There are many reasons why a person can be living with mobility problems including disease, congenital problems, and injuries. Diseases that can lead to mobility issues include arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke among others. Sports injuries and musculoskeletal accidents such as sprains, strains, and fractures can likewise lead to a temporary problem with mobility.
Tips & Solutions For Those Living With Mobility Problems
Having mobility problems can greatly limit your productivity and quality of life. While these cases are more common among older people, young and active individuals are also at risk of mobility problems secondary to lower extremity injuries. Here are some tips that you can follow to live comfortably despite having mobility problems.
Use the right type of mobility aid
Mobility aids are designed to assist in your ambulation, recovery, and rehabilitation. They come in a variety of forms but are all designed to provide you with stability and balance you need to get from one place to another independently.
For balance problems, canes and walking sticks are generally recommended. On the other hand, if you have weak legs that cannot fully support your weight, you may opt to use quad canes or walkers to help transfer some of your body weight to the upper extremities.
People with lower extremities injuries are often required to avoid weight bearing on the affected area during the recovery period. It is important to immobilize the injured limb by wearing orthopedic boots for foot fractures, ankle braces for Achilles tendon injuries, and a knee immobilizer for knee injuries. To avoid applying weight to the injured legs, crutches are generally preferred.
Make some home modifications
To ensure your safety, you might need to make some home modifications. Enlist the help of your family and friends in rearranging your furniture and making the hallway wider to accommodate you and your mobility aid. Design your home in a way that will make doing daily chores easier. Here are some home modification tips that you can follow:
Even if you don’t have a mobility problem, stairs are inherently considered a hazardous part of your home. To make stairs safer, widen the steps (if possible), add low-pile carpet runners, and secure the banisters. See to it that the stairs have adequate lighting to prevent fall injuries. If you are using a wheelchair, you can also add a ramp to help you navigate better without having to use the stairs.
Doors and passageways
Make every doorway and passageway wider so that you can easily pass through them. If the structure of your doors and passageways can’t be altered, at least make them clutter-free and move furniture to the side, out of the way.
Upgrade your bathroom by installing non-slip rubber mats, raised toilet seats, shower chairs, and handheld showerheads. These devices can make using the bathroom easier for someone with mobility problems. There should also be grab bars installed on the bathroom walls so that you can lean on them for support.
Put kitchen tools and utensils in the lower shelves and cupboards for easier accessibility. Keep the floors dry at all times and wipe any spilled liquid immediately to prevent slipping accidents.
Be physically active
Whether you have a short-term or a long-term mobility problem, you shouldn’t necessarily skip exercise altogether. Exercising will increase the blood circulation to your limbs, which helps in the healing process. Even if you have a limited use of your legs, you can still do different kinds of exercises.
For cardiovascular workouts, you can do chair dancing. Turn on some music and wave your arms, wiggle your hips, tap your toes, and have some fun. Depending on the nature of your mobility problem, you can also do swimming and water aerobics to bring back your muscle tone and joint flexibility.
Prolonged immobility will make your limbs lose their function as the muscles shrink in size and the joints stiffen if not used for a long time. Consult your doctor and physical therapist regarding the best type of exercises suited for your health condition.