As people age, it becomes harder to do the things they once took for granted. Some lose their mobility or suffer from pain or fatigue. Even simple tasks like getting out of a chair or going up and down stairs can become difficult. If you have an elderly loved one who is struggling with these sorts of issues, there are ways you can help them to move easier. Here are some suggestions.
Invest in the right gear
When helping older adults move around, it’s essential to make sure they have the right gear. Invest in a good walker or wheelchair if needed. If stairs are an issue, consider getting a stair lift or a chair to go up and down them. The providers of mobility gears behind mobilityparadise suggest investing in scooters designed for seniors that make it easier to get around. In this case, consider factors such as the scooter’s terrain and weight capacity. Whatever you choose, make sure it is sturdy and comfortable for your loved one. This means researching and talking to your elder’s doctor or physical therapist for recommendations.
Create a safe environment
Take steps to make their home and yard safer. Install handrails on stairs and ramps for easier access, replace any loose rugs that could cause slips, and remove tripping hazards like cords and furniture. Ensure they have plenty of lighting, particularly in the bathroom, to help them avoid falls at night. There are light switches that can be activated with a touch of the hand and motion sensor lights and nightlights. Put together a first aid kit that includes supplies for minor injuries and an emergency contact list so you can quickly get help if needed. Finally, have your elderly loved one wear sensible shoes that fit correctly and provide good support. This will help them maintain their balance when moving around.
Invest in adaptive clothing
Another way to make things easier for your elderly loved one is by investing in adaptive clothing. These are clothes specially designed to make it easier for people with mobility issues to dress. Some features include zippers that open down, large buttons or Velcro closures, and fabric that stretches easily. Zippers and buttons can be difficult for people with impaired motor skills, so adaptive clothing makes it much simpler to dress independently. Look for looser-fitting tops, bottoms, and shoes with slip-on designs. With the proper attire, your loved one will be more comfortable and quickly get dressed.
Encourage them to stay active.
Your elderly loved one can maintain their range of motion through gentle stretching exercises and low-impact activities. Try to make it fun and do the exercises together to bond. Suggest going for walks, playing games, or joining a senior fitness class. This will help them stay active and healthy while reducing the risk of falls. Short walks around the block or in a park are incredibly beneficial, as they help break up the day and provide a chance to get some fresh air. Games such as chess, checkers, and bingo also give an excellent mental workout, while a senior fitness class can help them improve their balance and coordination.
Consider professional help
If caring for an elderly loved one is overwhelming, consider hiring a home health aide or caregiver. A professional can provide emotional support and help with bathing, dressing, and mobility assistance. You could also look into getting meals and transportation services for your loved one. In choosing a professional, make sure to go with someone experienced and willing to provide the level of care your loved one needs. For example, if your elder has cognitive issues, you want someone comfortable working with them.
Assist them with errands and other activities that require moving around, such as driving them to doctor’s appointments or carrying groceries. Invite them for dinner or arrange for them to join social activities with other seniors. Doing so can help your loved one stay socially active and engaged, which can lift their spirits and reduce feelings of loneliness. Helping out shows that you care and gives your loved one a sense of purpose. Be patient and understanding when they need help. Try not to make them feel embarrassed or like they are a burden. Finally, check in with your loved one often and ask how they feel or what they think.
Overall, taking the time to think about how you can make life easier for an elderly loved one shows that you care and are willing to go the extra mile. From clearing away clutter to investing in adaptive clothing, there are many ways you can help them maintain their independence while still providing support. Keep your loved one safe and comfortable by following these tips.