Source: healthinaging.org | Re-Post CareProdx 8/18/2016
The changes that occur with aging can lead to problems with a person’s ability to move around, or mobility. Mobility problems may be unsteadiness while walking, difficulty getting in and out of a chair, or falls. Muscle weakness, joint problems, pain, disease, and neurological (brain and nervous system) difficulties-common conditions in older people-can all contribute to mobility problems. Sometimes several mild problems occur at one time and combine to seriously affect mobility.
The number one mobility problem that older people experience is falls. Falls result in broken bones, bruises, and fear of falling. Older bones break more easily than younger bones and they heal less quickly and not as completely. If a hip is fractured, canes, walkers, or wheelchairs might be needed permanently. Falls are a major cause of injury and death, so prevention is important.
When an older person falls, but does not suffer serious injury, he or she might still have difficulty getting up from the fall. If the person is in serious pain, or has clearly suffered an injury, wait for help to arrive. However, if he or she has not been seriously injured but is having difficulty moving and getting up, he or she may be able to crawl to a solid chair and use it as a support in getting up. If the person is lying on his or her back, instruct them to first roll onto one side and then they can try to move from a side-lying position to a crawling position on all fours . If the person needs your help to get up, lift him or her with your arms by bending your legs—do not use your back muscles to lift the person. (Bend at your knees and push up with your legs.) Once the person is in an all fours position, instruct him or her to crawl towards the seat of the chair and lift the trunk of his or her body up with hands on the chair; he or she should then bring one foot up into half-kneeling position and from there either sit into the chair or stand up. If the person can't do this, you will need to call for help. An illustration of this technique for getting up from a fall can be found here.