While growing older is constantly portrayed as this new and foreign stage in life, it is highly unlikely that we will experience drastic changes in the things that we need, enjoy, or value. For many people, having independence and the freedom to move around as we wish or need to are right at the top of their basic necessities.
This can be affected by issues with mobility due to the problems of old age or because of an underlying health condition. For many people, this results in increased difficulties with walking. If you or your loved one is struggling with this, you would have probably been looking and trying to choose the best mobility aid for your lifestyle needs. To get you started, we have compiled a simple guide.
Walking Assistance Aids
When it comes to walking assistance aids, they are designed for people who are still able to walk but just need more support. The category will cover a large range of different aides – this ranges from canes, quad canes, walkers, to rollators. Even within these product types, there are differences that can personalized to beest suit your individual needs.
The best way to determine which might be better for you is to determine just how much stability you will need with regards to movement assistance. For example, canes can help to relieve some pressure on joints, but are mostly designed to help with balance for those with light to moderate difficulties with movement. On the other hand, rollators offer high levels of stability and can even act as a seat when you get tired.
Wheelchairs are the next most common option that comes into play when it is too dangerous or difficult for an individual to move on their own. In some cases, this can be because of recovery from an injury or surgery. However, it is important to note that wheelchairs will require assistance from a caregiver or moderate upper body strength on the part of the older adult. For those who prefer greater autonomy, powered wheelchairs are a costlier alternative for indoor areas.
Like powered wheelchairs, these are electrically powered and are more suitable for outdoor use. Depending on the type that you opt for, it is able to cover a larger range of different terrain types. However, they are also considerably bulkier and would not be suitable in tight areas or within a living space.
Assessing For Mobility Aids
When it comes to assessing what type of mobility aid is best for your loved one, the best way is to go and try different ones before you purchase. This not just means trying the different types, but making sure that all the personalizable aspects are catered towards your lifestyle. If you require more support, consulting your doctor is a great way to ensuring that you make the best decision.
If your living conditions are unsuitable or you find yourself struggling to support your loved one in becoming more active, you might want to consider a placement in a senior living community. For some, this means opting for a short term stay in respite care while you and your family carry out the necessary renovations to accommodate for mobility assistance devices.