"You've got to keep moving to keep moving." This wisdom was offered by a gentleman who had survived an explosion that broke nearly every bone in his body. Decades later, he was still active and productive, a force to be reckoned with on the golf course or in the pool.
Senior mobility has become a big issue. It isn't just the ability to get to the grocery store or around the mall. Closer to home, it can mean getting from your bed to the bathroom, from your chair to the kitchen, or being able to get out of your bathtub.
Studies show that one in four seniors are likely to suffer from a fall. Many are fatal, most can be avoided. Being mindful of your surroundings and your abilities will help prevent accidents and injuries from happening. Staying sharp takes work, but it may just save your life.
Regular exercise helps build and maintain strength while improving flexibility, balance, and circulation. Physical activity is crucial for maintaining your body and your mind. Making an active commitment to your health and longevity is the biggest step toward these goals. It is important to know your limits, but equally important to push them, just a bit. Setting a baseline of your condition with your doctor lets you track your progress. Knowing your abilities and limitations is key to finding what works. Always keep safety in mind.
It is imperative to wear appropriate shoes when exercising, especially if one side of your body is damaged or weakened. Sturdy shoes will help keep your feet firmly planted. You can perform many challenging exercises while seated in a chair. A simple, safe, and healthy exercise regimen should fit into your lifestyle. If it isn't fun, it won't get done.
Using the appropriate assistive device can be the difference between a good experience and a very bad one. Safety is a major factor in mobility as falls can be killers. Products to maintain safety and mobility, are as diverse as the needs being met.
Canes and walkers are typically the first lines of defense against falls. If weakness or balance are concerns, these inexpensive tools can represent ambulatory independence. Wheelchairs can be custom designed to suit every ability and need. There are also programs available to find the right chair to meet your personal mobility challenges.
Installing grab bars or handrails in strategic spots will ensure a safer transition from sitting to standing, or when floor surfaces change. Stairs, while notoriously dangerous, are not the only trip hazard in a home. Moving from a hard surface onto carpet is more dangerous than you think. Consider installing grab bars in doorways where surfaces change.
Eating well is the best revenge. As we age, our nutritional demands change. Getting the right nutrients prevents disease and slows aging, keeping us on our feet longer. Your diet should be in proportion to your size and level of activity, and should provide the nutrients specific to your person. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offers nutritional assistance and advice through a variety of educational and financial resources. If you are not able to acquire foods that offer adequate nutrition, check with your doctor about taking vitamins or supplements. Over-the-counter does not mean safe-under-any-circumstance, so make sure you are getting the right stuff in the right dose.
Seeing is Relieving. Seeing where you are going is a key factor in mobile independence. Seeing well helps prevent falls, spills, and collisions, thereby providing a safer environment. The sooner you address visual impairments, the more likely it is that corrections can be made. Corrective lenses are unique to each eye. They must be fitted to the wearer for best results. Surgeries are also available to treat vision problems. Using protective eyewear against sun damage or airborne particulate prevents injuries, which may have a cumulative effect. By following a few simple tips on to keep you on the right path, your vision care and eye health will see you through. An annual visit to your optometrist is a good starting point.
With commitment, care, and effort, you can keep moving to keep moving, too.