This is a guest post by Christy Weatherspoon.
If you and your senior family member have been out shopping this holiday season you may have noticed some of the difficulties that older members of the community have in moving around.
Large crowds and busy shopping centers are certainly not the friendliest environments for seniors. People become impatient at the slightest inconvenience such as waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to make their way through the crosswalk. Suddenly common courtesy goes out of the window as everyone rushes around quickly.
But aging is a natural part of life and some things just take more time than they used to. Maybe even too long. Joints become stiff, muscles lose their resiliency, and coordination diminishes. All of these are expected consequences of aging that are known to mankind the world over. But it doesn’t have to be so hard. For certain individuals, so used to their independence, it may not occur to them that it could be time for a cane or walker. If they already use some equipment it might be time to upgrade as new advances are always being made to existing medical devices.
Why Mobility Equipment Is So Hard To Accept
Western society values independence and self-sufficiency very highly. To the point where thinking of oneself as a hard-working, productive member of society means being fully mobile and able to go wherever one pleases. Unfortunately Father Time may have different plans and a transition into the next part of life may be a difficult one. Accepting help could be seen as a sign of weakness rather than a normal part of aging.
What many don’t realize, however, is that walking with a cane or a walker is as dignified as without. There are many younger people with disabilities who use wheelchairs and power scooters and retain their full independence. Learning to accept that you’re not as quick as you used to be, or that joint pain can simply be too much, is vital to enjoying the later years.
Simple Tools, Big Benefits
One of the key benefits that is often overlooked is that medical devices help prevent fatigue. Now, instead of being worn out from a simple trip to the grocery store to buy cranberry sauce, Grandpa can have a good time for the whole day. Regular exercise is important for people of all ages, but managing energy levels plays a big part in reducing injuries that arise from fatigue. The body’s ability to recover from injuries is reduced as we age so it’s important to maintain muscle tone through regular exercise while reducing the chance for injury. Medical costs are also reduced by preventing injury as well.
Some common injuries the elderly suffer occur during:
- falls sustained at the grocery store or shopping center
- crossing the street
- navigating icy sidewalks
This year it may be time to talk to Mom or Dad about a gift they may not yet be ready to receive. The best way to have this conversation is in an open and honest way. After all, family members care and want only the best for each other. It’s important not to press any issue if it’s not the right time. A quiet chat in private away from others is usually the best since this might turn out to be an embarrassing topic.
On the other hand, your loved ones may be happy to know that you care about them. This might be a touchy topic so consulting a doctor is of course recommended. She or he will be better able to determine if a walker or other equipment is necessary. It’s very possible that they haven’t even considered how much some mechanical help to get around could widen their horizons. After all a fine walking stick used to be essential for any well dressed dandy.
Author Bio: Christy Weatherspoon is a writer and insurance agent from Massachusetts. Her favorite pass time is spending time with her family, especially while fishing or anything outdoors. When she’s not working she can be found writing poetry in the study room. She writes on pride mobility scooters and lift chairs as they can help transform lives of old and disabled people.
Images: courtesy of morgueFile