Friday, June 21, 2019

Helping a Loved One to Adjust to Life with Reduced Mobility

As we get older, our bodies change. We can’t always do the things that we used to be able to. We tire more easily, our joints don’t work as well as they once did and our muscles start to weaken. If we’re lucky, it’s nothing more than a gradual and natural part of ageing. But, for some people, it’s more than this. The changes aren’t always gradual, and for some, they begin to present much sooner than is the norm. When this happens, life can become harder, and day to day tasks can’t be completed as easily as they once were. 

If you have a loved one who has suddenly found their mobility reduced, or is finding life more painful than it used to be, they might be feeling very helpless as everything becomes more difficult. But, they might not be ready to move into care or an assisted living facility. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you can do to help them adjust and live in their own home, as comfortably as possible. 

Make Changes Around the Home

Reduced mobility doesn’t mean that your loved one is no longer capable of living alone. Nor does it mean that they need full-time help, or that they are going to have to stop doing things for themselves. In most cases, there are plenty of changes that you can help them to make around the house, that will make life easier and more comfortable. Some of these changes are big things like having wheelchair ramps installed. Others are much smaller, like moving the things that they use daily on to lower shelves that are easy to reach. 

Help Them In Public Spaces

One of the challenges that people with limited mobility can face is interacting with the public and infrastructure in public spaces. As a loved one, you should do your best to anticipate this and help them learn to navigate both these challenges. Society has come a long way in accommodating people with limited mobility, such as a disabled parking permit allowing you to park close to amenities. Access ramps and lifts are also widely available. The key to success here is to teach your loved ones how to spot the infrastructure built to help them.

Explore Their Options

There are always options. Changes at home should certainly be the first step, but that might not be the only change that they want to make. Look into home help with them, as well as exercise classes, therapy and physio. But, remember, you are there to help them learn more about these options, not to take over or make the decisions. 

Let Them Talk

When facing reduced mobility, or a sudden change to health, it’s not just the physical changes that can be hard to adjust to. They might be feeling lonely, scared and upset. What they might need more than anything else is someone to talk to and share their emotions with. Be that person if they need you to be. 

Help them to Find New Hobbies

A great way to help them to adjust to what life has thrown at them is finding ways to show them that this isn’t the end. They can still have a wonderful quality of life. They can still find new hobbies, make new friends and even find things that they are good at. They might just need a little push to find these things and someone to hold their hand as they explore new interests and hobbies. Take a look online for groups and activities in your local area and even look for support groups nearby.

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