Maintaining independence and having the ability to continue to do normal daily tasks is likely important to your loved one. This can get more difficult with time, which affects mobility. We often use this phrase, but it isn’t always explained. Difficulty with mobility can include individuals who are wheelchair bound, bedridden, or simply have difficulty with vertigo, sight, or grip. So, if your loved one starts to have trouble with their balance, their sight, or their strength, then their mobility is something you may be concerned about. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you prolong their ability to be independent for just a little longer.
Helping with Balance
Balance can affect us all, and it can happen when we have low blood pressure, an ear infection, or weakened muscles from surgery. It can be very disorienting and extremely disruptive when your loved one doesn’t feel safe simply moving from one room to the other. A simple tip is to add safety handles in the bathroom, or close to any ramps or stairs. You may also consider providing your loved one with some hiking poles so that they have something to hang on to from one room the next.
If your loved one has gotten used to their balance issues, but continues to shuffle their feet, then falls can become a worry. Use brightly colored duct tape around edges, changes in height, or to smooth down the edges of rugs and secure them to the floor. Not only will the bright colors cause your loved one to slow down and pay attention, but the tape will also help corners and edges from causing a fall.
Assistance with Sight
If your loved one struggles to see as daylight fades or is losing their sight due to other medical conditions, then there are ways to help! Moleskin is a fuzzy tape that we use on the inside of the backs of our shoes to prevent blisters. It can also be used as a texture for your loved one to feel different items. Place it near light switches or other important items, and they’ll be able to feel when they are next to an item they are looking for.
Glow in the Dark Tape is also something that can help! Use it as a guide towards bathrooms or doorways. Something else that may help is LED strip lighting under the bed. This provides a glow when you stand up but doesn’t bother the person laying on the bed trying to sleep. LED strip lighting can also be placed under the couch and under bathroom or kitchen cabinets to provide extra guidance when it gets dark.
Assistance with Strength
When your loved one just can’t grip things anymore, or it takes longer for them to get up, it might be time to help them with their strength. Chair yoga can help your loved one build muscle and feel more active. It is easy to do and will help them maintain their flexibility. You can make this fun by coming over a few times a week and doing it with them for about 30 minutes! There are free YouTube videos online that are easy to follow.
Other tricks that help with strength are using rubberized shelf liner as a leg lifter, or using pool noodles around doorknobs to make them easier to grip. Remember that here at Homewatch CareGivers of Annapolis we’re always here to support you and your loved one. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you make sure your loved one stays mobile and independent for as long as possible.