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Finding the Right Mobility Aids for Seniors

By Schuylkill Home Care, Feb 22 2019 05:46PM

Mobility Aids for Seniors

Many seniors experience difficulty getting around independently. Mobility aids can offer stability and support.

If a senior is unstable performing motions like sitting down or walking, it is essential to find mobility aids that fit their needs and ensure their safety. Approximately 1/3 of older people living at home fall at least once a year. It's common for seniors to need mobility aids for safety and support. (MerckManuals)

Common Mobility Aids for Getting Around

For seniors living at home and maintaining a high level of independence, common mobility aids are simply designed to help them gedt around. Options include:

* Canes

- Designed to increase stability and compensate for minimal balance issues

* Power Scooters

- Support those who cannot walk long distances but have upper body control and stamina

* Walkers

- Help support those with significant stability problems but moderate upper body strength

* Wheelchairs

- Offer mobility to those unable to walk safely on their own. Variations of sterring ability available.

* Rollators

- For those with severe stability issues who lack upper body strength and balance.

Possible Results of Senior Falls

Sometimes mobility issues are just inconvenient for seniors. Other times mobility issues put them at risk for falling. Falls can be very dangerous for the aging. Faling can result in:

* Bruises

* Fractures

* Breaks

* Need for physical therapy

* Surgical correction

* Hospitalization

* Death

(MerckManuals)

Mobility Aids for a Safer Home Enviornment

Some mobility aids aren't designed to support long-range motion. Instead, they make the home environment safer and increase independence with specific tasks. Improve home safety and mobility by installing:

* Rails along stairs, near bathroom fixtures, in hallways, etc.

* Tub/bath transfer seats or benches

* Supportive seat cushions

* Grab handles for getting in/out of a car, bed, couch, or chair

* Rolling over-bed or over-couch tables

* Additional lighting or voice command lighting to improve visibility

* Non-slip flooring that is securely tacked down

* Stairlift

* Ramps to replace stairs

Mobility Problem Risk Factors

A number of issues can increase seniors' risk of struggling with mobility and balance.

* Diminished eyesight

* Diabetes or heart disease

* Thyroid problems

* Nerve issues

* Medications

* Dizziness

* Muscle weakness

* Gait changes

* Postural hypotension

* Foot pain, deformities, or poorly-fitting footwear

* Confusion or memory problems

* Environmental factors like lack of lighting

Paying for Mobility Aids

Insurance companies, as well as some grant or senior care non-profits, may help cover the cost of mobility aids. Ask a doctor or local agency for the aging for ideas on where to start seeking financial assistance for mobility devices.

Home Care Tip

Style matters. If seniors seem unwilling to accept mobility aids, consider options that look sleek or fit their sense of style. Sometimes a device that feels personalized makes a difference for seniors struggling to accept necessary changes.

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