August 31, 2022 3 min read
As we age, our bodies may weaken, becoming more prone to frailty and illnesses. In addition, it can be difficult to keep physically active when you find your mobility declining or dealing with a medical condition that makes it hard to walk or move freely. Elderly wheelchair users face unique challenges when it comes to physical activity. And it's not just the physical strain, there’s also the mental and emotional toll that it can take on the individual. It’s important to note that even though you may find yourself becoming less mobile and independent, you don't have to let your health suffer. Here are some helpful tips for elderly wheelchair users to lead healthier lives.
One of the most important things an elderly person in a wheelchair can do is to remain active as much as possible. For those who are only able to walk short distances, start with walking around the house and along the corridors, till you feel strong enough to go further, perhaps around the neighbourhood. Walking is an effective way to improve the cardiovascular system, which is important in keeping your heart and lungs healthy. The benefits of exercise and physical activity are not limited to just maintaining the strength of your muscles, bones, and organs, but can also help one maintain a healthy weight and lower the risks of chronic diseases. Staying active also plays an important role in improving your mental health and emotional wellbeing - research has shown that staying active can have a positive impact on reducing symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
Adopt good posture
Sitting for long periods can negatively impact your body, no matter your age. For elderly wheelchair users, it is even more of a concern as they may be sitting for extended periods of time. If they do not maintain good posture while doing so, it can bring about problems such as scoliosis, pressure sores and breathing issues. Hence, it’s important to adopt good posture habits such as sitting with your back upright and keeping your feet, hips, knees and shoulders aligned while sitting. Taking regular breaks to stretch or move around also ensures that blood keeps flowing throughout your body, reducing the occurrence of pressure sores.
Maintain good hygiene
For elderly people who spend long periods of time in a wheelchair, cleanliness and hygiene may be challenging. Wheelchair users often feel awkward about taking a shower because of their immobility and lack of privacy. But with your body being in contact with the wheelchair on a daily basis, this might lead to skin irritation, rashes and other ailments if you do not keep yourself or the wheelchair clean. It is especially important to take showers regularly to prevent these issues. There are plenty of ways to ease the showering process, such as investing in elderly shower commode chairs or shower chairs, and installing grab bars which ensure the safety of your loved ones.
Living with mobility issues can be a trying experience, especially if it is sudden. It can be difficult to adjust to new limitations or cope with the changes that come with having to use a mobility aid. However, there are many ways elderly wheelchair users can adapt and continue to be active in the community. The key is to remain positive and find support systems by learning to ask for help. Mental health is just as important as physical health; depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses can be equally detrimental to one's life if left untreated.
Being an elderly in a wheelchair can be difficult, but with the right assistive equipment and these self-care tips, our seniors can still continue to lead active and meaningful lives. Here at The Golden Concepts, we specialise in helping elderly people to maximise their quality of life with our wide range of elderly assistance equipment such as wheelchairs with detachable arms and electric hospital beds. With quality products at affordable prices, we serve a wide variety of individual needs and conditions. Reach out to us to find out more!
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