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Reducing In-Home Mobility Risks for Redding Seniors

Jul 2, 2018 by Joseph Karch

Of the many factors that are associated with an individual’s mobility, age associated hurtles are maybe the most familiar for the Caregivers of Redding’s Comfort Keepers. Although there are a myriad of everyday activities affected by mobility issues, and another number of issues that contribute to age related mobility deficits, it is the elimination of risk factors that In-Home Caregivers tend to prioritize. The looming presence of these risks can sometimes determine whether or not a person lives in their own home or in an assisted living facility.

We hate falls!

In the home, the most common, and maybe most fatal risk is falling. Aging people, who tend to have compromised bone structure, muscle weakness, chronic pain, and or neurological disorders, are at risk of serious injury or even death due to falls. Breaking a hip can be fatal! This means that the risks involved with lack of mobility must be addressed throughout the activities of daily living with great consistency. Without addressing the mobility issues, the risks increase, hence independence and an ability to achieve well being are extremely compromised. Don’t believe it? Consider a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “In 2014 alone, older Americans experienced 29 million falls causing seven million injuries and costing an estimated $31 billion in annual Medicare costs”.

A major goal for the In-Home Caregivers of Comfort Keepers of Redding/Redbluff is to use a variety of methods and tools to eliminate fall risk factors. This ensures that our clients with mobility challenges are able to pursue an enhanced quality of life while staying at home. It may seem as though we are somewhat nagging, and overly persistent, but our “No-Fall Policy” leads the way in preventing people from losing the comforts of home.

Here are some ways that any Caregiver can help prevent or slow the progression of mobility issues and reduce falls risks:

Discuss Mobility Issues with the Doctor

While sitting in the tiny exam room, the issue of mobility may never even become apparent, so having a proper conversation about the specific mobility issues will initiate a proper diagnosis and plan of care. Encourage a person to attend each and every doctor’s appointment. No matter how difficult or trivial it may seem, each of these appointments can be an opportunity to address mobility issues. Care Services

Get a Medical Alert System

Having these effective alert systems can remove the fear of not being able to call for help should something happen. Click here for more info

Stay Active

Encourage and assist a person so that they will continue to engage in their routine activities as mobility challenges emerge. These activities vary widely from normal things like brushing their teeth and eating at the table to going grocery shopping or out with a group of friends. If the mind does not have a reason to move, the body won’t either. Care Services

Keep Moving

Don’t forget: either we “Use it or lose it”! Caregivers don’t necessarily have to crack a whip, but simply encourage a person not to give up while using what abilities they have. If they have been working with a physical therapist, encourage and provide follow-up assistance with their exercise plan; even if the physical therapy referral has run out. A person might not become the next gold metal Olympian, but practicing the use of balance, flexibility, and muscle strengthening techniques will help them avoid falls. Care Services

Adapt the Home

Bring the “Nursing Home” home. Caregivers can help remove obstacles that may be considered fall hazards, such as unsteady tables, loose floor rugs, cords/wires, or tight corners. Install hand rails/bars to assist in getting up or down or walking from one location to another. These are especially critical in the shower and bathroom where falls are most prominent. Seek out an adapter to raise a toilet seat, or chair at the kitchen table. Care Services

Get the Right Devices

A doctor, or most likely, an occupational therapist/physical therapist can help a person get situated with mobility aids that are best fitted for them; such as a cane, walker, wheelchair, or mechanical device that safely helps a person transfer from one place to another with ease. The experts will not only help a person obtain these items, but they will work with the person and their In-Home Caregiver to ensure that both learn how to use them to the best advantage. Care Services

Medication Assistance

Stay aware of all medications being taken, these include prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and dietary/herbal supplements. They could impact a person’s gait or ability to maintain balance, and contribute to lack of overall alertness. All of these side effects are potential factors when considering a person’s lack of mobility. Medication Services

 Encourage Proper Nutrition

Ensure that healthy foods are available. Making sure that the right foods are available at the right times can help a person maintain a healthy weight and provide the nutrients needed to stay as active as can be. If possible, a caregiver may ask a doctor for a referral to work with a nutritionist. Care Services

Keep them Hydrated

Help them but maintain the proper amount of water intake. Staying hydrated will help promote a healthy body that resists disease and infection, thus ensuring that an individual struggling with mobility can focus on becoming as mobile as possible. Care Services

Comfort Keepers of Redding/Redbluff can help. About one-quarter of Americans over age 65 need help with everyday activities such as eating, bathing, and getting in and out of bed or a chair. Our trained caregivers can help with these and other tasks, while providing companionship. Comfort Keepers can also have someone perform home safety assessments to identify fall hazards, and make recommendations to improve safety. Call your Redding/Redbluff office today! (530) 223-6060 Chat via Email here

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