There are plenty of unexpected changes that happen with age. While you cannot anticipate or control each of these things, you can reduce mobility loss by staying active and healthy. It’s never too late to take care of your body and maintain a mobile lifestyle.
People often become sedentary as they age due to increased stiffness and weakened muscle mass. Once it becomes more difficult to perform everyday activities such as gardening and playing with the grandchildren, individuals tend to reduce their physical activity to avoid discomfort.
However, decreased mobility results in a higher rate of disease, disability, and a poor quality of life over time. By remaining active and taking preventive measures now, seniors have the opportunity to age in place while maintaining a level of independence crucial to their well-being.
Staying Mobile is Critical For Healthy Aging
The most important thing you can do for your body is to keep moving. That’s because staying mobile is critical to your long-term health because the less one moves about their life independently, the more likely they will suffer from health consequences.
Mobility is beneficial for social and emotional well-being among older individuals. The National Institute on Aging says that seniors who remain socially active have a reduced risk of heart disease, loneliness, and anxiety. Moreover, preserving independence in old age plays an essential role in aging in place and staying out of institutionalized care. People over 65 believe that staying in their homes and living within their community is important to their well-being. Consequently, taking action to decrease mobility loss makes this a greater possibility. Caregivers can assist less mobile individuals by helping with gentle exercises and providing transportation to exercise classes like water aerobics and yoga.
Often people suffering from mobility loss stop doing things that once brought them joy. The ability to participate in meaningful activities such as running errands, attending social functions, and going on walks contribute to life satisfaction. Regardless of whether you still lead an independent and active life or if you require the assistance of a caregiver for daily activities, it is never too late to increase your mobility.
The Consequences of Mobility Loss
Mobility loss has negative impacts on a person’s physical and emotional well-being. As muscles and joints stop performing the way they used to, simple acts like carrying the groceries may become challenging. As a result, the impact of this lifestyle change creates physical and emotional challenges.
Risk of Falls
The likelihood of falling is a serious concern for people suffering from decreased mobility. Over 800,000 people a year are hospitalized for injuries resulting from a fall. And studies show that those who have fallen once are more likely to fall again. Fear of recurring falls often keeps people from participating in activities that could put them at risk. By focusing on mobility, aging people can gain the strength and balance necessary to reduce the chance of falls and maintain independence in old age.
A loss in mobility can have devastating effects on a person’s emotional well-being. As daily activities become increasingly difficult, people tend to pull away from life, resulting in less social engagement, mental stimulation, and physical activity.
Social isolation is a serious concern for those suffering from reduced mobility. Older people with mobility issues often live in homes that pose physical barriers to the outside world. Without the help of family and caregivers, a person unable to access stairs or safely walk without assistance is confined to their home. These individuals are likely to suffer from loneliness and isolation because they no longer participate in social engagements and activities like they once did.
How To Protect Your Mobility
Early intervention in the form of exercise and physical activity can significantly reduce mobility loss. Experts recommend 150 minutes of activity a week for people over the age of 65. Starting at just 5 minutes a day will increase stamina, and you can continue to push for more time as strength and flexibility increase.
A healthy foundation for positive aging includes:
- Increase muscle strength with activities like weight lifting and resistance bands.
- Build up heart rate and breathing endurance by walking, dancing, swimming, or marching in place.
- Focus on balance and lower body strength. Tai Chi is an excellent source for building on balance skills.
- Stretch! Flexibility is essential for performing basic daily activities and helps with strength and endurance exercises.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and more independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.