I sat down with Mom and Dad recently, and asked Dad if we could discuss a plan to preserve his mobility for as long as possible. Far from defensive, he seemed grateful for the discussion: he and Mom know that him losing his mobility will dramatically affect quality of life for them both. After our discussion, I typed and printed our Mobility Strategy, in big blaring pitch, and stuck it to the refrigerator with a magnet. A day in the hospital, the Christmas and New Year holidays, and family celebrations interrupted some elements of the new routine, like going to the gym. Other elements we started immediately. I do not badger Dad about drinking water, for example, but every time I pass his chair, I hand him a bottle of cold water. My message is clear. And, to be fair, I hold my own water bottle even as I hand him his. (Water intake can reduce edema.) Here is our Mobility Strategy. I will let you know how it goes.
- Stationary Bike. Ride the bike 6 days a week, for 30 minutes each ride.
- Gym. Go to the gym 2 days a week, weather permitting.
- Leg Compressors. Use the pumping leg compressors when reading at night.
- Walker. Use the blue walker between family room, kitchen, and dining room, as needed.
- Cane. Keep the “walking stick” handy for short treks in the house or to the car.
- Compression Socks. Order. Wear.
- Elevate. When sitting, keep legs elevated.
- WATER. Keep several water bottles cold in the fridge. Sip all day.