Mobility is essential for everyday life, no matter our age. Those of us with no mobility problems take for granted the simple daily activities like getting groceries, visiting family, or even walking up stairs. However, even if you are not personally affected, you may have noticed a senior loved one struggling with mobility. How can you be sure that your loved one is suffering from decreased mobility? And what can you do to help them deal with these issues in day to day life, and long-term?
Signs of Decreased Mobility
Most of the time, the signs of decreased mobility are visually apparent. You may see that a senior is slower than they used to be, shuffles their feet, or favors one foot over the other when walking.
Geriatrician Dr. Suzanne Salamon, an instructor at Harvard Medical School, favors a test called the “Get Up and Go Test”. Essentially, the test involves asking a person to stand up from sitting in a chair, walk 10 feet, turn around, walk back to the chair, and sit down. Dr. Salamon says “You look at how long that takes and how steady the person is,” If you are looking for solid numbers and measurements, Dr. Salamon suggests that if a person walks faster than a yard per second, they have a normal gait (or walk). If it’s slower, they have a gait problem and are prone to falling.
Now that you have determined if a senior is having mobility issues, what do you do next?
How You Can Help
The first step is encouraging the person with mobility issues to visit a doctor. A doctor will be able to determine the specific cause of the mobility issues and be may possibly be able to prevent a complete loss of mobility down the line.
The solution may be a simple as sending a senior to physical therapy. This will help them develop the strength to perform everyday tasks. Social support is another aspect to take into consideration: scheduling for friends and family members to serve as transportation or simply checking in on a senior.
However, a senior may still need added assistance in the form of installed tools for easier mobility. These tools may come in the form of elevated bathroom fixtures, grab bars, and you guessed it, stairlifts. Stairlifts are especially helpful for seniors who are wheelchair bound or use a cane.
At A+ Stairlifts of Pittsburgh, we care about the mobile freedom of our customers. We know how important independence can be for those with decreased mobility. We take pride in finding them the perfect solution to overcome the challenge and danger that stairs often represent and give them a smooth, comfortable ride into the freedom they deserve.
Contact us through our website, or give us a call at (412) 260-7469 for a free assessment of your stairlift needs.