Mobility limitations are well known to be detrimental to older adult health. In addition to the physical problems connected to sedentary behavior - such as loss of strength and faster progression of chronic disease, the psychological effects can be equally profound, Loss of mobility often leads to social isolation, fear and depression.
Identifying those at risk has proven difficult. Early signs of mobility limitations don't require medical services and are not well documented in medical diagnoses codes. In this study of AARP Medicare Supplement insured individuals, the author found that moderate and severe mobility limitations demonstrated significantly increased fall incidents. There was also less preventive service compliance and increased healthcare utilization and expenditures as mobility limitation increased.
Click here to read the study.
Musich S, Wang SS, Ruiz J, Hawkins K, Wicker E. The impact of mobility limitations on health outcomes among older adults. Geriatr Nurs. 2018 Mar-Apr;39(2):162-169. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2017.08.002. Epub 2017 Sep 1. PMID: 28866316.