Health & Wellness

5 Ways to Help Seniors Improve Their Mobility

Improving your mobility as you age is essential in keeping you well-balanced and supported, According to the CDC, one out of four seniors is prone to falling each year. 

To prevent elderly folks from sustaining life-altering injuries, here are five ways you can help the seniors in your life improve their mobility.

Canes and walking staffs

As we age, our sense of balance gradually diminishes. Without ready access to walking aids, a senior’s quality of life may gradually diminish, as well. 

Canes, a symbol of elderly life, are considered the most commonly-used walking aids amongst seniors. In America alone, 1 out of 10 adults over the age of 65 rely on cane use. 

Canes can be adjusted according to the height of the user and are portable, lightweight, and space-efficient.

While their design may seem rudimentary, walking staffs have their own set of pros. Walking staffs help distribute the weight of the body evenly, reducing potential leg strain. Its technology helps seniors maintain a full range of movement, with the support that prevents tripping. 

Walkers

This type of mobility aid consists of metal frames, and hand rests. A walker has four legs, which may vary according to the type. The most common types incorporate regular braces, whereas other varieties feature wheels such as Rollators. 

Unlike canes, a walker offers more balance and support, due to its larger surface area.

Walkers help provide good stability, which gives the user a sense of independence. Its lightweight structure makes it easy to push, allowing the operator to tackle longer distances. For storage purposes, some models can even be folded. 

However, in tight spaces or narrow paths, using a walker can pose its own set of challenges. It is best to utilize a walker in open areas, far from obstacles or uneven surfaces that can cause one to trip.

Manual wheelchairs

Similar to Rollators, a wheelchair provides mobility with efficiency and comfort. The wheels make it easy to move about, without the pressure of standing upright like a cane or walker demands. 

However, manual wheelchairs can prove to be strenuous on the upper body. This mobility device requires incredible arm-strength to push against the wheels supporting your overall body weight.

Many senior citizens lack the strength and energy to push their own wheelchairs. Their upper arm muscles may not be capable of withstanding the physical strain. 

 To cater to these disabilities, wheelchairs are often prescribed for use with the accompaniment of a nurse or guardian who is capable of assisting the user in the operation of their wheelchair. 

While the setback in independence may sound off-putting, wheelchairs provide great relief to the overall body. They keep the user’s back in an upright position and allow the wheelchair operator to tuck their legs at a 90-degree angle. This helps stretch the spine and promotes a comfortable user experience. 

Wheelchairs are recommended for seniors susceptible to falling and those with mobility-related disabilities.

Mobility chairs

As the name suggests, these devices increase the mobility of users, all while keeping the operator seated. Many mobility chairs are affordable and agile. Compared to full-sized electric wheelchairs, they are sturdy, responsive, and electrically-powered.

Mobility chairs feature a simple joystick with steering control that allows the user to redirect their position, accelerate, brake, decelerate, and adjust speed. Mobility chairs are prided on their convenience and independence factors, as one doesn’t need the assistance of a patron to move about.

Though the mobility-chair market is stocked with a variety of brands, devices such as the Zoomer Chair are loaded with features aimed at enhancing the user’s quality of life. 

 Designed to scoot under tables and desks, the Zoomer chair grants the user the freedom to participate in family activities and daily meals without feeling excluded. 

 Most mobility chairs function properly both indoors and outdoors. They are lightweight, can be folded, and are portable.

Electric wheelchairs

Unlike your average, run-of-the-mill wheelchair, the electric variants come powered with a motor. This allows seniors to travel about their everyday life, without the need for an attendant to oversee the operation of their manually-powered wheelchair. 

Not only does an electric wheelchair ease the process of moving from one point to another without straining your arms, but those who opt for an electric wheelchair reported significantly less fatigue during use. 

 Electric wheelchairs also adapt to the users’ weight and height, which allows the operator to adjust leg space or the angle of recline according to preference. It also features an easy-to-operate joystick, allowing users to regulate the steering control.

Because the center of gravity is much lower than in manual wheelchairs, users can stay balanced and stabilized, with a lowered risk of toppling over. With an electric wheelchair, they can trust, users can enjoy an increased sense of confidence. 

Overall, electric wheelchairs are a recommended mobility aid for patients suffering from a disability, both related and unrelated to their senior status. 

When choosing a mobility aid, remember to select the one best suited to your needs. These five options will give you a better understanding of each device’s pros and cons, so you can make a better-informed decision.

Health2Wellness

We are nutritionist, health writer's, and food bloggers. Check it out our latest health & wellness articles on fitness, diet, and healthy living.

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