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Guide to Care for a Senior Parent Who Can’t Walk

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As an adult child, the thought of your senior parent not being able to walk can be daunting. It’s difficult to see your loved one go through the struggles of being unable to move around or be independent. But you still want to provide them with quality care.

Understanding their mobility level, accommodating their space, providing the right therapy, and seeking professional care can help your loved one maintain a high quality of life as you care for a senior parent who can’t walk. When your parent requires more support than you can provide, transitioning to assisted living may be the right choice for your loved one.

Understanding the Cause of Their Limited Mobility

The first step is to understand the cause of their limited mobility. It’s essential to determine the underlying medical condition, which could be a range of issues such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Joint pains
  • Fractures
  • Neurological problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • Medical conditions

The number one cause of injury in older adults is from falls. Falls can cause broken bones, bruises, and fear of falling again, affecting their desire to be mobile.

Making Their Living Space Safe and Comfortable

Creating a safe and comfortable living space is necessary to support your parent’s well-being. Start by making their living space fall-proof by removing slip hazards and installing grab bars and handrails. Also, get them a comfortable and adjustable bed to alleviate any discomfort.

There are varying degrees of mobility loss, so your loved one may need mobility aids such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to navigate their space and prevent future accidents.

To improve mobility and prevent falls:

  • Schedule regular eye and hearing tests: Vision and inner ear health are necessary to maintain balance.
  • Get the proper footwear: Whether your loved one needs orthotics or specialty shoes, the proper footwear recommended by a doctor or podiatrist can help your parent feel more stable and comfortable with their gait.

Encouraging Exercise & Physical Therapy

It’s important to encourage your parent to stay active, even if their mobility has deteriorated to the point where they can’t walk. Depending on their condition, various exercises and physical therapy options can improve their strength, balance, aerobic, and flexibility.

Popular exercise activities among seniors include:

  • Water aerobics
  • Resistance band exercises
  • Chair yoga
  • Tai chi

Consult your loved one’s doctor or a physiotherapist to determine the right way forward.

Seek Professional Caregiving Assistance

Caring for a senior parent who can’t walk can be physically and emotionally draining. It’s essential to seek support from professional caregivers to help provide adequate care. An assisted living community can help with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and other daily activities. Residents can also access social and emotional support with a built-in network of residents.

Is It Time to Move into Assisted Living?

Transitioning to assisted living may be in the back of your mind as your parent loses mobility, but it isn’t easy to know when it’s time to make the move. Certain changes can indicate that moving is the right choice for them.

Safety Concerns

One of the most common concerns that adult children have is safety. If your loved ones can no longer care for themselves and are at risk of falling or experiencing an injury, assisted living might be the right move. Assisted living communities offer round-the-clock care and aid with daily living tasks, which can help keep your loved one safe and secure.

Changes in Health

Assisted living might be the ideal option if your loved ones have chronic health conditions requiring ongoing medical attention. The staff at assisted living communities have the necessary training and expertise to provide quality care to seniors.

Increased Dependence

If you notice that your loved ones are becoming more dependent on you and other family members for daily living tasks, it might be time to consider assisted living. As seniors age, they often require more assistance with cooking, cleaning, transportation, and personal care.

In assisted living, trained staff members are available to help with all these tasks, which can significantly ease the reliance on families.

Social Isolation

For many seniors, social circles shrink over time. If you notice that your loved ones are spending most of their time alone, it might be time to consider assisted living. Assisted living communities offer many opportunities for social interaction, including group outings, exercise classes, and other social activities.

Caregiver Burnout

If you are the primary caregiver for your loved ones, then it is crucial to consider the toll that loss of mobility and dependence can take on your health and well-being. Caring for a loved one requires tremendous time and energy, and many caregivers experience burnout over time. Moving your loved ones into assisted living can help ease this burden and provide greater peace of mind.

5 seniors sitting on a couch, smiling and laughing

Choosing Assisted Living

The Legacy at Crystal Falls is a warm, friendly, and supportive community of residents with knowledgeable staff. When caring for your loved one alone becomes too difficult, our community is here to assist your loved one with daily tasks and help them fulfill their needs. Schedule a tour to explore our floor plans, meet the staff, and learn more about how we can support your senior parent.

Written by LifeWell

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