6 Causes of Mobility Impairment in the Elderly

6 Things that Can Cause Impaired Mobility in Older Adults

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If you’re providing assistance to an aging loved one, he or she may develop mobility issues over time. Limitations of this nature could also create difficulties with getting around and impact quality of life. However, it’s often possible to manage mobility impairments with the right type of care. Today, we’re going to focus on six of the specific reasons elderly individuals sometimes have mobility difficulties.

1. Arthritis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 60 million adults have some type of arthritis in the United States, and most of these people are 65 or older. The swelling and inflammation characteristic of arthritis can affect joints enough to impair mobility. Being proactive about diet and exercise habits can reduce your loved one’s risk of developing serious issue with arthritis.

If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Chandler Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

2. Obesity

The CDC estimates that nearly 10 million adults 65 to 74 are considered obese. Carrying around excess weight places added stress on joints along with the soft tissues that support the spine, especially the lower back area. Extra weight could impair mobility in seniors because of:

• Joint fractures or pain
• Lower back issues such as spinal disc damage or sciatica
• Soft tissue strains or sprains

3. Fibromyalgia

A chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia makes soft tissues tender and painful. Because everything can literally hurt with fibromyalgia, this condition can make it difficult to get around. The resulting instability could also increase your loved one’s risk of bumping into things and experiencing additional discomfort.

4. Neurological Disorders

Some seniors develop issues with neurological disorders they had earlier in life that produce more problematic symptoms later, and this may happen because of the ongoing breakdown of healthy muscle and nerve tissue. Multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy are two of the more common neurological disorders that can impair mobility.

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can be classified as neurological disorders as well. These conditions can also have an impact on mobility during more advanced stages due to the way the brain, which manages all nervous system signals, is affected.

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Chandler seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

5. Parkinson’s Disease

Tremors and muscle stiffness are two of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease that can impair mobility in seniors. Parkinson’s doesn’t always cause pain, but it can contribute to slow or exaggerated movements. If this is the case with your loved one, he or she may benefit from the use of appropriate assistive aids like walkers or wheelchairs.

6. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis (OP) is a bone disease that slows down or speeds up the production of new bone tissue in a way that makes bones and joints weaker. Seniors with this condition may reach a point where they move slower to reduce their risk of falling. Those with OP may benefit from:

• Bone-building medications
• Low-heeled or nonslip shoes that prevent falls
• Hormone-related therapies
• Nutrient-rich foods that promote healthy bone tissue growth 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at 480.448.6215 to find out how we can best assist your loved one.