Throughout the lockdown I have been thinking about the elderly people who will be experiencing a deterioration of mobility as a result of their lives being denied pre-Covid levels of activity for so long. As we will soon (hopefully) begin to venture out again, how many people will find themselves unable to do the things they could before?
I will soon be writing reams on the possibilities of equipment to use outdoors. In the meantime, the following ideas might help somebody who has experienced reduced mobility through lockdown to begin preparing at home for a successful ‘venturing out’…
Maintaining and Improving
These videos below showcase some brilliant exercises for use by elderly people with reduced mobility to help maintain and perhaps regain strength and motility…
There are also rehabilitation devices like this Pedal Exerciser by Able2, which is one of a host of different designs available and a very basic version compared to the digital alternatives―some with trackers that can be attached to phones! Brilliant for strengthening arms as well as legs, they are currently being advertised as a must-have for sedentary computer workers as well as a way that people with mobility-impairing conditions can improve muscle strength, circulation and coordination.
Preventing Further Deterioration
If you or a loved one are experiencing a reduction in the ability to move and get about, you might be at increased risk of falls and resulting injuries. This might be a good time to assess whether there is anywhere that is proving a struggle within the home or garden and put in fall prevention measures. Your Surgery or Social Services may be able to help with this, especially through Occupational Therapist referral. Your local Mobility Retailer might also be able to offer ideas.
Researching into the possibilities
I have worked with many people who had previously avoided looking into the mobility solutions they dearly needed―expecting only grey, clinical, stigmatising possibilities that would make them look and feel bad―only to find that there are aesthetically pleasing and ingenious designs available. There is so much choice in terms of mobility equipment these days―whether you are considering walking sticks, rollators, off road walkers; or scooters, wheelchairs; even wheelchair-scooter hybrids. This equipment can help on so many levels―to prevent falls, to help you go further than you would normally be able to, and to do the things you might otherwise not feel able to take part in.
Seeking Support if Needed
The last thing is to know is that you are not alone, and that help is at hand if you need it. Physical difficulties are hard enough, and might be added to by psychological concerns caused by various aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic or even by previous issues (after all, according to The Guardian, we were already facing a loneliness pandemic in 2013). Even if you haven’t met them yet, there will be people and groups in your local area there to support you to become active and mobile again. If you are not sure where to turn, it might be worth calling Mind on their helpline of 0300 123 3393
Please Note: None of these thoughts are here to replace medical or safety advice, or common sense… If you are experiencing a deterioration in mobility, it is always advised to see a Doctor and perhaps to request assistance from an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist.