Mobility usually gets difficult with aging. That usually resulted in lifestyle changes marked with restrictions for the elder. In recent times, though, things have changed. There are several mobility products that help elders remain active and continue enjoying the lifestyle they had in younger days.
Wheelchairs and other mobility products have improved a great deal to offer support and independence to the elderly. Independence is a cherished value and age shouldn’t restrict it. Anything that ensures independence should also be cherished and promoted. From simple walking canes to electric wheelchairs, there is a complete range of mobility devices that are available for use. Before committing to a particular device, it is important to determine the requirement of your loved ones.
Canes and Walkers help to maintain stability and provide better support while walking or standing. They can support 15-20% of a user’s body weight. These devices are usually recommended to a person recovering from injuries, but they help a great deal in avoiding accidents and injuries by bolstering standing postures. Canes and walkers provide essential support to aching knee or hip joints. Older adults with arthritis or joint diseases can benefit greatly from such devices. While choosing a cane make sure that the grip is comfortable and that the size is right. The right length can be measured by asking the user to stand normally wearing the shoes. Many canes are adjustable, but It is still advisable to check the elbow bend and the wrist height of the cane before committing to a cane. Canes come with different handles ranging from crook handles to ‘swan neck’ handles that offer more ergonomic support.
The choice of grip is a matter of personal preference. Foam grips can be comfortable. Similarly, grips that fit the hands well should be preferred. Not choosing the right grip might result in numbness and pain in the fingers of the user. Canes also come with different tips. The tip of the cane is usually constructed of pliable rubber that offers considerable grip on most surfaces. The tip should be supple and in good shape. The tip must be replaced quickly when it shows the signs of wear. Most people prefer canes having a single tip. Quad-canes have four tips that offer a broader base of support, but they are generally clunky and difficult to use. Quad-canes are most beneficial to people recovering from strokes or have muscle and joint diseases.
Wooden canes usually come in certain fixed lengths, but certain manufactures offer custom cuts, as well. Aluminum canes can usually adjust to different heights.
Walkers come in different shapes and forms but the aluminum folding walker is the most common walker available. Wheels can be added to the walker if the user isn’t strong enough to lift it. Three-wheeled walkers are very popular. They usually offer hand brakes and baskets and can be folded in half for increased portability. Some users might prefer the four-wheeled walker that comes with seats. Doctors and physical therapists are usually in a better position to recommend the most suitable walker.
Scooters and Wheelchairs
If the user is not able to walk at all, or have limited upper body mobility, a manual wheelchair or electric wheelchair can be good options. Electric wheelchairs are usually more maneuverable than scooters. They can facilitate indoor navigation better, especially in refraining spaces like bathrooms and hallways. They are ideal solutions for users experiencing difficulties in getting in and out of bed. Electric chairs also help older adults to move to workspace easily because they do not have tillers attached to them.
Eclectic mobility scooters are designed specifically for people who possess some mobility but cannot retain it for long distances. They come in indoor and outdoor models that provide a good set of options for seniors who want to travel far for their daily activities. They come with a battery charger and a deep cycle type researchable battery. The seat is usually adjustable that offers comfortable arm and shoulder positioning. The tiller usually includes removable key, speed control dial and a battery gauge.
Regardless to the choice of devise, the users should be given the required training and time to get familiar with the ergonomics and functions of the devise.