Mobility is the joy of moving around easily and independently. As the body ages, healthy muscles and joints allow us to perform all kinds of movement and range of motion. But, some of the first signs of aging have to do with our mobility, specifically with regard to posture and the proper walking stride.
General fatigue and weakness can make any everyday task a bit more challenging. After all, even healthy aging will include a reduction in the body’s muscle mass and strength over time, and of course joints can stiffen and may become less flexible. However, recent research and medical journal publishings are suggesting that some mobility limitation is a litmus test for healthy aging.
This has put an emphasis on the primary care physicians who have older patients, encouraging these doctors to pay close attention to their elder patients’ level of mobility. If mobility limitations are an early sign of functional decline, then the senior community and caregivers need to be able to recognize these signs and create opportunities for help or intervention.
A lifestyle that is too sedentary, as well as habits like smoking, can be relatively easily identified as risks and are patterns to be changed. How well a person ages is a combination of maintaining good habits like exercise, removing known health risks like smoking, and generally keeping up with the routine activities of daily social living.
As mobility is a foundation for healthy aging, it’s important to consider the help or assistance needed today in order to stay healthy and independent for the many tomorrows to come.