Tips for Staying Independent as a Senior with Reduced Mobility

Written by Jesse Neumann. Posted in Topical Medical Articles

You may always intend to live on your own. Independent living typically refers to being able to eat, bathe, dress yourself and perform other necessary daily tasks. If you have reduced mobility but wish to remain independent in your home, discuss your wishes with your doctors and closest family members. You should also follow these tips for staying independent and enjoying your own home.

Prioritize Your Safety

Safety needs to come first no matter what your situation is. If you remain accident-free and avoid falls, you will stand a much better chance of living independently for many years to come. A part of staying safe is evaluating your living conditions on a regular basis. Make sure you know where smoke detectors are, and have an emergency evacuation plan you can easily follow.

Keep your floors tidy so there are no obstructed walkways in your home. Have handrails readily available and use them. Don’t put rugs in your home unless you can secure them. Clearly mark any uneven areas of your floor. Better yet, have them fixed, or cover them in a way that helps you avoid them.

Be sure your home is well-lit so you won’t trip because you don’t see something in your way. Always be careful when ascending or descending stairs. If you struggle with climbing stairs, a stair lift can help you enjoy both floors of a two-story house without worrying about tripping or falling.

Strive to Continually Improve

Harvard Health Publications reported that the simple exercise of walking can provide numerous health benefits that can improve your health and mobility. There is no timeline on bettering oneself. Continue to try to improve how much and how often you can move.

Always follow your doctor’s advice when it comes to how much exercise you should attempt, but discuss your ambitions with your health care providers. For example, if you want to start walking greater distances than you currently can manage, your doctor may help you figure out a plan to achieve that goal.

There are many mobility aids that can be used when walking and even in the home to help you move more easily and safely from one room to another.  Items to consider could be canes, walkers and rollators with wheels and other accessories, such as attachable trays, bags and cup holders.

Outfit Your House with Accessories to Make Things Easier

Staying in your home will be easier if you anticipate your needs and simplify your life. The time to think of bathroom safety is before an accident occurs. If you have trouble getting in and out of the bathtub, a bath chair or transfer bench can make your bathing activities more pleasant and can help prevent accidents. Have a sturdy bath mat, a hand-held shower spray and long-handled bath brush.

The bedroom is also a common area of concern. If there is a chance you might fall from your bed, investing in a bed rail can keep you safe and sound. A high-quality mattress or mattress overlay can protect your back and empower you to get better sleep.

When it comes to the living room, a seat-lift chair can be a comfortable place to sit while you watch television. Because the act of getting in and out of a chair can sometimes be difficult when you face reduced mobility, a seat-lift chair can keep your joints, hips and back from aching when you have to go get a snack during a commercial break or take a quick trip to the bathroom.

Focus on Connections with Loved Ones

Some seniors make the mistake of isolating themselves, and that can be bad for their physical, emotional and mental health. Although it’s not easy for everyone to keep a busy social engagement calendar, it’s important to take steps to engage with others in the community.

Community centers can be great places to learn new activities and connect with new friends. Stay in touch with friends and try to talk to family members at least once per week. Many gyms and YMCAs offer classes specifically designed for seniors where it can be easy to make friends who may be going through similar experiences.

Be willing to reach out for help when you need it. You deserve it. Ask a friend or family member to check up on you on a regular basis if someone doesn’t already do so. You may even want to set aside a certain time for you and a friend to check up on each other every day.

 

Commit to Realistically Assessing Your Situation

Never push yourself too far. Take the advice of your doctors, nurses and caregivers. Ask for feedback from people in your life who have your best interests at heart. While it may be preferable to live alone, listen to your doctor as you strive to remain independent. Don’t stay in your home past the point where your medical team thinks it’s safe to do so.

Finally, keep in mind that having the right medical equipment and accessories can help you to stay independent. Corner Home Medical offers a large selection of high-quality medical equipment. Having it on hand can give you peace of mind when you are home alone.