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5 Ways to Help When Your Elderly Parent Can No Longer Walk

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A young woman helping her mother in a wheelchair while having a nice time outside in a park.

It can be very difficult watching your parents age. After all, they were like superheroes to you growing up! When they begin to develop mobility issues, it can be an emotional time, and you may feel like you’re unable to help. But that isn’t the case!

The different ways you can help an elderly parent who can no longer walk include:

  • Helping them get a mobility aid device
  • Modifying their home so it suits their needs
  • Encouraging exercise when possible
  • Helping with transportation needs
  • Seeking support with assisted living

There’s a lot to consider and learn about when a family member is moving to assisted living, but senior living communities can help in so many ways, including with staff who are trained to help a resident struggling with mobility. 

Whether your senior parent lives with you or at a senior living community, there are many ways to help maintain their quality of life and overcome obstacles created by mobility challenges.

1: Using a Mobility Aid Device

Mobility aid device may seem like a complicated term, but it simply refers to anything that can help a person walk when they’re struggling with a mobility problem. These devices include:

  • Walkers
  • Canes
  • Wheelchairs
  • Motor scooters 
  • Lift chairs (for helping a person sit or stand when using a chair)
  • Chair lifts for stairwells

These devices come in many shapes, sizes, and designs, but they’re all designed with one purpose in mind: helping people overcome mobility challenges. 

Wheelchairs, for example, come in two primary varieties: motorized and manual. Motorized wheelchairs come with a built-in system and a rechargeable battery that can take much of the physical effort out of using a wheelchair and instead replace it with a control pad to help the person sitting in it control their movement!

2: Making Home Modifications for Mobility and Safety

One of the best ways you can help a parent struggling with mobility starts at home. By making sure their home suits their needs and accommodates their mobility concerns, you can help them maintain their quality of life and independence.

For example, if there are stairs leading up the front door, look into installing or building a ramp. If the home has stairwells inside, see if it’s possible to install chair lifts inside to make it easier to access the rest of the house.

For the showers and hallways, try setting up railings. Railings and grab bars can help make moving around the house safer by providing extra support. If your senior parent isn’t able to move around without the use of a wheelchair, try clearing the hallways of any and all debris or clutter to ensure there’s nothing in their way. You can also widen doorways and adjust the hinges on doors to create extra space for those with mobility challenges.

Making their home fully accessible and friendly can help senior parents feel much safer and supported!

A senior man smiling and sitting in a wheelchair while exercising with dumbbells.

3: Encouraging Exercise Where Possible

When it comes to mobility problems, it may seem like exercise goes out the window. But this isn’t the case at all! There are many exercises that can be performed while seated or lying down.

For example, senior parents can try:

  • Seated exercises, like leg lifts, stretches, or even bicep curls with appropriate weights. 
  • Water exercises, which can help reduce the stress on joints or muscles.
  • Chair yoga, which can be done at various levels of activity
  • Tai Chi, which incorporates small, slow movements and stretches that can help with balance and flexibility

4: Helping with Transportation

One of the most frustrating things when dealing with a mobility problem can be the feeling of being trapped. Being unable to drive or even sometimes leave your property can seriously affect your mental health. By helping with transportation, you can help your loved one get out and about—and you get to spend quality time together!

Helping with transportation also means you’re able to help them get to all their appointments and complete all their errands!

In some senior living communities that offer assisted living support, transportation assistance is offered with their services and experiences. If so, you and your family can also reach out to the team around the community to learn how your senior parents can benefit from additional transportation support!

5: Getting Support with Assisted Living

Assisted living communities exist to help seniors who may struggle with some aspects of their day-to-day life but still want to remain independent. Moving to a senior living community can be an excellent choice for a parent struggling with mobility concerns who may want additional support.

Senior living communities are designed to support the needs of their residents, and many are set up to accommodate a person who may be struggling with walking. Moving to an assisted living community can seem like a big change, but it can also be a great way for an individual to get daily support that helps them overcome mobility challenges.

Here at Mattison Crossing, we take pride in ensuring each and every resident receives care and support for their needs. We’re experienced in taking care of residents with mobility concerns, and we have all sorts of services available to meet the needs of each of our residents. 

To see for yourself, schedule a tour today!

Morgan Berardi

Written by Morgan Berardi

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