Mobility is an important aspect of independence and the loss of mobility can lead to depression, decreased motivation and poor circulation problems. If your parents are dealing with mobility issues, the simple act of walking up a step can be a daunting one. Here are some tips to better care for your parents with limited mobility!
A. Home safety improvements
- Rearrange the furniture to make it easier to get around. Get rid of clutter and make sure electric cords and telephone wires aren’t tripping hazards. If they use a walker or wheelchair, allow extra room around furniture. Lower furniture pieces such as ottomans and coffee tables can be a special hazard, so make sure they are well out of the way.
- Make seating more comfortable. Chairs and sofas shouldn’t be so low that you have to drop into them or strain to get up. Adding a pillow for height can be a good temporary solution. Alternatively, purchase some inexpensive risers to raise the seat under the legs.
- Remove the rugs to prevent tripping. At the very least, make sure there is non-slip mat underneath a rug and that the rug lies flat, with no edges or corners sticking up. Use tape, if necessary, to keep them down.
- Extra pillows can help if joint pain makes it difficult to get comfortable in bed. If they have trouble getting in and out of a bed that is too low, put it on risers to make it easier. If it’s still tough to get up, add a bedside grab rail.
- Keep essentials handy. Put drinking water, pills, a flashlight, a telephone, and important phone numbers on a nightstand — on their side of the bed. If it might be necessary to summon help from a caregiver nearby in the house, keep a bell on the nightstand, too. Or buy an inexpensive wireless doorbell if the person is farther away.
- Use water or air mattress which will help in dealing with pressure on the skin and formation of bed sores.
- Install anti-slip mats. Low-pile, non-skid bathmats can prevent falls on wet and slippery floors.
- A long-handled scrub brush makes it easier to wash feet, legs, and other hard-to-reach places.
- Make it easy to get up. A toilet seat riser or toilet safety rails (with or without a toilet seat) are helpful if you have trouble getting up or down from the toilet.
- A grab bar or two next to the toilet is another option.
- Replacing conventional faucet handles in the kitchen and bathroom with easy-to-use levers. You might also equip cabinet doors with D-shaped handles.
- Bicep curls: This is easy to do in a wheelchair, just tuck your elbows into your side and lift a weight (even just a can of soup). With each lift, hold the weight for five seconds and then slowly bring it back down. Repeat three sets for 8 to 10 reps.
- Stretching exercise: Sit straight up in your wheelchair and lift both hands over your head while taking a deep breath. Lock your fingers together and position your hands so that your palms are facing the ceiling. Now as you slowly exhale, push your hands backwards. Hold this form for five to ten seconds and then set yourself back into the original upright position. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
- Resistance bands: Allows a person who uses a wheelchair a great solution for arm strengthening. Resistance bands are typically secured to objects like door knobs or incredibly heavy objects. Your parents then pull the band towards them and slowly lets the tension out in a motion very similar to a bicep curl.
- Cardiovascular exercises: Helps to raise your heart rate and increase your endurance. Many people with mobility issues find exercising in water especially beneficial as it supports the body and reduces the risk of muscle or joint discomfort. Even if your parents are confined to a chair or wheelchair, it’s still possible to perform cardiovascular exercise.
Want more details on what type of home improvements is suitable for your ageing parent?
Call SilverAlly at 626-515-00 for a free consultation.