For many older adults, quality of life includes the ability to participate in hobbies, maintaining independence, and being active in society. Unfortunately, mobility issues may physically prevent individuals from spending their time doing things that they enjoy. This may lead to social isolation, depression, and declining health. Even more, many older adults begin to limit their activities as they age because they believe they are able to do less physically. However, remaining active is the key to aging happily and maintaining health.
To improve physical and mental wellbeing, individuals should address health issues that affect mobility and take preventative measures. For people who have existing mobility issues that limit their activity, assistive technology and devices can help continue to build social connections and maintain quality of life. This may include GPS devices for older adults with dementia, scooters or wheelchairs, and home monitoring systems such as fall sensors.
Let’s take a look at all of the options for helping older adults with mobility problems.
Managing and Preventing Mobility Issues
Before we discuss assistive technology and devices for older adults with mobility issues, let’s talk about how you can prevent mobility issues and keep existing problems from getting worse.
Older adults should always speak to their doctor before beginning a new exercise routine. If your doctor approves, regular exercise strengthens muscles and improves flexibility- leading to better mobility in the long-run. Whether you are walking, dancing, or stretching, regular activity is key to maintaining or improving mobility.
Keep a Healthy Diet
By keeping a healthy diet, you may be able to maintain a healthy weight or even lose existing weight. Without carrying extra weight, it will become easier to get around with less stress on your bones and joints. While this is important at any age, weight issues are especially impactful for older adults and seniors.
Know the Effects of Medications
Older adults who experience mobility issues should discuss the side effects of their medications with their physicians. Some medications are known to cause balance or alertness issues, which have an impact on mobility. If your doctor can provide a safer alternative to your medications, you may experience an improvement in mobility.
Identify Falling Hazards in the Home
Falls are typically caused by mobility issues, however, this does not have to result in serious injury and may be prevented by taking some extra precautions. Clearing your home of clutter and getting rid of loose wires or carpets can help to prevent falls in the home. Additionally, ensuring that your home has good lighting, using night-lights in bathrooms, and other under-lit areas of the home, as well as removing any other trip hazards all help prevent falls.
Ask your Doctor About Walking Aids
For individuals who are a bit unsteady on their feet, canes or walkers may be utilized. Speak with your doctor to find recommendations of specific types and styles of walking devices.
Combine Activity With Social Connections
One of the most enjoyable ways to keep older adults mobile is participation in community activities. This may include exercise programs provided by local hospitals, senior centers, and community centers.
Share your Concerns With your Doctor
If you are experiencing mobility issues and are unaware of their source, speak with your doctor. Certain diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, and dementia often affect mobility. With proper diagnosis and treatment, mobility risks can be reduced and avoided altogether.
Utilizing Canes and Walkers
Canes and walkers are mobility devices utilized to increase support and stability while walking and standing. These devices are often prescribed by a doctor after experiencing an injury. However, more often than not, these devices are used to prevent injury in older adults with mobility issues. Additionally, older adults use canes and walkers to relieve pressure stemming from painful knee or hip joints due to arthritis or other similar mobility diseases.
There are many different options regarding canes. To begin, wooden canes typically come in precut lengths, however, some manufacturers may cut them to size when a customer makes a purchase. On the other hand, aluminum canes are usually adjustable to different heights, like our Advanced Orthopaedics© Aluminum Adjustable Folding Cane.
Walkers also come in many different styles, however, the most popular is the aluminum folding walker. If an individual is not strong enough to lift the walker and move it along in front of them while walking, wheels can be added to the front. Among wheeled walkers, the most popular form is the three-wheeled walker. These devices are made to fold in half for easy travel and are equipped with a hand brake and basket.
Check with your doctor or physical therapist to determine which form of cane or walker is most suitable for your unique needs.
Using Scooters and Wheelchairs
If you or your loved one cannot walk, suffers from limited upper body strength, or is not strong enough to use a walker, cane, or manual wheelchair, an electric wheelchair may be a good option. Electric wheelchairs are more maneuverable than scooters, making navigating indoors much easier. This makes them especially ideal for older adults with mobility issues that cause getting in and out of bed difficult.
Electric mobility scooters are designed for older adults who have some mobility but have difficulty walking for a long amount of time or a far distance. There are indoor and outdoor models, both providing a good option for seniors who travel farther distances during their daily lives.
Purchasing Mobility Devices at Kelmedix
The right mobility devices will make living your life while navigating mobility issues that much easier. Mobility issues in older adults are often caused by diseases that dramatically affect your quality of life over time. However, adapting to using a mobility device such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, or scooters may be a major adjustment for many individuals.
By working with Kelmedix, you will experience an easier transition, access to affordable mobile devices and accessories, as well as friendly and knowledgeable service. Visit our online medical supplies store today to find affordable and quality mobility devices.