For many of us, going up and down the stairs several times a day is no big deal. It’s a common occurrence in our daily lives. But for the elderly suffering from mobility issues, it’s a whole different story.
In their case, a trip to the frugal shop at the corner, traipsing from one end of the aisle to another or even going halfway on a flight of stairs can be dangerous, challenging or simply undoable. According to the Annual Disability Status Report, in countries with life expectancies over 70 years of age, individuals on average spend about 11.5 percent of their lifespan, or about 8 years, dealing with disabilities.
So what steps can you take to improve the quality of life for your elderly parents with mobility issues? Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to ensure they’re able to get around at their own speed.
Look At Assistive Technology Options
Advancements in assistive technology have made supporting elderly parents with mobility issues a reality, with products that are designed to accommodate their needs. Examples include residential elevators and stair lifts. You can explore residential elevator cost and the cost of other assistive technologies and compare the amount against what you’ll pay for assisted living facilities. Because of innovations in design and features, the installation and operational costs of assistive technology have declined in recent times, so they’re affordable on any budget. Compared to the cost of elderly living facilities, you can save thousands of dollars with assistive tech devices.
Offer Personal Support
There’s nothing like personally taking care of your elderly parents. Supporting them in their day-to-day tasks, such as cleaning, shopping, cooking etc. is the best assistance you can provide them. That, however, may not always be possible given your own personal commitments and work schedule. At best, it could be a temporary solution depending on the disability of your parent. That’s when you can consider hiring a caregiver; it’s a good idea to bring in a professional caregiver at the outset of the ailment, whether long-term or temporarily.
Remove Potential Problems
Walk around your household, and review the environment to see if it needs any changes or repairs. Some of the things you should look out for include broken handrails, uneven flooring and poorly-lit hallways. Also, see if essential items are easily accessible and whether the emergency contact information is pasted in an easily viewable location. If something needs to be repaired, you may be able to get a low-interest loan if you apply with the name of your elderly parent. But before enquiring or submitting an application, make sure you have a good grasp of what the repair would entail.
Help Them Stay Physically Active
Many parents with mobility problems tend to become isolated, because they experience loss of movement, stop driving or get tired easily. It’s important to help them stay both physically and socially active so that their mood, balance and strength improves. Special exercise programs are available for seniors with mobility problems; they include low-impact activities that don’t require a lot of movement or endurance. In addition, you can find out what parks and community groups offer in terms of organized activities for seniors with disabilities.
At the end of the day, be patient with your elderly parents. Remember they have limited mental and physical capabilities. Pay attention to their stories, their wishes, and especially their problems. If you take time to truly understand their needs, you’ll be in a position to make good decisions that improve their quality of life.