Maintaining mobility and preventing disability are key to living independently as we age – NIA

Many people worry about not being able to move around as well when they get older. They fear they won’t be able to continue their favorite activities, visit their favorite places, or even keep up with everyday tasks.

Mobility — the ability to move or walk freely and easily — is critical for functioning well and living independently. As we age, we may experience changes to our mobility. There are many reasons for these changes, including changes in gait (how we walk), balance, and physical strength.

Photo by Vlad Cheu021ban on

All of these can increase the number and severity of falls and make it harder for older adults to go out and visit with friends and family and continue doing their activities independently. Older adults who lose their mobility are less likely to remain living at home; have higher rates of disease, disability, hospitalization, and death; and have poorer quality of life.

Researchers are working on this issue because it’s not only a matter of physical health, but also the social and emotional well-being of older adults.

NIA-supported researchers are identifying risk factors for physical disability and developing and testing ways to prevent or reverse loss of mobility to help older adults maintain independence. For example, long-running observational studies, such as the Women’s Health and Aging Study II and the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study, examine functional decline and how it differs by race and sex.


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4 responses to “Maintaining mobility and preventing disability are key to living independently as we age – NIA

  1. Yes, despite being pretty fit for my age, good weight, etc., I notice changes especially in the last five years. Particularly the stamina that I have. One decent bike ride, say 15 to 20 miles, and that’s me done for the day in terms of anything physical. But at least I am still alive!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. It’s definitely one day at a time now. I ride about 20 to 30 miles most days, but I do it in two trips. Usually one before breakfast and then another one after breakfast and walking the dog.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Exercise ,exercise , it’s a must.
    Any old man must walk for 5, 10 minutes at least . More will be excellent

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Right on the button! Your readers may be interested in the same scenario seen from the point of view of a 99-year-old person: I’ve just edited an amazing Kindle book with precious insights from Doris Carnevali, a retired nursing professor. She has ingenious strategies for managing age-related changes, and of course she empathises with the carers and health professionals.

    If you allow links, here’s one to the book, which is brand new so it has no reviews and therefore is hard to find!


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