Immobility, or a loss of mobility, is a frightening experience, but much more of a big deal is made about it that really should be. As a nation, we tend to think that immobility is a problem that cannot be solved. It’s seen as something inevitable.
However, while mobility problems are something that most of us will suffer with at some point in our lives, it’s how we cope with these struggles that determines how much of an effect it will have on us and on those around us. There is a wealth of advice and support available for those who find it difficult to get around, and this support can completely transform lives.
Here are some useful tips to show immobility who’s boss!
If You Need Help, Get Help
Admitting that you’re no longer able to get around as easily as you once used to isn’t a simple task. For some, even saying the word ‘immobility’ out loud is essentially the same as giving up.
Of course, it doesn’t help that there is still a slight stigma attached to disability in the UK. For example, although 78 percent of those aged over 80 are classified as disabled (usually due to loss of mobility, motor function, vision, or hearing) 38 percent of the population believe the disabled to be a burden and 28 percent resent the extra support that is given to those in need, which is truly disgusting.
It is no wonder that so many retirees are ashamed to seek the help they so clearly need. However, there are so many accessible services out there that really can transform your life. Whether you take the leap and install a stairlift in your home, use a wheelchair to get out and about, or even register for financial support, there’s no need to be ashamed. What’s embarrassing about wanting a better life for yourself? Nothing.
Maintain a Healthy Support System
An estimated 1 in 5 older people suffer with some degree of depression, which can largely be attributed to a change in lifestyle, such as immobility and not being able to maintain the same level of socialisation as before.
Unfortunately, this depression sparks a never ending circle. The more depressed a person becomes, the more inactive and reclusive they become, which only serves to heighten feelings of anxiety, and enhance immobility. When the muscles aren’t utilised, muscle mass is lost. In fact, each year, elderly men can expect to lose 3.4 percent of the strength in their legs and women can expect to lose 2.6 percent on an annual basis.
The less strength we have, the harder it is to move our bodies. One way to reduce muscle loss and stay active and healthy is by maintaining a good support system. Socialisation amongst the older generation is hugely important for both physical and mental health. There are many social clubs and groups specifically for the older generation, and online dating amongst the over 50’s is thriving!
Retain Your Confidence
Mobility loss can be terrifying, especially if you’ve suffered from a trip or fall in the past. However, we can’t be controlled by our fears. In fact, it’s this fear that may be contributing to our mobility issues. Studies have found that 32 percent of older people who have suffered a fall are scared of it happening again, and findings show that this fear correlates with balance issues.
In short, the more frightened you are, the more likely you are to suffer with your mobility. Maintaining a confident outlook is one of the best ways you can cope with immobility during retirement. Although it may be difficult, there are ways to help you feel more confident in your own home. For example, even if you don’t feel like you need to use assistive aids, installing them in your home can really boost your confidence. You know that they’re there to support you as and when needed. It doesn’t need to be a big change, some handrails around the home can have a great effect.
Don’t Succumb to Immobility
One of the easiest things the older generation can do when they begin to struggle with getting around is to accept it. While immobility is a natural part of getting older, and it happens to us all, a common mistake we make is thinking that immobility is essentially a death sentence. It’s not, it’s just a new chapter, and it’s a new chapter that comes with its own challenges, just as we were challenged during our teens, our 20’s, or 30’s, and so on. There is help and support out there to enable you to enjoy a better quality of life no matter how advanced your immobility-take every opportunity.