Everybody would like to stay young, healthy, and active for as long as possible. Unfortunately, we become more susceptible to various diseases as we get older, which makes our bodies weaker. Therefore, it becomes difficult for older people to move around on their own, and many of them are afraid of becoming dependent on other people.
But that’s not the only problem. According to the study, 36 million people over 65 get injured by falling each year, and 20% of these cases result in serious injuries. So, contributing to mobility issues is not only about independence and convenience for your elderly but also about their safety.
If it is difficult for a person to walk on their own, they don’t need the help of others. You can just choose a mobility aid for seniors and solve this problem for your beloved one. There are several types of mobility aids. How to understand which one will be the perfect fit for your loved one? Of course, the best solution would be to ask a specialist for a recommendation. However, if you want to learn more about these indispensable tools, keep reading. In this article, we introduce you to their main features and give tips on how to select a mobility aid for seniors.
How Mobility Aids for Seniors Can Be Useful
Falls are a serious problem for the elderly. As a rule, it happens because of various health conditions. The most common causes of falling in old age are poor vision, dizziness, and muscle weakness. Usually, such problems arise from diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive and nervous disorders.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict and avoid the occurrence of such diseases. But what you can do is to help an elderly person to stand and move around more confidently and reduce falling risk. In this case, a device for the elderly is absolutely indispensable. Such a device helps people who do not have enough body strength to stand on their own to keep their balance. Thus, the senior feels more confident and can move around independently. Besides, the person feels safer because falling entails serious injuries, such as fractures, syncope, and other injuries. In the most severe cases, a fall can even result in death.
You need to take choosing a mobility aid for a senior very seriously. You can’t just buy the first thing that catches your eye, as it can make their life more difficult rather than improve it. If you don’t know how to choose a mobility aid for a senior, read the following section. We will tell you about what types of mobility aids exist and what functions they perform.
The Most Common Types of Mobility Aid for Seniors
The older person’s physical condition and needs should be considered when choosing a mobility aid for the elderly. There are two groups of mobility aids:
- for ambulatory seniors
- for people who cannot walk
Let’s take a look at what mobility devices fit into each group.
Devices for ambulatory elderly people
If your loved one can stand on their own feet but lacks the strength to walk, you may want to consider these mobility options:
It is the simplest but the most popular mobility aid. Canes can have a hook-shaped or a horizontal handle. The horizontal one is more comfortable and suitable for people who feel weakness in their arms. A cane does not weigh much, does not take up much space, and is very convenient to carry around. It takes the strain off the legs and lower the body. A standard cane can support up to 25 percent of a person’s body weight. Besides, even this pretty straightforward tool has a few variations to fit the needs of the elderly:
- Quad canes. This kind of cane has four legs, which makes it more stable. A quad cane is suitable for people with serious balance and stability problems.
- Forearm Canes. This cane has special support for the forearm — the load is transferred from the hand and wrist to the upper arm. This cane is a good choice for those who have weak arm muscles.
- Adjustable Canes. The standard length of a cane is 36 feet. But some can be adjusted according to the needs of the person. However, adjustable canes tend to be less stable than regular ones.
Crutches are usually used in pairs. Like canes, crutches can support a person’s weight, but with additional arm support. With this feature, the load during movement is transferred to the upper part of the body.
As a rule, crutches are used as a temporary aid for movement. For example, this would be the best mobility aid for seniors who have recently had surgery or a leg injury.
A walker looks like a metal frame with four legs, and some may also have wheels. Because it has more contact with the ground than canes and crutches, it can support up to 50 percent of a person’s weight. Such a device provides a lot of balance and stability for older adults. They seem a bit bulky but are specifically designed to be lightweight.
Rollators help older people walk long distances. They have a metal frame, four wheels, a handlebar, and a handbrake. Rollators are very good for supporting people who have difficulty walking on their own. But, as a rule, rollators are quite bulky and heavy.
Mobility Aids for People Who Cannot Walk
If an older adult has difficulty standing independently and is completely unable to move on their own, consider choosing one of the following mobility aids:
There are two types of wheelchairs — with manual and electronic control. Such a device is recommended for people who cannot move around on their own. You can ride long distances in a wheelchair.
Scooters are similar to wheelchairs. But typically, they are used for outdoor mobility. These mobility aids are battery-powered and controlled by a steering wheel. Similar to a wheelchair, scooters are a great solution for those who cannot get around on their own.
Mobility Aids for Seniors You Can Install in Their Home
Mobility aids for the elderly can make it a lot easier for them to walk at home and on the street. But there are other challenges, such as climbing stairs, getting out of bed, etc. You can make these tasks easier for them with the following aid devices:
- Grab handles
- Transfer seats
- Rolling tables
You can go even further in making the house comfortable and safe for seniors. For example, use non-slip flooring, unclutter the surrounding, add lighting that reacts to sound, etc. Galaxy Home Care can provide all the necessary information and help. If you are looking for home care in Nassau County or other cities, you can’t go wrong with Galaxy Home Care.
Trust Galaxy Home Care in Choosing a Mobility Aid for Senior
When aging, people need a lot more attention and care. But unfortunately, the closest people cannot always help the older person. The reasons can be various — not enough time because of work, personal matters, or a simple lack of knowledge of how to help your loved one in such a situation. Therefore, if you want to give your loved senior the best, you should turn to professionals.
Galaxy Home Care has been providing senior care services in New York, Brooklyn, NY, and other cities for many years. Our specialists will advise you on any issue regarding care services, help you select a mobility aid for a senior, and explain how to use it most comfortably and safely.
You can also turn to our company if you need to find a caregiver or home care in New York City, or other areas. Fill out our form or call us by phone, and our professional staff will answer all your possible questions.