Having strong social circles has long been associated with improved health and happiness. But what happens if you have mobility issues?
While social relationships are known to improve mobility and overall well-being, limited functional ability can impact our social ties.
Our mobility plays a huge role in how we get through the day. From being able to move about the house, to being able to tidy up or go to the grocery store, how much we can move and how much effort it takes can have a profound impact on a person’s social, psychological, and physical state.
Loss of mobility is a rising issue with older adults, impacting between one third and one half of adults aged 65 or older. The most common risk factors include older age, low physical activity, obesity, strength or balance impairment, and chronic diseases such as diabetes or arthritis.
Lack of mobility often leads to lack of socialization. But that doesn’t need to be the case.
If you are experiencing mobility issues that are keeping you from getting out, meeting up with friends or having people over to visit, remember:
- You are not alone – as mentioned above one third to one half of older adults experience these issues.
- It is important to speak up – explain to your family and friends what you are going through, where you are limited and find ways in which they can help support you. Maybe they can come over with coffee for a visit instead of meeting up at the café.
- See your doctor about a possible referral for physical therapy – physical therapists can assess mobility limitations and come up with a plan of action. There is strong evidence that resistance and balance exercises can improve mobility weakness and balance disorders.
- Don’t shy away from the necessary tools – if you need a cane, walker or scooter to get around, use them! Not only will these devices help you get out and about, but that independence will give you confidence and keep you socially engaged.
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It can also greatly help in improving your situation. The benefits of friendship and social engagement are enormous. Don’t miss out because of mobility issues.
If you want to expand your social circles and make new friends, no matter your level of functional ability, Amintro can help. We are a social app designed exclusively for those aged 50 plus. Membership is free, and enables you to connect with like-minded individuals online and then meet with confidence face-to-face. It is a safe, easy, and effective way to increase your social engagement.
By Christine Tompa