Staying Active and Engaged: How Lifestyle Mobility Aids Empower Seniors
Our bodies change as we age: Muscles start to atrophy and lose their strength, bones build tissue at a slower pace and health conditions often require an older adult to use multiple medications. This combination increases risks for weakness, joint issues, dizziness and nerve and foot pain, which may impact one's mobility.
Declining mobility has a rippling effect, influencing where you go and how you socialize and work, and elevates concerns for falls and related complications. Especially as older adults seek to maintain their independence and adapt to age-related changes, lifestyle mobility aids become essential.
Learn more about what mobility aids are and how they benefit older adults:
What Are Lifestyle Mobility Aids?
At their simplest level, mobility aids allow someone to stabilize themselves, providing support as one stands, walks or reaches for objects. Not all mobility needs are identical, and in turn, the number of devices out there and their respective functions continue to diversify.
Common senior mobility aids include:
- Canes: This cost-effective walking aid is one of the most widely used. Canes create one or multiple points of contact with the ground to improve balance, keep the user stable as they walk or stand and decrease pressure placed on joints.
- Walkers:Walkers provide multiple points of contact with the ground for stability, don't need to be lifted like a cane and better accommodate those experiencing dizziness.
- Rollators: While sometimes grouped in with walkers, rollators stand out with wheels, a seat, hand brakes and even a basket for carrying belongings. This mobility aid allows the user to get more speed as they move.
- Wheelchairs: In manual and electric variations, this mobility aid suits individuals unable to walk on their own. Manual wheelchairs better suit individuals with upper body strength, while power wheelchairs provide a set of controls for maneuvering the device.
- Scooters: This electrically powered mobility solution accommodates individuals with reduced upper body strength and who have issues walking over long distances.
Why Use a Senior Mobility Aid?
Considering these collective functions and features, lifestyle mobility aids deliver the following benefits for older adults:
Addressing Fall Risks
When we're young, we often get back up after a fall, perhaps scraped and bruised. For older adults, a seemingly minor fall turns into a catastrophic event - potentially requiring a hip replacement and months of rehabilitation - that impacts their independence. Falls are surprisingly common, affecting about 25 percent of adults age 65 and older.
Senior mobility aids become the first line of defense for reducing these risks, improving stability at home and in public and helping one continue to engage in an active lifestyle.
Building from the previous point, declining mobility and recovering from a fall injury greatly affect one's independence. Staying at home nearly all the time limits socialization and, for many, increases the risk of depression. Going hand-in-hand with reducing fall risks, lifestyle mobility aids allow seniors to preserve their independence:
- You're more at ease moving around your home.
- You're less likely to rely on others for assistance with chores and activities of daily living.
- You're more likely to venture away from your home - whether to meet with friends or go on a trip.
- You're more likely to continue socializing with family, friends or at a community event.
Many individuals addressing mobility changes believe they need to drop out of the workforce or switch careers. Utilizing an appropriate mobility aid means you can continue working a job you enjoy without having to interrupt or halt this area of your life.
In the past, older adults were limited to a handful of primarily manual mobility aids. Today, these devices accommodate a broader range of abilities through electric features, designs that support more weight or fold down for travel, ergonomic construction for comfort and tires and frames that handle uneven terrain. These attributes let you not only go farther but to more locations - from the store and shopping malls to dirt paths to airplanes and cruise ships.
Maintain an independent lifestyle with Senior.com. Browse our website for solutions from leading manufacturers, or contact us today to discuss your options with one of our knowledgeable customer representatives.