The majority of us would want to lead a life that is free from hassle and being physically active is one of the many factors that enable us to enjoy a more enriching lifestyle. However, as we age, it is anticipated of our health to deteriorate which will ultimately restrict our mobility. There may come a time in our lives that we may even need to make use of mobility aids for aging adults to help us get around much more easily unaided. There are many types of mobility aids, so how do you choose the most ideal one? Here are some tips that you can follow when shopping for the right mobility aid for yourself or a loved one.
Getting Expert Advice
It is common for us to seek recommendations from friends and family before purchasing an unfamiliar item. However, it is crucial to get expert advice instead to ensure that the mobility aid that you are getting is safe and will not cause any detrimental effects to your health. Using the wrong device may cause problems like posture-related issues, stability problems, and more which may result in pain.
Walking canes provide additional support that enhances the safety and stability of aging adults. A cane should be able to support at least 25 percent of the weight of a person and it works best for those with minimally impaired balance or those with one leg that is much weaker than the other. Canes also require moderate hand and arm strength that needs to be applied at the horizontal grip.
A walker is the next best option after a walking cane. It also requires moderate hand and arm strength and can support at least 50 percent of the weight of a person. A standard walker often comes with two or four legs that are fixed and need to be lifted and navigated with each step. This standard type best suits those with significant stability issues.
A motorized scooter is helpful for older adults who possess adequate arm strength and dexterity but are not able to walk for an extended period of time. However, the older adult must be able to sit upright unaided throughout long distances and control the scooter’s throttle. Not every aging adult can keep their arms extended for a long period like those with arthritis as they may start experiencing aches and pains.
Excessive unsteadiness, fatigue, difficulty getting up, and occasional falls indicate that a cane or walker may not offer enough support. If you or a loved one are not able to sit upright unaided or lack arm strength or dexterity to operate a power scooter, a manual wheelchair might be the most ideal option. A manual wheelchair lets this group of elderly stay independent and still participate in the daily elderly activities that they enjoy doing. There are three basic types of wheelchairs which include standard, lightweight, and ultra-lightweight. Select the one that is most suitable for the person who will be maneuvering it.