After my total knee replacement surgery a few years ago, I found out just how important it was for me to be mobile and get around as much as I could without the help of others as it was a difficult adjustment period, to say the least. In fact, after a couple of weeks inside, I could feel myself going “stir crazy” and restless wanting to go outside where I could breathe the fresh outside air.
As I sat there in solitude as I had to use raised toilet seat because of my medial condition, I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be with a hip replacement or other major orthopedic surgery for those my age and older. Strangely, it was truly a reality check on how important my mobility was to me after losing momentarily what I had taken for granted so many years.
Reaching the age where social security kicks in and Medicaid becomes an important part of your life, it becomes more evident that elderly persons today are struggling and dealing with mobility issues every minute of the day and night. What appeared to be routine and simple tasks to do before has become physically challenging for me and others as we reach the legal age of being a legitimate senior member of the community and recognized to be awarded a discount here or there wherever we chose to visit a nice restaurant to go out and eat that special meal away from the house.
This is where it gets kind of tricky as that short well-deserved trip to your favorite restaurant is sometimes not so simple at all. Having the mobility to go out and frequent your favorite stores or shopping mall has been impacted by your ability to get around and the means you have to remain mobile enough to enjoy these times of freedom.
For example, what seems to be a common and simple act to perform for many is the longing to go outside or sit on the front porch. For many, it can be physically challenging for anyone that has mobility problems, to say the least. One must ask why is it so important to go outside and take a chance of falling down and bruising your body or breaking your bones.
Why take the risks? The answer is simple as well as benefits for those that meet this challenge and get up and about to exercise as much as you can.
Getting fresh air has many benefits one can hardly describe as it is both physically and mentally stimulating for those sitting idle and bored inside the house getting stale air into their lungs. For every minute you feel the need to avoid going outside there is a struggle to make ends meet to move around willfully and carefully with some guilt to ask others to help.
Leaving your mobility in one place causes side effects many don’t consider when such poor decisions are made. Being stalled out, bored and idle will or can create chronic pain or sleep disorders and can be easily remedied by going outside and getting some exercise and fresh air.
Given the fact that many elderly may need assistance or help to get around, there might not be such a hurry to go outside as to bother someone for help but in the final analysis, going outside can be very beneficial as well as being very healthy for those who meet this challenge head-on.
However, one should not feel embarrassed or frustrated when asking someone else for help to go outside. Although the task may be difficult, the use of a wheelchair or walker can aid you in your movement as you learn to navigate your way around with and without someone else’s help.
If you are wheelchair-bound, you might want to ask someone to build you a ramp so that you can come and go at your own pleasure or leisure making the event productive exercise and without bothering anyone else for help.
What would you do one you are outside? There are many things one could do to enjoy the activity and make something good out of it. How do you pique your interest in making this a regular event?
Well for one, you must want to change your lifestyle a little to accommodate the need to move around. If you want to compromise the process a little bit ask your loved ones to re-situate the furniture so you can sit close to the window and start looking outside and see what there is out there that can pique your interest.
If you are interested in nature see what kind of birds come and visit you and your plant or flowers and put a bird feeder out there for either the wild sparrows or hummingbirds that need a supply of nectar or seeds to make it through the day.
Once your acquire this want for fresh air, you can move your chair outside and enjoy nature from a front porch view as you eventually think about taking a slow short walk or any other brief adventure outdoors.
Aged people [like me] often created habits and seem to like routines and if going to the mailbox was a former routine before your mobility challenges, you might want to start trying doing that again. Nestled with the comforts of being self-reliant and looking for self-comfort you can do this with confidence and knowing what your limitations are so you can adjust, adapt and overcome these barriers to help make this a most pleasurable moment for yourself and others as you focus on remaining healthy and happy for a very long time.