It’s not unusual for older adults to eventually need some help getting around safely. In fact, almost one fourth of seniors over the age of 65 use some sort of mobility aid. If you’ve noticed that your aging relative is starting to have trouble walking, it may be time for them to use a device to keep them safe and make walking easier. However, there are many options available and it can be difficult to know which one is right. Knowing a little more about the devices available may help you to make the right decision.
How Can You Know a Senior Needs a Mobility Aid?
Sometimes it is obvious that a mobility aid is needed, such as when an older adult is injured or becomes disabled because of a stroke or other illness. Other times, a slow decline in abilities creates the need. If you’re unsure whether your aging relative needs a mobility aid, watch for some of these signs:
- Bruises and scrapes that indicate falling.
- Holding on to walls and furniture while walking.
- Trouble maintaining balance.
- Fear of falling.
Certain health conditions may also indicate a need for a mobility aid, such as:
- Heart problems.
- Peripheral neuropathy.
- Vision problems.
What Devices are Available?
There are four different kinds of mobility aids. Within each of the kinds are several variations that make them work better for certain people. Basic kinds of mobility aids are:
- Canes: Canes help to redistribute body weight allowing the upper body to bear some of the load. This takes some of the strain off the lower limbs and also improves balance.
- Crutches: Like canes, crutches also let the arms and upper body take on some of the body’s weight. They are most often used for temporary injuries but can also be used when a person has a permanent disability.
- Walkers: Walkers have three sides that surround the older adult while they walk. Some walkers must be picked up and placed in front of the person as they walk. Others have wheels or slides so they can be pushed.
- Wheelchairs: Wheelchairs are used by people who are unable to walk, either temporarily or permanently.
It’s a good idea to work with the older adult’s doctor to determine which mobility aid will work best. The doctor can refer them to a physical therapist who can help them make the right choice. The therapist can also fit the aid to the senior and teach them how to use it correctly.
For older adults who have difficulty moving around on their own, home care can help them to be safer. Home care providers can walk with the older adult as the move from room to room, take a walk outside, or go to appointments. Home care can enable seniors with mobility problems to live more independently because they have someone available to assist them when needed.
If you are considering home care in Avon, OH, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Four Seasons Home Care today: (440) 716-9100.