As people age, their balance and coordination can start to deteriorate, beginning around the age of 55. When a seniors' ability to walk is affected, they can often have a fear of falling, and this can prevent them from doing the things they need to do, such as going to appointments or shopping.
If you observe that your senior parent is having difficulty with walking, it is best to take some action to ensure her health and safety are not put in danger. However, it's admittedly not an easy conversation to have. In this guide, we take a deep dive into how you can find ways to convince them gently.
Why Do Seniors Need Support for Balance?
Seniors are more likely to have difficulty walking due to age-related physical changes. As we age, our muscles weaken and our joints become stiffer, making it more difficult to move around. Additionally, seniors may have chronic health conditions that make it more difficult to walk, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
How to Convince Your Senior Parent to Get Help For Walking Difficulties
1) Talk to Them About Their Concerns
If your senior parent is hesitant to seek help for their walking difficulties, it’s important to understand why. It’s possible that they are afraid of the changes that come with getting older or that they may be embarrassed about needing help.
Take the time to sit down and talk to them about their concerns. Let them know that you understand and that you are there to help.
2) Explain the Risks of Not Getting Help
Explain to your senior parent that not getting help for their walking difficulties could put them at risk of falls and other injuries that could have serious consequences.
Make sure to emphasize that taking action now is the best way to ensure their safety and well-being in the long run.
3) Offer Solutions
Once you’ve discussed the risks of not getting help, it’s important to offer solutions. Suggest things like physical therapy, a walking aid, or an exercise program that could help improve their balance and coordination.
If your senior parent is resistant to the idea of getting help, you can also suggest small changes such as having grab bars installed in the bathroom and bedroom or wearing shoes with good support.
4) Dispel Any Concerns about Vanity
It’s not uncommon for seniors to be concerned about how they look when it comes to getting help with balance and coordination. They may worry that they’ll look silly or that they’ll be seen as “old” if they use a walking aid or need physical therapy.
It’s important to remind them that these are all common solutions for improving balance and coordination and that there’s nothing wrong with getting the help they need.
5) Get a Professional Opinion
If you’re still unsure whether or not your parent or loved one needs help with balance and coordination, it’s a good idea to get a professional opinion. A physical therapist, occupational therapist, or doctor can help evaluate your senior’s condition and recommend the best course of action.
Investing in a cane for a senior parent is an important decision that should be made with careful consideration. A cane can provide additional stability and balance for seniors and can help them to remain independent and reduce their risk of falls.
If you and your senior parent agree on investing in a cane, Cart Health has everything you need. We have a selection of medical supplies in Idaho that you can choose from. Take a look at our catalog today!