Mobility is the ability to move around with ease.
If your dad is struggling with mobility, you may recognize the signs. What if he hides it from you? Do you know the signs that he’s struggling with mobility and needs help with activities of daily living?
He’s Fallen Down
Your dad tries to stand up from a chair and stumbles. He falls and acts like it was just clumsiness. While it’s possible that it was simply a clumsy moment, you have to consider that it may also be mobility issues that make it hard for him to get his balance after sitting for a while.
Watch how long he has to stand before he takes his first few steps. Then, when he does, are his movements stiff? Does he seem to be in pain and use a shuffling gait, or does he immediately walk normally? Arthritis pain will impact mobility and may have him shuffling until his stiff joints loosen up.
His Balance is Off
Your dad has balance issues, which makes it hard for him to get out of a chair or bed or stand still for several minutes. For example, if he tries to stand on one foot, he immediately wobbles and puts the other foot down.
Trouble balancing occurs with aging due to weakening muscles and joint pain. It can also be related to the medications he takes, an inner ear infection, or low blood pressure.
He Avoids Stairs
In a parking garage, you have to park on the third floor. You’ve noticed your dad insists on taking the elevator and never wants to use the stairs. That can be another sign that he’s struggling with mobility.
If you get him to take the stairs, does he huff and puff and seem out of breath? That’s a good sign that his mobility is changing. Sometimes, it’s simply that he’s out of shape. As he builds stamina and muscle strength, he’ll find it more manageable. It’s important to talk about it with his doctor in case it’s heart-related.
Mobility: He Needs Help
It’s hard to ignore your dad’s need for help. If you let him continue to hide his mobility issues and do nothing, he could fall when no one is around. If that happened, how long would it be before someone stopped by to find him on the floor and unable to get to a phone?
Professional caregivers help in many ways. For example, they can help your dad with cooking and cleaning. They can drive him to the store to pick up prescription refills and groceries. Caregivers also help with many aspects of mobility, including walking up and down the stairs or taking daily walks.