5 Simple Things You Can do to Help Patients with Mobility Issues
June 08 2021
Help Patients with Mobility Issues Achieve a Higher Quality of Life with these Simple Tips
Mobility issues vary from patient to patient and can stem from a variety of causes. Whether it is from an injury or a chronic condition, caring for these patients presents unique challenges. Though the challenges vary from person to person, there are 5 things you can do to help any patient with mobility issues.
1There are many small adjustments that can be made to a patient’s home that allow them to navigate more easily. Making these changes not only makes their home more safe for them but it also can give patients a greater sense of independence. Here are some modifications that can be made to help your patients live at home comfortably and safely:
- Removing or pinning down rugs
- Rearranging furniture to provide a safer or more direct path
- Removing clutter that can be a fall hazard
- Adding lamps in darker areas or changing out to brighter bulbs to help increase visibility
- Moving frequently used items within easy reach
- Installing grab bars in bathrooms
- Moving the bar in the closet down to make clothing easier to reach
2 Assess your patient’s current mobility. Are there mobility aids that could increase their independence and improve their quality of life? Here are some aids that could help your patients:
- Swivel seat cushions
- Risers for chairs or sofas
- Transfer discs or boards to help the patient slide in and out of bed
Provide Emotional Care
3 Experiencing changes in one’s mobility can be upsetting, frustrating and can even cause depression. Make sure that you are paying attention to your patient’s body language and note any mood cues, especially if your patient is disinclined to talk about their feelings. Encourage them to express any of their concerns or questions to help them open up. Be sure to give plenty of reassurance, encouragement and support when needed.
Some patients with mobility issues can benefit from practicing relaxation techniques. These techniques can help reduce anxiety and frustration that can be brought on by going through big changes in their life due to mobility issues. Some relaxation techniques your patients could try include meditation and deep breathing.
Encourage and Help with Exercise
4 Exercise can help improve flexibility, strength and balance. A physical or occupational therapist from the team will prescribe and assist with appropriate exercises. These regiments will help patients to either heal from an injury or can help the patient strengthen muscles they need to adapt. Be sure to encourage your patients to stick to their prescribed exercise regimen, even getting in on the action yourself if needed!
Assist with Mobility and Transfers
5 Remember to ask first, rather than just jumping in to help. Even if your patient can’t move without your assistance, it is still respectful to ask if they are ready to receive your help. If you notice that your patient is having a harder time moving about, acknowledge that you know they may be having a rough day, that it is okay and that you are there to help if they need it. Also, don’t forget to use proper body mechanics when you are transferring patients.
While learning to live with mobility issues can be difficult for many and even poses some life-altering changes, patients with mobility issues can still lead full and happy lives with mobility aids and assistance from their care team and family members. As a member of the care team, be sure to educate family members on how to assist their loved one with mobility issues, including how to properly transfer the patient.
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