As our family members get older, it’s our job to be there for them and help them through the aging process.
Part of caring for an elderly relative is keeping an eye out for any developing problems. One of the most common problems for aging individuals is limited mobility.
As people find it harder to get around, they might resist taking the initiative to get the help they need. That’s why it’s up to their families to watch for signs of mobility issues. Once you notice an aging relative has trouble walking, you can talk to them about the next step, whether it’s an as-needed solution like The Perfect Walker or a permanent fixture like a wheelchair.
Here are a few signs of mobility issues you might notice in an aging relative.
They’re not completing normal household chores
If you visit a relative and find the windows unwashed, the trash cans overflowing and the bathroom a mess, this is likely a sign they’re having a hard time moving around the house. As mobility issues increase in severity, every household chore becomes much more difficult. What was once a quick, easy task is now time-consuming and often painful.
Their refrigerator is always empty
For an aging person with mobility issues, going to the grocery store can become a herculean task. Supermarkets are big and require a lot of walking while bringing bags of groceries out to the car, and then getting them inside the house is a labor-intensive process. That empty fridge in your relative’s house is likely to be a result of mobility issues.
You rarely see them on their feet
Try to imagine your relative the last few times you saw them. Were they up and moving around, or did they seem glued to the sofa?
Humans are not especially stationary animals. A person who is capable of walking around will typically do so. If you never see your relative standing on their feet, that might mean their mobility is fading.
They frequently seem off-balance when walking
Balance is harder to come by as a person ages, and a number of issues can make the problem worse. If your relative is constantly grabbing for something to keep themselves steady, it probably means they lack the ability to maintain their balance on their own.
They’ve recently been injured by falling
While we’re all susceptible to the occasional slip, it’s uncommon for healthy adults to take a serious fall. If your older relative has recently hurt themselves falling, it’s important to remember that the accident’s causes are often as much of a concern as the result. The fact that they fell suggests their mobility is not what it once was, and the injury will only make it worse.
Walking appears painful
Take a careful look at your older relative the next time you see them walking. Do they seem to be grimacing? Do they find it difficult to maintain a normal conversation while moving around?
Any sign that walking is painful should be a cause for concern. And while pride might compel some older people to “suck it up” and deal with the pain, it’s your job as a caring member of the family to find a solution that will bring them comfort.
They’re reluctant to walk long distances
Maybe your relative can still get around the house okay, but they balk at the idea of walking a significant distance. While this might not seem like a big problem, it still represents a major drop-off in quality of life if it’s not addressed.
A person who can’t walk more than a few dozen yards is suddenly incapable of taking part in all sorts of family outings and daily tasks. A walker or other assistance can make the person’s life as full and complete as it ought to be.
What’s the solution?
The best way to address the mobility issues of an aging relative is by purchasing a walker. This will give your relative the ability to return to their previous habits. Suddenly, you’ll start finding the household chores completed and the fridge fully stocked. In some cases, the purchase of a wheelchair might also be necessary.
Convincing an elderly relative to take this step isn’t always easy. These are difficult conversations to have, and you might meet with some resistance. But no matter how hard it is, think of how much good it will do your family member to improve their mobility. You owe it to them to help get them back on their feet.