Although all of us age at a different pace, when we reach our senior years we can expect to experience a decrease in our ability to move around. There are a lot of reasons why seniors are more susceptible to having mobility problems. Some may be avoidable or something you can stave off longer than you think. Let’s review a few common reasons behind mobility issues and how you can tackle those issues now and before they occur.
Aging Joints Are The Top Contender
As we age, our bones and joints become weak and brittle. Most commonly, the hip joint is a number one reason for a person’s inability to move from room to room. Hip surgery is a common remedy for this issue and it’s a very effective one. Technology has evolved so that the surgery is relatively quick. Some patients are even up and moving within 24 hours. and Recovery is a bit more pleasant than it used to be, as well. You will often need a walking aid during recovery and most people use those for just a short period of time.
Obesity Makes It Difficult
There are so many changes in the body as we age. Our metabolism shifts, making the burning of calories a slower process. Hormonal shifts result in hyperthyroidism that can contribute to weight gain. The rising numbers of diabetics in the senior citizen population is another factor in the battle of the bulge. As we age and our bones become weaker, extra weight creates a dire situation that can make moving about that much harder. And we need to be able to move in order to maintain a healthy weight to keep from having those mobility issues.
Obesity in seniors is, unfortunately, a common occurrence and appears to occur more among those who have very few friends and family to support them. Ideally, keeping your weight at a healthy level prior to the senior years the best thing you can do for yourself. Realistically, it doesn’t always happen that way. This is when putting together a comprehensive plan with your doctor and looking for social events can be a great help to you. Senior centers across the country often host exercise classes geared towards the older generation and outings that encourage healthy activities. YMCA’s are also an excellent resource for water activities that are low impact and help with weight and bone issues.
Mental Health Is Important
Depression and mental illness are very common but are also some of the least noticed issues we face until we reach the senior years. Major depression disorders and mental illnesses have a common denominator: isolation and unhealthy habits. People who are suffering tend to hide away at home and eat unhealthy foods. They may not take the medications they need to take for a healthy body and mind. Combined with other aging factors, when our mental health is not doing well, we are likely to find ourselves suffering from severe pain just taking a shower.
Taking care of mental health is ideal early on but sometimes the symptoms don’t show themselves until much later. Whether it’s for you or a loved one, seeking a therapist as soon as you see signs of depression or mental health concerns should be on the top of your list. Seeking therapy still comes with a negative stigma but just about everyone needs help in their lives and it’s important to stress that talking to an unbiased person is a great way to unleash all that is inside. When we feel good about ourselves emotionally, we are more likely to take care of ourselves physically and do much better.
Mobility issues can happen no matter the precautions you take. At the very first sign of trouble, such as being unable to walk down the stairs, go see your doctor. You can also take a few precautions in the home to make it more mobility-friendly. By taking care of things quickly and early, you can at least make like a bit more manageable.