There is no doubt that more mobility has advantages for the elderly. Mobility promotes the physical and mental health of everyone, including the elderly. What can caregivers do to improve the mobility of the elderly? Below we give 10 tips to healthcare providers.
As the elderly exercise more, mobility will automatically improve as a result. It is usually a threshold that people first have to cross, because the elderly have often become anxious about their ability to move sufficiently without risk. People are afraid of falling or running into problems along the way. It is therefore of the utmost importance to remove that fear of movement and to look for incentives for this group. Make exercise fun by planning activities.
2. Investigate alternatives to transport
The elderly regularly do not want to admit that things like driving are becoming increasingly difficult for them. But that means that they become much less mobile due to this self-imposed restriction. They no longer dare to talk about it, or hardly talk about it, and start avoiding certain things. It is then up to the healthcare provider to find alternatives. Public transport can be an excellent alternative, especially for elderly people who are still on the move. In this case, support must be provided to allow the elderly to take that step.
3. Technological support
Older people often do not yet know the possibilities of, for example, a modern navigation system. With this, someone who has restricted driving because of the fact that he or she can no longer find his way can be helped in a simple way. In this case, too, it is important that care providers do everything they can to remove the thresholds. After all, the elderly often have difficulty getting used to technology. Choose devices that are easy to use and give clear instructions that are regularly repeated.
4. Stimulate self-reliance
Research shows that older people exercise less when they are admitted, compared to the previous home situation. This naturally also greatly limits mobility. To get the elderly active again, it is often wise to encourage self-reliance on as many points as possible. If older people can and want to do more business themselves, they will also choose to become more mobile again. This must of course be achieved with the necessary guidance.
5. Increasing certainty
Many elderly people feel insecure in the increasingly busy traffic and are therefore less likely to leave the house. Sometimes it is sufficient to restore that certainty by using technological tools, such as the smartphone or tablet. The fact that the elderly know that they can come into contact with a healthcare provider in this way can make a huge difference in terms of mobility. It is important for a senior to regain that certainty, so that he or she can take to the street with confidence.
Staying mobile at a later age is very important, but can also entail major risks. Certainly when one participates in traffic and has to deal with other road users. It is therefore of the utmost importance for caregivers to properly map out what elderly people can and cannot do. The assessment of the driving ability of the elderly can in the first instance be done by the caregiver himself. However, if doubts arise, it is often wise to contact your doctor. This person may then decide to have a driving proficiency test conducted for the elderly. Based on the outcome of this test, it is decided whether or not the elderly person can keep the driving license.
If the elderly indicate that they have difficulty with matters related to their mobility, training can also be considered. There are specific driving lessons for the elderly who want to keep driving a car, but sometimes feel too insecure. But even when it comes to other means of transport, such as the electric bicycle, training can be an option to increase mobility. A course ‘dealing with current public transport’ can also improve a lot for older people who have not used it for a long time.
One of the simplest, but also the most effective methods to get older people back to mobile is a walker . A walker provides a much better balance and increases the certainty of the elderly to dare to take longer walks. There is also a threshold at the walker that health care providers may still underestimate. An elderly person will sometimes regard the permanent use of a walker as a new confirmation that they will be excluded from society. That image must prevent the caregiver
9. The Mobility
The number of mobility scooters has increased enormously in recent years and that says enough about the benefits of this way of giving older people more mobility. For older people who used to drive a car, such a step may not be very big, but for other older people. It is therefore a duty for care providers to ensure that older people are supported in purchasing the right mobility scooter and to learn how to handle this means of transport properly.
10. Electric wheelchair
The development of the electric wheelchair has increased enormously in recent years. By using better batteries, these seats have a larger range and can also be suitable for outdoor use. In many cases, the operation can also be adjusted to the limitations of the user. Certainly an assignment for health care providers to see which elderly people could benefit from their mobility.
Importance of care providers in the mobility of the elderly
The advice of a care provider can be leading in the choice of the elderly. Therefore, the importance of a healthcare provider should not be underestimated. The caregiver himself may also be aware that the mobility of the elderly depends in part on him. Awareness forms the basis for a strong position with regard to the client.