Our ability to walk is vital to our sense of self-reliance, but age inevitably affects our mobility and makes most activities of daily living more challenging to perform. Unable to get around as well as they did for most of their lives, seniors can start to feel isolated and depressed, but the good news is that they do have options to restore quality of life.
Kenny Higdon, owner of 5 Star Home Care, said that with a helping hand, a senior can continue normal daily routines to some extent. His company offers professional, comprehensive home care to people who need help performing such day-to-day activities as bathing, dressing, doing laundry, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation. 5 Star helps seniors with mobility issues, as well as those of all ages who are living with a disability or recovering from an injury or illness.
Experts say mobility problems are defined as trouble climbing 10 steps or walking a quarter of a mile. If this applies to a loved one, it's important to talk to his or her doctor so the cause can be pinpointed and remedies considered.
Reasons for mobility issues can include: Falls and Injuries – Perhaps the most obvious culprit for a limited ability to walk is injuries resulting from stumbles caused by loose rugs or other hazards, yet falls can sometimes reveal conditions that were not yet been detected. We've all seen the television commercial where the senior is on the ground begging for help, saying, "I've fallen and I can't get up!" Sadly, this is a very real danger for frail persons.
Osteoarthritis – The leading cause of disability in persons older than 65, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It most commonly affects joints in the hands, knees, hips and spine. It's caused by a wearing down of the protective cartilage on the ends of bones. Stiffness, loss of flexibility, tenderness, and bone spurs are all signs of this. Some people inherit a heightened risk of osteoarthritis, and women experience it more often than men. Those carrying extra body weight are more likely to develop the condition.
Osteoporosis – This condition results from decreased bone mass when the living tissue can't keep up with the removal of old bone. In this weakened state, even bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Back pain, loss of height and a stooped posture are all symptoms. A doctor may test bone density with an X-ray.
Alzheimer's & Dementia – Cognitive conditions affect someone's ability to get around without assistance. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with Alzheimer's become increasingly vulnerable to falling. Falls can lead to fractures. In addition, falls are a common cause of serious head injuries. Whatever the cause, seniors who are in frail condition need assistance getting around so they do not worsen their condition with a fall. Even simple acts like reaching for something in a cupboard or stretching to grasp something can put them at risk and lead to costly hospital stays and physical rehab.
Higdon said those suffering from osteoarthritis can usually get effective relief from prescriptions and physical therapy. Staying active can slow the natural deterioration of bones, so those with osteoporosis should talk to their doctor about a low impact exercise routine. To prevent falls, family should check the home for electrical cords and slippery surfaces, and possibly install grab bars in showers. Family members with Alzheimer's or Dementia require help from family members or another caregiver.
About 5 Star Home Care Higdon started 5 Star Home Care in 2007 after his own mother experienced difficulty finding someone the family could trust to care for his grandmother and took on the responsibility herself at great sacrifice. 5 Star Home is one of the few agencies who are locally owned and operated as most are franchises of larger corporations based outside of town.
Realizing how precious our seniors are, 5 Star employs the most qualified caregivers who are hired only after undergoing careful background checks and drug screens. The company's procedures are tailored to work towards constant monitoring, care management and never placing the senior at risk of being left without care.
Home care services exist to provide the basic services that facilities do – light housekeeping, meal preparation and social activities – without removing the senior from the familiarity of home. It is a cost efficient alternative to an assisted living facility that preserves the aging loved one's sense of freedom and comfort.
Families who are concerned about the health and safety of their loved one as the result of immobility of frailty should call or visit 5starHomeCare.com. In Chattanooga and surrounding areas call 423893-8181. In middle Tennessee, call 931-474-7823.
To learn more about 5 Star Home Care and their services, visit 5starHomeCare.com. In Chattanooga and surrounding areas call 423-893-8181. In middle Tennessee, call 931-474-7823.