How to Help Aging Parents Remain Independent

How to Help Aging Parents Remain Independent

Posted by Susan T. on Aug 25th 2021

Over time, the human body deteriorates with age and can develop mobility problems, making it difficult for seniors to perform everyday tasks. In addition, age-related illnesses can make it difficult for seniors to maintain active, healthy lifestyles, impacting their overall happiness and quality of life.

Ask seniors what they fear the most about aging, and many will say losing their independence due to age-related physiological changes. Many seniors who lead active lifestyles are unable to come to terms with the potential loss of mobility and independence.

Seniors who are able to maintain their independence live happy, fulfilling lives. Being independent allows a senior to participate in the activities they enjoy and lead an active lifestyle, which reduces their risk for chronic health diseases.

While there is only little you could do to slow down the aging process, you can help them keep their independence as they age.

Here are some tips to help seniors be independent from our team at Mobility Masters, experts in mobility scooters and other mobility aids.

Help Them Stay Socially Active

Humans are social animals. We have an innate desire to interact with the people around us and our environment. Unfortunately, many people may lose this desire as they age. Seniors with mobility impairments find it difficult to get in or out of cars and move around to remain social. Mobility problems make it an uphill struggle for them to be able to socialize comfortably.

Seniors not only face mobility challenges, but they have lower energy levels throughout the day. They become exhausted quickly and might want to hit the bed after they come home from outside. Lack of energy and fatigue can prevent them from spending time with their families and friends. Many seniors are upset about their condition. As a result, they are emotionally unavailable and want to avoid interactions.

Various studies have shown the mental benefits of staying social as one ages. A study revealed that 60-year olds who see their friends almost every day are 12% less likely to develop dementia than those who visit their friends once every few months. Social isolation and loneliness have been associated with increased risks of obesity, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease.

There are several ways you can help your senior parents remain socially active. For example, you may encourage them to learn new skills or pursue a hobby, join a club or volunteer at a local charity. Make time for them and encourage them to do outside activities.

Ask them to accompany you on trips to the grocery store. Help them attend church, community events, visit relatives, and reconnect with old friends. Consider getting a furry companion for them.

Gift Them a Mobility Aid

Living an active lifestyle is important to staying healthy. Physical activity is key to maintaining healthy body weight and avoiding many health risks associated with obesity.

Consider gifting your aging parents a mobility scooter or any other type of mobility aid. A mobility aid will help them remain active and be able to engage in social and physical activities they enjoy.

Mobility scooters and other types of mobility aids come loaded with safety and convenience features.

If you plan to gift a manual wheelchair to your aging parent, think again. As the name suggests, manual wheelchairs are manually operated. Pushing a wheelchair is hard and can leave a user feeling tired and exhausted. Instead, get them a mobility scooter that can be more maneuverable than a wheelchair.

Adapt Your Home to Their Changing Needs

A traditional home is not designed to support a senior’s needs when it comes to staying mobile. Many seniors slip or fall in their homes and sustain injuries while moving from one place to another or performing everyday tasks such as taking a shower or laundering clothes. Many seniors confine themselves to their rooms when they face challenges moving from one place to another in their homes.

Here are some must-have modifications to ease the usage of mobility aids.

  • If an aging parent uses a mobility aid, widen doorways
  • To reduce risk of slips and falls, install ramps
  • Modify the kitchen by lowering the sink and adjusting counter height
  • Replace conventional bathtubs with walk-in showers or with walk-in tubs
  • Install grab bars
  • Install a slip-resistant mat and grab bars in the bathroom
  • Replace old and shaggy carpet with a new carpet with a shorter nap
  • Use throw rugs on hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and tile floors
  • Consider installing slip-resistant flooring

Need help choosing the right mobility aid for your aging parents? Mobility Masters has you covered. We have an extensive collection of mobility aids by leading manufacturers including Golden Technologies, Pride, and EWheels. Our team has years of experience helping find the perfect mobility aid for each user’s specific needs. For inquiries, call (800) 936-7006.