You’ve noticed that seniors move more slowly and carefully. Have you ever wondered why that is? Several factors contribute to how well your parents move around. These six factors will impact your parents’ endurance and mobility.
Arthritis Causes Joint Pain
Arthritis is common as you age. Joints stiffen and don’t move as well. As cartilage decreases, bones may rub together. It’s common in the hands and shoulders, but knees and hips can also be impacted. Standing up after sitting for a while may be painful and take a little time before the pain decreases. Pain relievers like Advil may be necessary to help decrease pain and stiffness.
Balance Issues Add to the Fear
Some seniors find changes to the bones, muscles, tendons, and their joints impact balance. A stooped posture throws off the balance. If the senior falls, fears of falling again start to limit the senior’s activities. Muscle toning exercises and corrected posture become increasingly important.
Medication Side Effects Impact Mobility in Some Seniors
If your mom or dad take medications that cause dizziness or drowsiness, mobility can become an issue. If your parent feels unsafe while walking because of these side effects, it feels safer to sit down and stay that way for hours. Without assistance while walking, it’s likely your parent will be less mobile and active.
Muscle Tone Lessens
Age causes a loss in muscle tissue. If a senior is very active and works on muscle building exercises regularly, it may not be as pronounced. In seniors who are less active, that loss of muscle can increase the risk of a fall and make it harder to move around. Endurance also decreases with the loss of muscle mass. Tremors will also occur and impact mobility.
The Natural Arch in the Foot Decreases
Some seniors lose a little of their height. Some of this is caused by changes in the feet. The arch flattens leading to a loss of height. It can lead to foot pain when standing or walking for extended periods of time. That pain may affect the gait and increase the risk of a fall if the pain becomes unbearable.
Vertebrae Lose Density
This happens as the bones in the vertebrae lose some mineral content. The fluid between the bones also decreases. The bones compact and can make the spine curved and shorter in length. This can make it harder to bend and twist. Osteoporosis is another factor with vertebrae changes. With weak bones, compression fractures are a risk and will increase pain.
Have an elderly care aide available to join your mom or dad for walks. If stairs are a challenge, have the caregiver do laundry or support your parent while climbing up and down the stairs. Caregivers can also encourage your mom or dad to do exercise routines and eat enough calcium and vitamin D. Call an elderly care agency to talk about other services and how much home care costs.
If you or a senior family member are considering hiring Home Health Care in Wyckoff, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC. In-home senior care servicing Bergen & Passaic Counties. Call today at (973) 427-3553.
I started my career as an ICU nurse over 30 years ago. I have functioned as an educator and preceptor mentoring new nurses in the clinical arena. I have sat on many Patient Care committees authoring a variety of patient care protocols.
In 2007, I saw an opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care services in the home and founded Caring Solutions Home Care. Over the last 10 years I have functioned as the Director of Nursing overseeing all client care, administrative and personnel operations.
Latest posts by Pamela DelColle, RN, CCRN (see all)
- Five Tips if You Think You’re Already Burning Out - January 21, 2020
- Acts of Kindness: Three Things People Have Done for Strangers - January 7, 2020
- Tips for Helping a Senior with a Cold Feel Better Faster - December 18, 2019