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5 Causes of Mobility Loss in the Elderly

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Approximately 20 percent of seniors over the age of 65 have some type of mobility issue. There are several disease processes and misfortunes that wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system and impair movement. Here are five of the most common.

1. Falls

Falls that occur due to a loss of balance or flexibility or as a result of visual disturbances are a major problem for the elderly. When older adults fall, they’re likely to experience strained connective tissues and muscles. Some may experience fractures that require medical intervention, which could include corrective surgery. At least temporarily, the injury hampers mobility, and some seniors may need to use a cane or a walker. If the accident necessitates the use of a wheelchair or electric scooter, families might want to consider installing a ramp to enable entering and exiting the residence.

2. Cardiovascular Conditions

Seniors living with heart conditions can easily become dizzy. They might also only be able to walk short distances before having difficulty breathing. Families can increase an older loved one’s mobility by ensuring he or she takes prescribed medication. Encourage your loved one to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption. Prepare meals that are low in fat, salt, and sugar to prevent edema and vascular damage. A change in diet may also help your loved one lose weight, putting less stress on the cardiovascular system. Your loved one should also exercise as much he or she can tolerate. Otherwise, encourage the use of mobility assistive devices. 

If you need help preparing healthy meals and helping your loved one exercise, experienced, compassionate help is available. When considering elderly home care, Plantation, FL, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

3. Musculoskeletal or Neurological Disorders

Arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease all impair mobility as the diseases progress. Older adults often develop debilitating arthritis in the hips or knees, which may require joint replacements. Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s impair mobility by damaging the central nervous system. In all cases, encourage exercise as tolerated to maintain flexibility and range of motion. 

As diseases such as Parkinson’s advance, caring for your loved one may become more challenging. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Plantation, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

4. Obesity

Obesity remains a concern in the United States for all age groups. However, excess weight can cause mobility issues for seniors due to the pressure and stress it puts on the musculoskeletal system. Obesity may also contribute to the development of diabetes and osteoarthritis, which further affects mobility. Families need to encourage overweight older adults to become more physically active. Seniors should start gradually and slowly increase the duration and intensity of physical activity. Diet alterations are often also needed. Seniors need to consume more vegetables, fruits, poultry, and fish. Other dietary recommendations include limiting red meat consumption and eliminating processed foods.

5. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is common in the elderly and develops as the cushioning cartilage between joints deteriorates. Joint friction occurs when bone rubs against bone, which causes inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and discomfort. When osteoarthritis occurs in one or both hips or knees, older adults may require joint replacement surgery. Preventing the condition from occurring or progressing requires engaging in low-impact exercise, keeping blood sugar levels within guidelines, and not gaining excess weight.

The ability to move about freely is a crucial part of being self-sufficient, and many seniors are no longer able to accomplish the daily tasks of living when their mobility becomes limited. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Plantation families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (954) 533-2410 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.

Plantation At-Home Elder Care Services