As people get older, it can often become more difficult to get around. Whether moving throughout the home doing daily tasks or navigating the challenges of outdoor settings, mobility aids minimize the risk of falls to enjoy an overall better quality of life.

If you are an older adult or have an elderly loved one with mobility issues, there are a variety of aids to choose from to meet a range of needs.

Mobility Aids Reduce Falls

A senior using one of the mobility aids to walk with her nurse.
A female social worker helping a senior woman to walk with her walker.

Using mobility aids provide support for an older person who may be experiencing balance issues, lacks body strength, or cannot walk on their own. These supportive devices can allow older adults to maintain their independence safely.

It is reported that one in three seniors living in the home fall each year. Once an older adult falls, the chances double that they will fall again. One in five of these falls results in a serious injury such as a head injury or broken bones. Other devastating consequences for older persons include:

  • Bruises
  • Fractures
  • Breaks
  • Physical therapy
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Death

Because Family Tree recognizes the importance of fall prevention and is committed to the well-being of its clients, we have developed specific training, oversight, and procedures to help reduce unsafe practices that increase fall risk.

Common Reasons Older Adults Fall

It is important to note that falling is not a normal part of aging. However, several factors can put an older person at an increased risk of falling.

  • Poor vision
  • Diabetes or heart disease
  • Nerve issues
  • Medications
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Foot pain/improper footwear
  • Confusion/cognitive issues
  • Poor lighting

Correctly using the proper mobility aid can help diminish these risk factors and allow seniors to feel more confident and safer.

Choosing the Right Aid

Depending on a senior’s degree of mobility, there is an aid that can meet their need and style. Additionally, insurance companies and some senior care non-profits may partially cover the costs for the necessary equipment.

Getting Around Town and At Home

Choosing the right aid depends on your specific needs. From minimal to maximum support, the aids below provide stability and assistance for walking or getting around.

  • Canes – provides increased stability for those with minimal balance issues
  • Walkers – can support those with significant stability problems who have reasonable upper body strength
  • Rollators – useful for those with severe stability issues and reduced upper body strength and balance
  • Power Scooters – suitable for those who cannot walk long distances but have upper body control
  • Wheelchairs – provides mobility for those who cannot walk on their own

Mobility Supports for a Safer Home

In addition to using aids to get around, there are supports used in the home to make daily living easier and safer for seniors. Below are some aids that can be installed in an older person’s home.

  • Railings: along stairways, in hallways, and in bathrooms
  • Transfer seats/benches: in showers and tubs
  • Supportive seat cushions
  • Grab handles: in cars, attached to beds, couches, and chairs
  • Rolling tables: for over-the-bed or over-the-couch
  • Additional or voice-command lighting
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Stairlift
  • Ramps

Conclusion

Mobility issues can not only present a challenge to older adults’ independence but also a risk to their safety. Choosing the correct mobility aid can give a senior the support they need to overcome these barriers. At Family Tree In-Home Care, we are committed to helping seniors stay safe. If you or an elderly family member needs assistance with mobility, give us a call for more information.