innate human need for companionship, emotional support, and physical activity. A mobile person can still maintain a healthy heart, control their weight, and resist injury.
Unassisted mobility is especially crucial for adults who want to live independently. Many adults take regular errands for granted, but once they are older, it is incredibly freeing to do their own grocery shopping, pharmacy runs, and visits with neighbors and friends. In addition, participating in social activities becomes more important as people age—companionship keeps the mind, heart, and body healthy for a long time,
Mobility also dictates an older adult’s personal independence. As long as someone can eat, bathe, dress, get into bed, and use the toilet on their own, they should be able to take care of themselves. However, senior adults value their individuality more and more, so mobility is better for their emotional well-being.
How to Increase Mobility
To live an independent life, older adults need to exert a lot of effort to remain as mobile as possible. An active lifestyle keeps the musculoskeletal system healthy and will maintain their overall confidence. Here are a few tips:
- Eat a healthy diet – Being overweight or obese makes mobility a lot more challenging, especially for older adults. Carrying extra weight causes strain on vulnerable body parts that are crucial for physical activity. Maintaining a healthy diet will ensure that they get all the nutrients their body needs for bone and muscle health. It also helps keep them at a healthy weight so they can continue to walk, sit, and stand with as little strain as possible.
- Exercise regularly – Muscle strength is crucial for mobility, so it’s important to maintain an active lifestyle. Simple activities such as daily walks, basic stretches, and trips up and down stairs can help tremendously in engaging important muscles, improving flexibility, and retaining a good reaction time. Even just 20 minutes of daily physical activity can keep older adults in good shape.
- Use a walking aid – Unassisted mobility is important, but for those who can’t be on this level, there’s no shame in getting help. If their balance is not the way it used to be, or if they have bone or muscle weakness, they should be evaluated for a good walking aid. The ideal mobility aid should help them get around while allowing important muscles to do the bulk of the work. Too much assistance can lead to muscle atrophy after some time.
A healthy, active lifestyle can help older adults maintain high levels of mobility and personal independence through their twilight years. However, if they are experiencing physical difficulties and need mechanical or personal assistance to accomplish daily tasks, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Older adults can still feel safe, comfortable, and free in their homes with the right kind of home health care.
Gateway Home Health & Hospice is home health care located in Denver and Colorado Springs. Our experienced, talented staff provides high-quality home care nursing services for every patient. Contact us today and let us help you live life to the fullest with our support!