Mobility Issues in the Elderly: Warning Signs & Steps to Take

As people get older, you may find that their mobility begins to suffer. This is very common, and in most cases it is simply one of the problems of ageing. However, it can cause enormous distress.

Even apparently minor difficulties for your elderly relative can have a large effect on their life. For example, they may not be able to go out and see their friends, or they may find shopping for their groceries too difficult. It can have social and psychological effects, and can even lead to depression.

Mobility issues can also indicate more serious health problems, so it is always important to look out for the problem signs and take steps to solve issues promptly.

Early Signs to Look Out For

There are a number of signs that you can look out for that could indicate the start of a problem in your elderly relative. These include:

  • Balance issues such as becoming unsteady when walking
  • Having difficulty getting out of a chair or when sitting down
  • Experiencing difficulties going up or down the stairs

Potential problems could also be more subtle, such as a lowering of their personal hygiene standards, or you may notice the house becoming less tidy as they are less able to clean it properly.

One of the most serious signs is a fall. The risk of falls goes up as people age, and although a fall could well just be an accident, it could also be a sign that they are having difficulty moving properly. Falls can also lead to further mobility problems as they cause injuries.

Coping with Mobility Problems

Once it is clear that your elderly relative’s mobility is being affected, you may want to start looking for ways to help them cope.

Firstly, consider investing in mobility aids that they can use around the home. These could include small devices like walking sticks, support bars on the stairs or grab bars in the bath and shower. It could also involve larger devices like chairlifts.

You may also want to help to remove clutter in the home, fasten carpets and rugs securely and improve the lighting, all of which can help to make it easier for your elderly relative to get around the home. You could also make more significant changes around the home, such as changing the entrance stairs into a ramp or fitting a raised toilet.

Should You Seek Professional Assistance?

If you notice the signs of mobility difficulties, start by talking them over with your elderly relative. Bring the topic up in conversation and let them know that you want to help them and that they need to be honest with you about any difficulties they are having, including any pain or stiffness they feel.

It could well be worth a trip to the doctor. Sometimes a fall for no reason could indicate a more serious problem like dementia or Parkinson’s, or problems with eyesight, and it is best to catch these as early as possible.

Consider Professional Care

Often, mobility problems can affect confidence levels. Your relative may be worried about falling when you are not there, and this can prevent them from doing anything active. If so, this may be the time to start looking into options such as professional care. This does not necessarily mean a care home, but perhaps a care worker who can help your relative to be more independent in their own home.

Help Your Relative Remain Mobile

Mobility problems can have a negative effect on your elderly relative, so make sure you are doing all you can to help them maintain their independence. Even a minor reduction in mobility can be distressing, so look out for the signs, help them out in any way you can, and seek professional advice if you have any doubts

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Jobs FAQs

What shifts or rotas are available for professional carers?

Our branches have a wide variety of hours and rotas which means it’s possible to find shifts that fit in with your life situation, whether you want a full time role or are just looking for a few hours a week. All that we ask is that you commit to the hours you can do two weeks in advance.

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Six months’ professional care experience is ideal - such as a domiciliary carer, care assistant, homecare worker, support worker or healthcare assistant. However, if you are new to care some branches do offer training leading to care certificates, so please contact the recruitment team to discuss on 0808 239 9716.

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What pre-employment checks do you do?

To join Prestige Nursing & Care as a professional carer you will be required to apply for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, unless you are registered with the update service.

We can help you apply via your local branch. When you work with children and vulnerable adults a DBS check is a legal requirement. Find out more about DBS checks:

We also require two professional references, one of which should be your current or most recent employer.

Finally, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, NI number, ID and proof of address. Your recruiter will talk you through all requirements and support you all the way.

What training do I need to complete before starting work?

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Is the training free?

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Do you offer regular patterns of work?

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Will I be employed by Prestige Nursing & Care?

You would become a member of our team with a contract for services. You would be eligible for things like SSP and holiday, as well as a NEST workplace pension.

How old do you have to be to work as a carer?

You need to be 18 years old to join our care team and there is no upper age limit.

How often will I get paid?

We pay all our professional carers weekly.