Our ability to walk is vital to our sense of self-reliance, but age inevitably affects our mobility and makes most activities of daily living more challenging to perform. Unable to get around as well as they did for most of their lives seniors can start to feel isolated and depressed, but the good news is that they do have options to restore quality of life.
Kenny Higdon, owner of 5 Star Home Care, said that with a helping hand, a senior can continue normal daily routines to some extent. His company offers professional, comprehensive home care to people who need help performing such day-to-day activities as bathing, dressing, doing laundry, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation. The company helps seniors with mobility issues, as well as those of all ages who are living with a disability or recovering from an injury or illness.
Experts say mobility problems are defined as having trouble climbing
10 steps or walking a quarter of a mile. If this applies to a loved one,
it is important to talk to his or her doctor so the cause can be pinpointed
and remedies considered.
Reasons for mobility issues can include
Falls and injuries Perhaps the most obvious culprit for a limited
ability to walk is injuries resulting from stumbles caused by loose rugs or
other hazards; yet falls can sometimes reveal conditions that have not
yet been detected. We have all seen the television commercial where
a senior is on the ground begging for help, saying, "I've fallen and I can't get up!" Sadly, this is a very real danger for people who are frail.
Osteoarthritis The leading cause of disability in persons older than 65,
according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is osteoarthritis. It most commonly affects joints in the hands, knees, hips and spine. It is caused by a wearing down of the protective cartilage on the ends of bones. Stiffness, loss of flexibility, tenderness and bone spurs are all signs of osteoarthritis. Some people inherit a heightened risk, and women experience it more often than men. Those carrying extra body weight are more likely to develop the condition.
Osteoporosis This condition results from decreased bone mass
when the living tissue cannot keep up with the removal of old bone. In
this weakened state, even bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Back pain, loss of height and a stooped posture are all symptoms. A doctor may test bone density with an X-ray.
Alzheimer's and dementia These cognitive conditions affect a person's ability to get around without assistance. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with Alzheimer's become increasingly vulnerable to falling. Falls can lead to fractures. In addition, falls are a common cause of serious head injuries.
Whatever the cause, seniors who are in frail condition need assistance
getting around so they do not worsen their condition with a fall. Even simple acts such as reaching for something in a cupboard or stretching to grasp something can put them at risk and lead to costly hospital stays and physical rehab.
Higdon said those suffering from osteoarthritis can usually get effective
relief from prescriptions and physical therapy. Staying active can slow
the natural deterioration of bones, so those with osteoporosis should talk
to their doctor about a low impact exercise routine. To prevent falls,
family should check the home for electrical cords and slippery surfaces, and possibly install grab bars in showers. Seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia require help from family members or another caregiver.
Higdon started 5 Star Home Care in 2007 after his own mother experienced difficulty finding someone the family could trust to care for his grandmother and took on the responsibility herself at great sacrifice. The company carefully screens caregivers before hiring them and connects them with clients across Tennessee.
Families concerned about the health and safety of a loved one as
the result of immobility of frailty can reach out to 5 Star Home Care at
If you are struggling with how to best care for an aging or disabled relative, call 423-893-8181 or visit 5starHomeCare.com
Realizing how precious our seniors are, 5 Star employs the most qualified caregivers who are hired only after undergoing careful background checks and drug screens. The company's procedures are tailored to work toward constant monitoring, care management and never placing the senior at risk of being left without care.
The company has headquarters in Chattanooga and serves throughout Tennessee.
Home care services exist to provide the same basic services as assisted living facilities light housekeeping, meal preparation and social activities without removing the senior from the familiarity of home. It is a cost-efficient alternative to an assisted living facility that preserves the aging loved one's sense of freedom and comfort