Seniors citizens frequently need living aids to make life comfortable. The most commonly used aids are the mobility aids which are generally used to assist the elderly to move from one place to another. Mobility aids can be defined as the devices that are used to help people who have difficulty moving from place to place enjoy a greater sense of freedom and movement.
People who use mobility aids are normally the injured, the handicapped and the elderly. They benefit the users by increasing their independence, reducing stress and pain and offering safety features. These senior mobility aids are made for different types of people. They include:
Canes are the most widely used mobility aids especially by the elderly. They offer support to the body’s weight by shifting the load from the legs to the upper body. Most of this is applied on the arms and the wrists. Assistive canes are made for people who have trouble balancing. An estimated 10% of the elderly in the United States use canes for mobility.
There are three types of canes. White canes are used by those who are visually impaired and are usually long and thin. They are also white in color so as to inform other people that the user is visually impaired. Quad canes have 4 feet at the foot of the cane and offer greater stability. Forearm canes are the most common. They transmit the weight from the legs to the arms and wrists. Most are simply known as walking sticks.
Crutches are quite similar to canes in that they both shift the weight to the arms and wrists. With crutches, however, they can be used singly or in pairs. They are used in the case of injuries of permanent disability. There are three main types of crutches which are the underarm crutches, the forearm crutches, and the platform crutches.
Walkers are quite common with over 4.6% of the elderly in the US using them. They are also known as zimmer frames and comprise of a metal framework and four legs that provide support and stability to the user. When using a walker, the user lifts it up as they move forward and such they are usually light. There are walkers that are fitted with wheels to enable the user to roll it instead of lifting. These are especially useful when the patient has limited arm strength.
Some walkers are fitted with brakes as a safety feature more so the ones with wheels. Some walkers are made as a hybrid with the canes and feature 2 legs unlike the usual 4. It is an improvement on the cane to make it comfortable.
They are meant for the people who should not put pressure on their lower limbs or those who cannot walk. They are also useful for the elderly when long walking distances are involved. Wheelchairs can be moved by the user or by someone pushing the user. There are some that are electrically propelled.
They are almost similar to the wheelchairs. They can be considered to be a cross-breed between scooters and wheelchairs. Most are battery powered and feature a steering wheel. They offer very high levels of mobility aid to senior citizens or the handicapped.
Different areas have rules on the use of mobility scooters on the streets. Most places offer training on how to use them both indoors and outdoors.
Guide dogs are a great favorite due to the psychological and emotional effects they have on a person. They are used by the visually impaired and the seniors. Guide dogs are specially trained to assist the person.
Other safety modifications
Most houses where the elderly or handicapped live in are fitted with extra safety modifications. These include the addition of ramps on the uneven parts of the house to allow for easy movement. Stair-lifts move people and their wheelchairs easily. Handrails are also common to provide support when walking or standing.
Mobility aids can transform the lives of the user by making life easier especially when it comes to mobility. These aids can help different people ranging from the handicapped, the sick, injured and seniors. Mobility aids quite simply transform the quality of life for the user and make their lives happier and more fulfilling.