Improving mobility in the senior citizens
Impaired mobility is a major health concern for senior citizens, affecting
fifty percent of people over 85 and at least a quarter of those over 75. As
adults lose the ability to walk, to climb stairs, and to rise from a chair,
they become completely disabled. The problem cannot be ignored because people
over 65 constitute the fastest growing segment of the population.
Therapy designed to improve mobility in senior citizen patients is usually
built around diagnosing and treating specific impairments, such as reduced
strength or poor balance. It is appropriate to compare senior citizens seeking
to improve their mobility to athletes seeking to improve their split times.
People in both groups perform best when they measure their progress and work
toward specific goals related to strength, aerobic
capacity, and other physical qualities.
Someone attempting to improve a
senior citizenís mobility must decide what impairments to focus on, and in
many cases, there is little scientific evidence to justify any of the options.
Today, many caregivers choose to focus on leg strength and balance. New
research suggests that limb velocity and core
strength may also be important
factors in mobility.
The family is one of the most important providers for the senior citizen. In
fact, the majority of caregivers for the senior citizen are often members of
their own family, most often a daughter or a granddaughter. Family and friends
can provide a home (i.e. have senior citizen relatives live with them) help
with money and meet social needs by visiting, taking them out on trips, etc.