When a person experiences some type of incident or condition that results in partial or complete mobility impairment, his/her life might be affected not only in a physical way, but also in a psychological one. Those who suffer from limited mobility often find themselves changing various aspects of their lives and their general well-being tends to go through a downhill battle.
Elderly people dealing with short-term mobility conditions might opt for resting on a professional facility until they have gained back their autonomy, while others might turn to an unpaid carer such as a friend or a relative. However, there are also elderlies who might decide for a professional paid carer.
In many cases, a person experiencing a fracture or any other short-term mobility problem might chose to rest at home instead of a healthcare setting. When this condition is not permanent but it takes a considerable period of time to recover, then the sufferer might resort to employing someone such as a carer to assist them with personal tasks. These paid professionals might help you with routine activities which include, but are not limited to:
- Purchasing goods
- Doing the laundry
- Preparing meals
- Going to the bathroom
- Getting dressed
Whichever is the case, and whoever is chosen for supporting the person, there are mobility aids ideal for each situation. Walking sticks, wheelchairs, crutches and rollators are only some of the options available in the market. You should consult with your doctor on which one would be the best suited for your needs.
With large mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, you should be aware that you might need to adapt your house and acquire some appliances. This is to ensure that the sufferer is able to navigate the different rooms easily and comfortably. Wheelchair-friendly appliances in spots such as the main door, the bathroom and the aisles are sometimes important to help a person go around the house. These appliances also provide a sense of autonomy. For instance, it might be necessary to install handgrips in the toilet for a person to grab as she/he descends or to replace staircases with wheelchair ramps to allow a person to go in more easily.
What can you do?
Having their independency taken away might take a toll on a large number of people. Individuals that have to go about their life with mobility problems are sensible to emotional distress. If you are close to someone with some type of limiting physical disability there are a few things you can do. Some forms of therapy such as self-help groups can help individuals express their emotions and provide a general feeling of understanding. In addition, there are a several methods helpful for reducing feelings such as stress, which can benefit those suffering with mobility issues. You can talk with a professional experienced in the psychological field to find out more about stress relieving methods.
If you suspect that your loved one is dealing with negative emotions, such as depressive disorder, do not stay with your arms crossed. Try to be thoughtful and put yourself in the situation of the person. Maybe they have this negative feelings because they have not socialized or been in the outside world for a while; if that’s the case you can schedule a meeting with their friends. When you perceived that pessimistic mental states have completely taken over your loved one, make sure that they are treated correctly and with the seriousness they should.
If you are worried about the physicality and health condition of the person, you can practice or suggest some exercises that can help them improve their state. These movements are beneficial since they help sufferers stretch their bodies and solidify soft tissue. However, you should take into consideration that these exercises should not be done by whoever is available, since they call for a willingness to operate with extreme care and soft movements. You should consult with a doctor to determine which exercises will work best on the patient. If necessary, the doctor or someone qualified could explain the care or carers how to perform these movements on the sufferer.
Regarding routine tasks, if you see your loved one is carrying artifacts or bags, which might be too heavy for them, make sure to assist them with it. If relatives or friends are not readily available, then try to find someone else who is.
Keep in mind that more than half of the incidents involving mobility impairment have to do with falling down, they sometimes even lead to premature death. Those facing mobility problems are more vulnerable to losing control and falling down, therefore it is important to avoid these incidents as much as possible.