Senior Living: What Causes Poor Mobility In The Elderly?

Keeping mobile is important, especially for elderly people who tend to suffer from chronic ailments like arthritis. Poor mobility in the elderly can best be counteracted by physical therapy and maintaining physical fitness. However, this needs to be done in a gradual way, without over-exertion, and preferably supervised by a specialist.

Lifestyle can have a significant impact on mobility. An unhealthy lifestyle, with a poor diet and little physical activity is a recipe for reduced mobility. What follows is a general explanation of some of the things that can lead to poor mobility in the elderly.

Causes Of Poor Mobility In The Elderly

A sedentary lifestyle tends to be linked to obesity, mental health issues and isolation. Socializing and engaging in fun activities – or even making sure to go on a daily walk – have huge health benefits.

Nurse talking with an elderly woman with poor mobility in joints sitting on a wheelchair

Elderly people are more likely to have had surgery of one kind or another or suffer from chronic diseases. Diabetes, arthritis, and heart problems can impede mobility and, in turn, make people stressed and depressed. They may feel there is no point making an effort to keep mobile. A poor diet, smoking or drinking alcohol can worsen already poor mobility in the elderly.

  • Low physical activity

To counteract inactivity, health professionals recommend tailored physical therapy. This not only helps loosen stiff joints and ligaments and improve flexibility, but also has mental health benefits. Physical fitness can be improved and maintained with aerobic exercises that pump oxygenated blood to the heart, brain, and muscles.

Encouraging a positive outlook on life is part of the remedy for overcoming low physical activity. Getting elderly people with poor mobility to exercise safely in a supportive environment is vital. Enjoyable physical activities, such as dancing or swimming, can keep you socially engaged and physically in better shape. Staying positive and having a laugh as you take part in such activities is the way forward.

  • Balance problems

Poor mobility in the elderly is also associated with balance problems and, consequently, falls. Falls among elderly people tend to lead to disability and further immobility. Muscle-strengthening physical therapy, as well as activities like yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi can help improve balance and coordination. Breathing exercises can be part of this therapy and help you focus.

Cataracts or other eye problems are common in elderly people and affect their balance. Neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis also have an impact on balance, flexibility, and coordination. Certain medications can also make elderly people more unsteady on their feet. Furthermore, poor mobility in the elderly and associated balance problems can also be due to a specific illness.

If you or your loved one is an elderly who lives in Brooklyn NY and would like to improve mobility, look no further. Fairview Adult Day Care Center in Brooklyn NY offers physical therapy, fitness, recreation activities for seniors. Our highly-skilled multi-language staff offer rehab therapies, including chair yoga, dancing and other physical recreational activities.

This article is for educational and informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. For any questions about your own health condition, speak to a qualified physician or healthcare provider.