We often hear from people whose parents or other loved ones need help with mobility, and on short notice. Sometimes the need is temporary, as in recovery from an unplanned surgery, and sometimes a long-term solution is needed to allow a senior to continue using their home.
It’s not always possible to plan ahead for these situations, but the process is easier for all concerned if changes can be planned for in advance. Looking ahead instead of dealing with an immediate need allows time to properly consider appropriate equipment, allow the necessary lead time to order any custom solutions, and get in place on a contractor’s work schedule. In short, it’s best not to wait until the last possible minute.
But how do you know? When is the right time to start planning for the future mobility of your parents or other loved ones? Here are some signs that mobility issues are on the horizon:
Falling: Anyone of any age can trip over their own feet now and again, but multiple falls are an obvious sign of mobility problems. And for the senior population, falls can have far greater consequences.
Avoiding stairs: When you visit, are there signs that your loved one is using the stairs less often? For example, you might find clothing or toiletries on the first floor that would normally be in an upstairs bedroom or bath. This is another warning sign.
Difficulty sitting or standing: That recliner in the living room might be very comfortable, and it also might be very difficult to get out of for someone whose mobility is beginning to decline. This is often among the first indicators of larger issues down the road.
Skipping exercise: While methods of exercising will change as we age, it’s vital for seniors to keep moving to the greatest degree possible. If you see pattern changes here, like walking less frequently or shorter distances, consider that a leading indicator of mobility problems.
Depression: Mobility limitations take not only a physical toll but a mental one, as the individual can no longer participate in favorite activities or see friends where and when they’d like (the latter has been amplified by pandemic-related isolation). If your loved one seems out of sorts, ask some questions to see if physical limitations are the cause.
Our clients are often surprised at how quickly these issues progress from these early warning signs, leaving less time to plan than they’d like. We encourage you to keep a close eye on these early indicators of mobility problems. We’re here to help.
Need to consult with a professional about mobility solutions? Contact Next Day Mobility.