It is simply a fact of life that socialization impacts overall health and wellbeing; that is, staying social and interacting with others across the lifespan is healthy and vital in maintaining quality of life as you age. Those that are homebound or that live with physical limitations may find it easier to isolate and withdraw- foster socialization and engagement with some tips for maintaining social wellness when it is difficult to leave the home environment.
Do you get out and about regularly? For many homebound individuals, social wellness and engagement are tough to find and difficult to pursue. Particularly for those just venturing out post-pandemic, it can be a scary prospect to leave the house. Prolonged social distancing is leaving many feeling depressed, lonely, and worried about their wellbeing. Garner peace of mind with mobility equipment that can make getting out of the house viable, safe, and possible for those that have previously been stuck inside.
Start getting out more with a simple meal at your favorite restaurant or with friends. Call ahead to ensure the venue is accessible, and whether you may need to bring your portable ramp to get in the front door. With the Americans with Disabilities Act, restaurants and establishments are adhering to federal guidelines that make public places handicap accessible to all customers.
If you are going to a friend’s, bring a reacher or cane to offer support in less familiar surroundings. That is, a cane or walking stick can help stabilize you on rough terrain or uneven ground, and a reaching tool can make it possible to help out in the kitchen without putting yourself at fall risk trying to access out-of-reach items.
In the Garden
Even if you are not planning a garden party, getting out in the sunshine to enjoy your flowers is something that you may enjoy sharing with a neighbor or loved one. Those with physical disabilities may find it hard to access their outdoor spaces and gardens, without mobility aids. The ground may be off-kilter or uneven and the grass could be slick; make sure that you have something along that provides support and stability for your outing. Outfit your own exteriors with grab-bars and railings so that you always have firm support when outside your home. A portable ramp makes a cost-effective alternative to a permanent ramp and may offer the right amount of access for anyone visiting you as well.
Out and About
If you use mobility equipment, you likely know that it can impede jumping in your vehicle and going out and about. You may require a driver these days- or at least help to stow your mobility devices before getting in or out of the vehicle. A vehicle lift is an excellent option for your personal vehicle that you drive primarily. These provide assistance in stashing your chair, scooter, or walker so that you can easily get behind the wheel. Being able to get where you want to go is a huge part of socialization and reclaiming your own independence. After the pandemic, a nice, long drive could be quite therapeutic for you. There is nothing quite like being on the open road!
Maybe you just want to start small with a few friends over following the uncertainty and chaos of the pandemic. Make this more feasible with a few simple suggestions and aids to make socialization comfortable and safe:
- Adhere to any social distancing guidelines that are in place for your region. In some areas, citizens are encouraged to gather outside or to limit the number of guests in the home.
- Remove clutter or anything on the floor that could pose a fall risk to you or your guests. You don’t want anyone experiencing an injury during your first post-pandemic party!
- Make the meal easy on yourself; order out or host a potluck. This curbs the time and labor that you will need to put in, and it also keeps guests out of the kitchen trying to help out and cook. While this is a kind offer, it can create a chaotic and crowded scenario that may add to access issues.
When inviting company over, provide a portable ramp for use by your friends that may benefit from it. Even those that do not use mobility aids or devices may appreciate the much lower impact of walking up the ramp rather than ascending a flight of stairs or risers. Contemporary portable ramps offer smooth access to both indoor and outdoor areas of the home- but can then be picked up and moved as desired.
July is officially Social Wellness Month and this year’s theme is ‘taking back your health and wellbeing. This echoes the importance of engaging with others to build a supportive network that can reach out and fill in gaps as needed. Everyone needs social support from time to time- make sure that your social needs are met to maintain your best quality of life, for as long as possible.
Want to learn more about mobility solutions to maintain your social wellness? Talk to the professionals at Pacific Mobility. They offer high-quality equipment, complete installation service, and customer support to all their customers; call or visit for a comprehensive needs assessment today.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)