Outdoor Safety Tips for Seniors with Mobility Limitations

Posted: 7/6/2017 8:32 AM by Interim HealthCare
Mobility limitations are extremely common among elderly adults. If you are a family caregiver for a senior who is dealing with this time of difficulty, it is an important priority for you to help them cope with these limitations and approach their activities of daily living in a way that will keep their quality of life high while keeping them safe and secure. While there are many things that you can do within their home to keep them safe while they deal with their mobility limitations, it is important that you keep these issues in mind when they head outside as well. This enables them to remain more active and to enjoy their surroundings as much as possible. During the warmer months of the year this can be particularly enjoyable as your family is about to head out and spend quality time with friends and family.

Use these tips for outdoor safety for an elderly adult with mobility limitations:
Ensure walkways are accessible. Uneven terrain is even more challenging for a senior who is dealing with mobility problems. Even a section of grass that seems easy enough to walk on for you might cause your parent to trip or slip. Ensure that there are accessible and safe walkways to all areas of the outdoor area that your parent might want to use, including the driveway, the patio, the garden, and any other such area. Check to make sure that walkways are even, strong, and in good condition.

Provide plenty of shade. Elderly adults have a more difficult time managing their body temperature than younger adults and are more likely to suffer from chronic dehydration, which puts them at increased risk for heat-related illnesses. An elderly adult with mobility problems can have a more difficult time moving out of the sun or getting to a cool place if they begin to overheat. Help to reduce this danger by providing plenty of shade. A gazebo, large tent, or canopy make a fantastic cool area for your senior.

Keep entertainment safe. Summertime activities outside can be some of the most fun your family has together, but it can also be dangerous. Ensure that all entertainment options you plan for your parent outdoors are properly secure. Keep toys and games out of walkways and put them away when they are not in use. Keep the hose coiled up rather than allowing it to stretch across the grass. If there is a pool, ensure that it is properly secured so that your parent does not accidentally fall into the water. 
If your parent’s needs, limitations, and challenges have become more than you feel that you can handle effectively and efficiently, your schedule has changed and you are no longer able to be with them as often as you would like to, or you simply feel that they would benefit from diversified attention during their later years, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. A care provider can be in the home with your elderly loved one on a schedule that is right not just for their individual needs and limitations, but also the care that you are able to give to them. This means that they are able to help your senior remain safe, happy, healthy, and comfortable while also pursuing a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place. This can give your parent reassurance while giving you tremendous peace of mind knowing that even when you are not able to be with them, they are getting everything that they need, easing your caregiver stress and improving quality of life for both you and your senior.

More information about caregivers