As seniors age, they find it becomes more necessary make adjustments to fit their changing daily needs. According to government statistics, some 38 million adults in the United States experience difficulty in physical function. Fortunately, there are many adjustments they can make to remain mobile and comfortable.
One such adjustment is getting a mobility device. Mobility devices such as walkers, canes, and wheelchairs come in many different shapes and sizes. Adding a mobility device into one’s daily routine could be a life-changing adjustment that allows one to stay mobile and independent.
1. Increased Pain
Seniors are at higher risk of experiencing chronic pain due to age-related conditions. For instance, arthritis is common and can cause pain when doing the simplest of daily tasks. Tasks like dressing and bathing may become difficult to complete. If routine activities become painful, one should consult one’s doctor to explore pain-management options, but this is also a sign for one to consider a mobility device.
If seniors find themselves avoiding or struggling with daily tasks, then it’s time for them to consider a mobility device that can make life easier to manage. Mobility devices may offer the support needed to make walking less painful, or provide a source of rest or support during a task.
2. Falls Become More Frequent
People of all ages can experience a fall, and while that first fall may seem like a fluke, falls can lead to devastating injuries and even death in seniors. Adults older than 65 years of age suffer the greatest number of fatal falls, according to The World Health Organization. More than a quarter of all falls include serious injuries such as broken bones, head injuries, bruising, internal bleeding, and lacerations. All of these injuries have the potential to become worse in seniors who already have weaker bones, muscles, and immune systems.
For seniors who have found themselves losing stability and experiencing more falls, a mobility device could be essential for ensuring safety and preventing fall-related injuries. Two or more falls in six months is considered too many, and intervention steps should be taken. One of the main prevention strategies for falls is for seniors to create safer environments, which includes using a mobility device that best suits their needs.
In addition to a mobility device, a mobile medical alert system with fall detection like the one offered by Bay Alarm Medical would be a good idea to keep with a senior to access help in the event of a fall.
3. Difficulty Walking
Aging slows everyone down, and the area most impacted by this is walking. Walking is one of the essential tools a person has to navigate day-to-day life. Aging side-effects like pain and dizziness may impair one’s ability to walk. Painful arthritis is one such condition that may make it too difficult to stand or walk. Balance issues – which are also common in seniors – may make one feel too unsteady to walk safely.
If an activity such as walking starts to become more difficult, then it’s time to consider a mobility device. Continuing to walk without such an aid, while dealing with pain or balance issues, greatly increases one’s likelihood of falling.
4. Increased Fear of Basic Tasks
A senior is most likely to fall inside their own home, as fall hazards are present throughout it. For instance, bathrooms are notoriously dangerous environments with a high risk of falls due to the moisture and slickness of bathroom floors. Seniors may have fallen or had a close call in the bathroom, which can spark fear, and tendencies to avoid tasks in the bathroom.
If a senior becomes increasing afraid to do basic tasks or goes to lengths to avoid them, it may be time to consider a mobility device. Another option to ease their fear is a medical alert system, which includes a pendant or wristband with an emergency help button to request help when needed. Knowing that they won’t be alone in an emergency can greatly reduce a senior’s fear.
Don’t Put it Off
The idea of getting a mobility device can be embarrassing for a senior, but the reality is that it’s a common and beneficial tool that could prevent a fall, and subsequent injuries or even death. Using a mobility device doesn’t have to feel like surrendering one’s independence; it’s actually taking charge of one’s own life and safety.
Mobility devices are used by people of all ages to provide much-needed assistance in their lives – not just seniors. If one device doesn’t feel right the first time, plenty of other alternatives exist. Using a mobility device is well worth the peace of mind and safety benefit.