Can I Prevent Limited Mobility in Aging?

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Limited mobility can pose new challenges for aging adults.

As people age, their bodies weaken.

This increases the risk of falls.

Injuries from falls limit mobility.

Are there ways to help protect loved ones or yourself from these negative outcomes?

According to a recent AARP article titled “Mobility Problems: What to Do When a Loved One Has Trouble Getting Around,” taking a few steps can help.

Limited mobility is a side effect of aging.
Take steps to protect against limited mobility.

See a doctor.

Your physician will be able to run a strength, gait, and balance evaluation.

If necessary, the doctor may order a bone-density scan.

Heart rates and blood pressure will be taken after having you stand.

Vision and hearing tests may also be given.

Physical therapy may be prescribed to improve limited mobility.

Surgery or medications may also be recommended.

Review medications.

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs can have a number of side effects.

These could include sleepiness or dizziness.

Either of these may increase the risk of falls and limit mobility.

After all, have you ever listened to “warnings” at the end of those prescription drug commercials on television?

You know, the ones that are read so quietly and quickly?

There are a lot of side effects and interactions to consider.

Yikes!

Get an eye exam.

With the correct lens prescription, you will be better suited to avoid obstacles and gauge distance.

If you are among the 20 percent of adults older than 65 with a cataract, you can get surgery for that as well.

Eat well.

Start by hydrating and consuming less alcohol.

Make sure your food has plenty of vitamin D and calcium for your bone health.

Exercise.

Staying active can help your muscles, joints, and ligaments remain healthy.

Simply walking 10 to 15 minutes each day has been shown to ward off the threat of limited mobility.

Tai chi or strength training can also improve balance and muscle growth.

Use mobility devices.

Utilizing walking support like a cane or walker can prevent falls.

Basic walkers can be covered by Medicare.

Be safe.

Clutter can be a threat to your ability to get around.

Trip hazards, loose railing, loose rugs, and wet floors may cause injury and limit mobility.

Installing track lighting and a nightlight can be beneficial in your home.

Get a Medical Alert Device.

Use a “I have fallen down and can’t get up” device to signal for help in an emergency.

This is especially important if you live alone.

Taking the above steps can help protect you from the hardships of limited mobility in old age.

Reference: AARP (Nov. 6, 2019) “Mobility Problems: What to Do When a Loved One Has Trouble Getting Around”

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