Mobility problems are extremely common among elderly adults. No matter how common they are, however, it is important for you as a family caregiver to recognize how much of a negative impact these issues can have on your senior’s function, safety, and independence within their home. Many seniors have no cognitive functioning decline or other health issues, but must have assistance because of their mobility issues. Addressing these issues within their home can help them to maintain more of their independence and experience improved mental and emotional health by feeling as though they are still in control of their own life. This can include cooperating more with a care provider so that they can get the most benefit while also supporting a fulfilling lifestyle.
Use these tips to improve home safety and accessibility for seniors with mobility issues:
• Lower the shelves. Reaching up to get things off of shelves and rods in closets and cabinets can be extremely difficult and even dangerous for elderly adults who are dealing with mobility issues. Lower these shelves and rods so that they are easier to reach and reduce the amount of strength and leverage required to get things down.
• Elevate the appliances. Bending can also be very difficult for a senior with mobility problems. This can include loss of balance that can cause them to fall and injure themselves seriously. If possible, consider having your parent’s appliances, such as their dishwasher, elevated so that they do not need to bend as much.
• Provide seating in the kitchen and laundry areas. Your parent might want to be able to do things such as preparing food, cooking, and doing laundry, but they might struggle to stand for long periods of time. Help them to be able to do these things more safely and comfortably by providing seating in these areas. Consider removing cabinets from beneath the counter to provide space to store a bench and then to accommodate your parent’s knees while seated so that they can work at the counter
If your aging parent’s needs and challenges have increased to the point that you are no longer able to handle them effectively, or your own schedule or limitations have changed and reduced your ability to give your senior the care that they need, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home care services provider can be an exceptional benefit both to your senior and to you. By filling care gaps that might exist in the efforts that you offer them and creating a set of highly personalized services, this care provider can ensure that your senior gets everything that they need to stay safe, healthy, and comfortable both when you are able to be with them and when you are not. This allows your parent to pursue a lifestyle that is active, independent, and fulfilling, and eases your stress, supporting a better quality of life for both of you.