Do you need a mobility scooter to help you get around? If so, here are a few tips for using one.
• Review the functions. Learn the location of the different buttons and try them out to understand how they work.
• Practice driving. In an open and uncluttered space, learn how to brake, pick up speed and steer around corners.
• Remain seated. When you drive your mobility scooter, practice remaining positioned in the middle of the seat. This will prevent you from leaning too far to one side, which could cause you to tip over.
• Engage freewheel mode. Mobility scooters usually have a freewheel mode that disengages the brakes and allows your mobility aid to be pushed. However, it’s important to remember to put the scooter back in drive mode when it’s not in use.
• Drive in suitable areas. Only drive your scooter on sidewalks, in bike lanes, and on the right side of the road. You should avoid driving on the streets without a shoulder.
When purchasing a motorized mobility aid, it must have the mandatory equipment required by your region including brakes, lights, reflector strips, and more. For personalized advice, talk to the sales associate at your nearest mobility aid store.
How seniors can deter thieves and prevent muggings
Some criminals target seniors. Even if your reflexes aren’t as sharp as they used to be, the following tips can help limit your risk of being mugged.
1. Maintain good posture
When you’re running errands, make sure you exude self-confidence. Stand up straight, look forward and try to walk at the same pace as other people.
2. Remain aware of your surroundings
To help you spot potential threats and avoid them, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings. It’s a good idea to make eye contact with the people you pass briefly. This will prevent potential attackers from catching you off guard. Additionally, stick to well-lit and busy areas.
3. Ensure your valuables are hidden
Keep your bags, purse, and wallet close to your body, and avoid wearing jewelry, expensive watches, and high-end clothing. This will make you a less attractive target for thieves.
4. Keep your distance
If someone makes an aggressive move and demands that you give them your money, don’t try to resist. If possible, throw the thief the requested object and stay far away to protect yourself.
If a physical confrontation is unavoidable, use whatever you can to defend yourself, like your car keys, purse, or cane. Aim for weak points such as the eyes, nose, and knees. Moreover, make as much noise as possible by shouting or screaming.
Are you interested in learning self-defense techniques? If so, look for senior-friendly courses in your area.
Bikes are right for the big kid in all of us
It probably won’t be like the thrill of learning to ride your new Schwinn around the neighborhood. You were eight — it was pure freedom.
But bike riding is still fun and perfect for people of all ages. With the many new styles, it can also be perfect for seniors.
There are many kinds to choose from:
Recumbent bikes are great for people with knee, neck, or back problems. They even come with safety flags, which you need since their profiles are so low. They can be equipped with hand cycles instead of foot pedals too. They are good for roads and trails and can be folded and transported to preferred locations. Drawback: They are heavy.
Three-wheelers: Trikes aren’t just for kids. These adult-sized three-wheelers can be perfect for even those new to bike riding. They are safe, require less balance than the two-wheeled version and they usually come equipped with a basket. Ride down to the store for the milk and set the gears to go uphill.
E-bikes: Add some electric power to your pedal bike with an electric assist motor that can help you uphill or give your legs a break when you get tired. Although you won’t get the same exercise as a regular bike, you will get some. These are great for people with good balance and adequate strength, but they do go pretty fast: up to 28 miles per hour. They can be very heavy.
Researchers say that older adults get many benefits from riding: Improved brain function, preserved balance, decreased bone loss, improved mood, and relief from joint pain. Seniors who ride also keep their waist size down.
How to talk to an elderly relative about their driving
Do you have an elderly family member whose driving has become dangerous? If so, telling them you fear for their safety can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you broach this sensitive subject.
Prepare a list of your relative’s risky driving activities. For example, not coming to a complete stop at an intersection or driving the wrong way down a one-way street. You can use these examples to gently question your loved one and determine whether they’ve forgotten the rules of the road or if their vision, hearing, or reflexes have deteriorated with age. If needed, you can suggest they consult their doctor.
Losing the ability to drive can be frightening for someone who’s been doing so for decades. Therefore, approach the subject gently, and choose your words carefully. You don’t want to infantilize your loved one. Above all, be empathetic when expressing your concerns.
Instead of telling your loved one, they must stop driving immediately, and suggest ways they can get behind the wheel more safely. For example, ask them to avoid driving in poor weather conditions or stressful situations like rush hour. This will help them maintain some of their independence.
If your relative is in complete denial and their driving is out of control, you may want to consider anonymously reporting them to your local driving authority.
4 tips for assisting an elderly relative from a distance
Caring for an elderly relative can be demanding at the best of times. However, if you live far away, it can make things even more difficult. Whether your loved one resides in a different city or country, here are a few strategies for taking care of them from afar.
1. Develop a network of contacts
Build a network of people who can help your elderly relative when you’re not around. For example, you could ask a trustworthy friend or family member to check in on them regularly. Additionally, you can hire a healthcare professional to conduct visits. Make sure you give your loved one a list of people they can contact if they can’t reach you.
2. Make the most of your visits
During your visits, assist your loved ones with as many of their immediate and future needs as possible. For example, you could help them stock up on groceries, prepare meals, sort medication, and schedule appointments.
3. Check in regularly
Frequently checking in with your loved ones allows you to stay on top of their health and habits. On top of face-to-face visits, you can call, email, or video chat to keep in touch.
4. Prepare financial resources
If you’ll need to travel or take time off work to accompany your loved one to a medical appointment, it’s a good idea to make room in your budget for this expense.
Additionally, some non-profit organizations offer friendly calls or visits to seniors. Find out if a service like this is available in your loved one’s region.
3 tips for finding love after you retire
Have you recently retired? Are you looking for someone to share your life with? Fortunately, falling in love has no age limit. Here are three tips to help you find that special someone.
1. Adjust your expectations
As you get older, love can manifest in unanticipated ways. Indeed, what you want and value in a relationship is likely to change. Therefore, make sure you adjust your expectations. Your new relationship is likely to be different from prior ones.
2. Keep an open mind
Whether you live alone or in a retirement home, the key to finding a romantic partner is to stay open to meeting new people. For instance, when running errands, be willing to strike up a conversation with a stranger.
3. Step outside your comfort zone
Don’t be afraid to use a dating site, consult a marriage agency, or attend organized activities and outings for people in your age group. This will make it easier to find a potential partner who shares the same passions and interests as you.
To take the first steps toward finding love, look for seniors’ events in your area.
What you should know about hematomas in the elderly
Hematomas, more commonly referred to as bruises, are skin lesions that are often accompanied by a purplish mark. They mainly occur on the arms and legs and are common in older people. This is because as you age, your skin thins, and the blood vessels become more fragile. Here’s what you need to know.
Hematomas are mainly caused by physical shocks like falling or banging into an object. Other factors that can contribute to bruising include damaged blood vessels, blood-thinning medications, excessive sun exposure, certain diseases, and vitamin deficiencies.
Immediately after a shock, apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the affected area to reduce pain and swelling. Your doctor or pharmacist may also recommend medication to relieve your discomfort.
There are several changes you can make to your home to reduce the risk of falling. For example, remove clutter to make it easier to move around, improve the lighting and install grab bars in places like the bathroom.
Do you often get bruises for no obvious reason? Are your bruises painful and won’t go away, even after several weeks? If so, consult your doctor immediately.