Mobility issues are the most common type of disability in men and women over the age of 65, accounting for about 25% of all disabilities among older adults. Although mobility often declines with age, you don't need to resign yourself to not getting around as well as you once did. There are things you can do to improve your mobility. Read on to discover them.
Mobility affects seniors in a variety of ways. It can impact:
Although the effects of limited mobility are serious, the good news is that you can take steps to improve your mobility and maintain it with age by following these mobility tips.
Regular physical activity can help keep you moving through your golden years. There are three key facets to exercise for seniors:
The above guidelines are what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends for adults aged 65 and older. Ask your health care provider which type of exercises you should be doing and how frequently you should be performing them for the best results.
Muscle aches and joint pain are common among older adults, but there are solutions that can help you feel better. Your health care provider may recommend over-the-counter oral or topical pain relievers or prescribe medications and other therapies to reduce discomfort so you can move more freely.
Make changes to your home that will allow you to move around more safely and easily. For example, you could move your bedroom to the first floor or install grab bars in your shower or toilet area. If the cost or amount of needed modifications seems daunting, consider a move to a senior living community like Collinwood in Fort Collins, CO. Designed specifically for seniors, these communities feature apartments that are easy to navigate.
Sitting may be easier when you have mobility issues, but too much can actually worsen problems. Simply performing more activities while standing can be a solution. Stand while you prepare meals, watch television, open your mail and talk on the phone, and look for more opportunities to be up on your feet throughout the day.
Carrying too much body weight puts strain on your bones and joints, contributing to mobility issues. Studies show that losing as little as 5% to 10% of your total body weight can lead to health and mobility benefits. The key to weight loss is exercising regularly, limiting portion size, eating a well-balanced diet and limiting how much sugar and processed food you consume.
Your bones and muscles require nutrients to remain healthy with age. The MyPlate method makes planning well-balanced, nutrient-rich meals easy. To do it, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, trying to eat a wide variety of options. Next, put whole grains like brown rice or quinoa in half of the remaining open space. Finish up the remaining one-fourth with lean protein like grilled or baked fish or chicken. Enjoy servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy each day as well. If you have a restrictive diet due to a medical condition or lifestyle choice, a registered dietitian can help design a healthy eating plan that suits your needs.
Staying mobile doesn't necessarily mean getting around entirely on your own. A cane, walker or rollator could help you remain more independent by providing extra support as you walk. If you struggle with mobility issues, ask your health care provider what type of mobility aid is best for your needs. In many cases, Medicare will even help cover some of the cost.
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