Ageing and Mobility
As we age, our perception of mobility evolves in accordance with the biological changes that occur within our bodies but also in response to our environment. When we are young, many of us take our mobility for granted, as our bodies are better equipped to handle any physiological stress and our recovery mechanisms can fire more effectively to get us back to our regular selves in a fairly efficient manner.
As we grow older, sometimes something as simple as a fall, accident or surgery can severely impede our independence, temporarily or long-term. As we age, our body’s power to bounce back after these types of incidents can be reduced and in some instances, our bodies may never entirely recover from these types of traumas.
It is not, however, all doom and gloom! If we are lucky, ageing is a fact of life and something to look forward to, as with age comes wisdom and, as humans, our capacity to innovate and evolve is inherent within our nature as adaptive creatures. Sometimes, a small change can create a massive impact on our quality of life by improving our mobility and overall sense of wellbeing. Once we realise that mobility can be as simple as doing those things we’ve always done but just in a different way, our perception of ourselves can dramatically change and we can experience life more optimally.
There are many ways that we can increase our capacity to remain mobile. Simple daily living aids such as sock helpers, tap turners, bendable cutlery, bottom wipers, two-handled mugs and bed sticks, as well as over-toilet aids, shower chairs, stair-lifts and electric lift recliner chairs can assist us to remain more independent within our living space. Mobility devices such as scooters, powered wheelchairs and wheelie-walkers provide alternative means of getting out and about to engage with others within our community with ease. Knee braces, pressure stockings and incontinence products can help us boost our confidence by reducing discomfort.
With chronic, lifestyle-related diseases on the rise, small changes to our dietary choices can easily become part of living a sustainably healthy life, at any age. There are many simple ways to increase our physical activity as we age and these include simple activities such as walking, swimming, standing more frequently or engaging in resistance-style exercise programs. Using resistance bands, light hand-weights or even just our body-weight, we all have the ability to move our bodies to maintain mobility, flexibility, balance and strength.
Ultimately, living a healthy and active lifestyle helps our minds and bodies remain resilient, even when we are older, so we can provide ourselves with greatest opportunity to stay mobile and enjoy our lives well into our senior years.