One of the most challenging and frustrating changes most seniors will face is a loss of mobility. In many ways, the loss of mobility is also a loss of independence that no longer allows you to participate in activities you once enjoyed. Here’s some information about the effects of losing mobility.
What is Mobility?
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIH), “Mobility — the ability to move or walk freely and easily — is critical for functioning well and living independently. As we age, we may experience changes in our mobility. There are many reasons for these changes, including changes in gait (how we walk), balance, and physical strength”.
Decline in mobility can increase the number and severity of falls for seniors. It makes it difficult to visit friends and family and continue being active independently. Older adults who lose their mobility are less likely to remain living at home and require long-term care. Loss of mobility also increases the risk of of disease, hospitalization, poorer quality of life and earlier death.
How Loss of Mobility Can Affect Your Life
Aging affects muscle mass, strength, bone density and can make joints stiffer and less flexible. Losing your mobility can significantly impact everyday activities, such as walking, the ability to drive a car and climbing stairs. Loss of mobility affects people’s physical, mental health and finances.
The emotional effects of mobility loss can lead to feeling isolated, which affects one’s mental health and increases certain health risks. The level of impact on your life depends on the severity of the decline. For example, if you have occasional tremors and shakes, you may have difficulty holding onto things, but you may still be able to get around on foot somewhat independently.
Unfortunately, having tremors and shaking hands can eliminate your ability to drive. Tremors could cause you to inadvertently jerk the steering wheel and crash into an oncoming vehicle.
What Causes a Loss of Mobility?
Several things can cause a loss of mobility. Osteoporosis is one of the most common causes in older adults. Another condition that can affect your mobility is Parkinson’s disease. Cognitive decline (Dementia, Alzheimer’s) can also cause a loss of mobility, making it more challenging to get around and understand your surroundings.
According to Baylor University, other common factors for loss of mobility are:
- Low physical activity
- Strength or balance impairment
- Chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis
How to Cope with Declining Mobility
Coping with the loss of mobility is difficult, but certain types of exercises can help. Motion exercises, strengthening exercises and Tai Chi are good for mobility issues. Be sure to consult with your physician before starting any exercise routine.
Having a positive mental attitude is vital for coping with the loss of mobility and independence. It is important to remember that life is precious and it is essential to focus on the good things and not dwell on your condition. You can still lead a rewarding life with limited mobility. Find a unique sense of purpose, whether it involves spending more time with your family, friends, or supporting charitable causes. Staying engaged with life, both mentally and physically with support a healthy wellbeing.
Safety Devices for Mobility Support
Equipping the home with assistance or safety devices can help seniors cope with mobility loss. For instance, a stairlift can help seniors struggling with walking up stairs stay independent in their homes and provides access to different floors safely and securely.
There are many safety devices for seniors that should be considered, such as toilet and shower rails and medical alert devices used to call for help in the event of a fall.
How Can You Pay for Mobility Devices?
The equipment and devices mentioned above can help preserve your independence and make life easier. If you are concerned about how you can afford these devices, consider this.
A life settlement could be the answer. If you’re over 70 years of age and have a life insurance policy, you may be eligible to sell the life policy for cash, also known as a life settlement transaction.
The professional team at MRE Finance helps seniors sell their life insurance policy with ease. Seniors sell their policies for many reasons. Regardless of the reason, they can use the funds they receive for any expense, including their mobility needs.
You can receive a free estimate of your policy’s potential value in minutes with our free life settlement calculator, or call 1-800-521-0770 and ask about how you can benefit from selling your life insurance policy with MRE Finance.