Loss of mobility is common among older adults, and it has profound social, psychological, and physical consequences. Common risk factors include older age, low physical activity, obesity, impaired strength and balance, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. The key to avoiding immobility is determining risk and taking steps to head off problems. Some research suggests that doctors can check mobility risk by asking if a person has difficulty climbing up 10 steps or walking a quarter-mile. Someone who does might benefit from physical therapy, occupational therapy, and social support.
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