6 Simple Steps to Get Elderly Walking Again | Meal Village

6 Simple Steps to Get Elderly Walking Again

19 Feb 2024

elderly woman walking in the backyard with the assistance of her daughter and a walker

As you age, your joints might start to ache, and you might find yourself moving slower. However, it's important to keep your body moving daily so you can continue to feel your best. Whether you need this advice for yourself or a loved one, below, learn how to get the elderly walking again to try regaining mobility.

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6 ways to get older adults walking again

  • 1. Find a suitable mobility aid

  • When searching for the right mobility device, choose one that offers support but still challenges your body. Assistive devices such as a walker or cane will work your muscles while providing balance, which can overall improve your quality of life.

  • 2. Take small steps toward daily movement

  • Moving your body may not come as easily as it used to, but it's key for maintaining mobility. Here are a few things you can try to promote daily activity.

    • Create a schedule. Set aside time every day to move your body. Think of this scheduled time as an appointment. That way, you can't miss it.

    • Bring your family and friends. With some friendly conversation and a helpful hand when you need it, exercising can be fun and rewarding.

    • Hire a trained caregiver. A licensed professional can ease your stress and help you get back on your feet.

  • 3. Seek care services

  • As you grow older, your loved ones might ask how you feel about moving into a nursing home. If you instead prefer to stay home but need assistance, hire a trained caregiver who can assist you with daily exercises.

  • 4. Work on balance and muscle strength

  • When it comes to walking, balance and strength work hand-in-hand. Without them, you're more susceptible to falls. Doing daily exercises can help you build stronger muscles and greatly reduce your risk of falling. Ask your doctor which exercises they recommend for you, and jump to the FAQs below for some exercise ideas.

  • 5. Make home improvements

  • Whether you're using a walker, a wheelchair, or neither, creating small changes in your home can greatly improve your emotional and physical well-being. What's even better is that most of these changes won't break the bank.

    Consider moving your bedroom to the first floor to eliminate the need for stairs. You can also move furniture around to create a better walking path or (this is a bit more expensive) add a ramp in your garage. Try placing the household items you use most often on a lower shelf too - this way, they're much easier to reach.

  • 6. Find a local support group

  • Losing your ability to move can feel isolating and depressing. Instead of feeling like you're going through it alone, seek out support from others who are going through this too. Weekly discussions can ease your stress and uplift your spirits as you navigate this new stage of life.

FAQs about getting elderly people walking again

Can older adults regain mobility?

Yes, older adults can slowly regain their mobility. You're especially likely to pull this off if you continue to move your body in a safe and positive environment. To start this journey, speak with your doctor and ask for recommendations for physical therapy and at-home care services.

How can older adults regain leg strength?

As an older adult, there are multiple movements you can do either sitting or standing to regain strength in your legs. Below is a list of daily exercises you can perform to boost your endurance and build muscle in your lower body. Consider getting a doctor's approval on these exercises before starting them to minimize potential injuries.

  • Ankle rotations: While seated, rotate each ankle 10 times clockwise, then repeat the same process counterclockwise.

  • Hamstring curls: In a seated position, lift one leg off the floor and slowly bend your knee towards your chest. Complete this movement 10 times for each leg.

  • Calf raises: Begin with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting against a wall or sturdy object for support. Raise both of your heels so that only the balls of your feet are touching the ground. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower your heels back onto the floor. Repeat this process 10 times.

  • Sit to stand: Start in a seated position with your feet shoulder-width apart and shoulders straight. Slowly lean forward and push up out of the chair into a standing position. Then, slowly bend both knees and move your hips backward until you're seated comfortably. Repeat 10 times.

What can cause a sudden loss of mobility in older adults?

Although you might lose your mobility slowly, sometimes, illness or an accident can lead to sudden mobility loss. Additionally, some medications, including certain sedatives and antipsychotics, can cause dizziness and make it harder to maintain balance. Older adults are also more susceptible to brittle bones, which can lead to falling and an increased risk of broken bones and fractures.

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