How to Encouraging s Patient’s Mobility

Many patients recovering from a serious illness or an operation need help at first with walking and moving about. Elderly patients may also need help to a greater or lesser degree, as may the paralysed and handi­capped. It is important to try and judge how much help the individual patient needs, and make it available to him without making him more dependent than necessary.

Helping the patient to walk

Patients recovering from a stroke that has temporarily paralysed one side of the body need special help to walk again. Stand at the patient’s weaker side. Support her with 0ne arm round her waist from behind and me other hand under her armpit from in front. Block her feet with your forward foot and prepare to use your knee to provide support for her weaker knee when she puts weight on it. Repeat to the patient:

  • stick forwar
  • weak leg forward
  • strong leg forward

until the rhythm is well established.

Helping the patient up stairs

Make sure the patient is not wearing any­thing loose that could trip him up. His shoes should provide support and have non-slip soles. You may need to take the patient’s arm on the side opposite the handrail; or if he is extremely unsteady or the staircase exception­ally narrow, support him from behind by putting a hand under each armpit.

Helping the patient into the car

The patient who needs to visit the doctor or hospital for treatment may need help with getting in and out of the car. Open the car door wide and wind down the window. Holding the door open and protecting her head from the top of the door frame, get the patient to grasp the car door and turn round to sit down backwards. Lift her feet in if necessary. Reverse the procedure to help the patient out.


If you are not actually helping the patient as he walks with an aid, keep an eye on him. Try to see that he finishes his walk in front of the chair he wants to sit in with the back of his legs touching it. Remove the walking aid, let him turn slightly towards his stronger side and encourage him to put his stronger hand on the chair arm or his hand on the seat before sitting down.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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