Often seen in older people is the desire to shuffle their steps while walking. Shuffling may simply seem like the way they walk, but it can be a sign of deeper problems that, if not fixed, could become bigger issues. This blog post goes into more detail about why seniors shuffle and the problems that might come up because of this walking style. It also educates loved ones and the in-home care team so they can better care for the older generation.

Why Do Seniors Shuffle?

In-Home Care Alpharetta GA - Understanding Why Seniors Shuffle and the Problems It Can Cause

In-Home Care Alpharetta GA – Understanding Why Seniors Shuffle and the Problems It Can Cause

Weak muscles and less flexibility: As people age, their strength and muscle mass naturally decrease. This can weaken the muscles in the legs, making it hard for them to walk properly by lifting their feet. Loss of flexibility in the knees and feet can also make it harder to walk straight.

Neurological conditions: Parkinson’s disease and peripheral neuropathy are two neurological conditions that can make it hard to control leg movements. Because of changes in muscle rhythm and balance, these conditions may cause a shuffling walk.

Joint problems: A lot of older people have arthritis and other problems with their joints. When joints, especially the hips and knees, are stiff and hurt, it can be hard to take regular steps, which can cause them to shuffle.

Changes in balance and posture: As seniors age, their balance and posture often change. This may make it harder to keep their balance, which can make them shuffle their feet as a way to keep from falling.

What Problems Arise From Shuffling?

One of the biggest worries about adults who shuffle while walking was mentioned above, and that’s the increased risk of falling. This is because the shuffling gait stops the legs from moving naturally, which makes it easier for them to trip over things or land on uneven ground.

Other issues that arise from shuffling are outlined below.

Less freedom: Shuffling while walking can make it harder for a senior to do simple things on their own, like going to the mailbox or finding their way around a grocery store. This limited ability to move around could, in turn, make life in general less enjoyable.

Social isolation: Seniors who shuffle may feel apprehensive about the way they walk, which makes them not want to do things in public. Unfortunately, this lack of social interaction can make them feel alone and depressed.

Muscle strain and tiredness: The abnormal gait puts more stress on some muscle groups, which could cause muscle strain and tiredness. Additionally, this can make mobility problems worse over time and lead to a general decrease in physical health.

Determining why seniors shuffle when walking is important to assess what possible health problems are behind their gait. Seniors, their families, and the in-home care team need to work together to evaluate the root cause and develop ways to make walking easier for seniors. The support team can help adults stay independent and enjoy a better quality of life as they age by encouraging them to do things that make them stronger, more flexible, and more balanced.

Sources: https://dailycaring.com/why-do-seniors-shuffle-when-they-walk-10-top-reasons/ https://www.verywellhealth.com/shuffling-gait-6504438 https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/shuffling-gait

If you or an aging loved one is considering In-Home Care Services in Alpharetta GA please contact the caring staff at CaraVita Home Care today. (770) 643-1712 
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