If arthritis, an injury or a debilitating illness has left your parent facing mobility issues, they may be feeling fear and anxiety about what the future holds. Their ability to perform the daily tasks of living, including driving, may be diminishing and, as their independence wanes, so too does their positive outlook on life. Increasing isolation can lead to depression. Before this vicious cycle ensues, you, as a family caregiver, can help your parent face this challenging issue with confidence.
There are several strategies you can take to help your loved one manage loss of mobility. These include:
- Physical Activity. Pain and obesity leads to decreased movement which in turn leads to loss of muscle tone, strength and flexibility. Use it or lose it is a well-coined term for a reason. Help your loved one remain as active as they can within their range of mobility. For those suffering from arthritis, water aerobics is a good choice for exercise as it takes the pressure off of painful joints. Riding a stationary bicycle can provide increased strength while limiting the pounding pressure that can occur with more strenuous weight-bearing activities. Tai chi and yoga have proved beneficial for seniors—increasing strength, flexibility and balance.
- Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. A senior facing declining health may become fearful of movement due to the increasing concern of falling and the possible consequences. Sometimes, working with a physical therapist can give them the confidence they need to begin an exercise program. An occupational therapist can help them perform the everyday activities of living by addressing key issues and offering solutions—both in how they perform certain tasks and changing their environment to be more user friendly.
- Food is the energy the body uses to function. The type of food your parent consumes plays a big role in their vitality and overall health. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps supply the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to remain healthy and repair damage. According to an article in Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health, this type of diet lowers the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes. One study found that “those who averaged 8 or more servings a day were 30 percent less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke.” It is particularly important to include these specific foods in their diet: leafy greens, blueberries, apples and salmon.
Home Care Provider
If your loved one needs help with the everyday activities of living, consider obtaining the services of a home care provider. They have worked with countless seniors facing this issue and understand the physical as well as psychological effects. In addition to daily tasks, they can prepare healthy meals, accompany your parent on daily walks or provide transportation to the local senior community center for exercise classes as well as life-affirming camaraderie. You’ll find that one of the most important services they provide, and the one your parent comes to truly cherish, is companionship.
If you or a family member are in need of home care in Coconut Creek, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770. Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.