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June 28, 2019
As we get older, we may find it’s becoming more difficult to get around like we’re used to.
Walking and standing may become challenging. Climbing stairs may be difficult, and our speed may slow down. In situations like these, many seniors turn to mobility or assistive devices for support with everyday living.
Assistive devices are tools used to help people with tasks they may not be able to do otherwise. The majority of devices are used to overcome an impediment. For example, hearing aids are assistive devices, as they help combat the effects of hearing loss.
There are devices that are specifically designed to help with a person’s mobility. Some, like canes and walkers, are made to help with walking and standing. Safety rails or chair lifts are devices that can be installed around your home to help with accessibility.
But how do you know if an assistive device for mobility is necessary? Take a look at some of the signs that you or a loved one may need an assistive device.
1. Lack of Balance
Due to a number of factors (vision, inner ear problems, medications, and so on), your ability to stay balanced may decrease over time, or even suddenly. If you or a loved one has had problems with balance, or even fallen in the past, now is the time to consider an assistive device.
Assistive devices are a common solution for balance problems and prevention of falls. Many devices such as canes and walkers can help with stability and balance. Others are specialized to support specific parts of the lower body that work with balance, such as knee walkers.
2. Pain Management
Assistive devices can help ease the pain on your joints and muscles. These devices reduce weight and pressure on the lower joints, allowing you a more comfortable mobile experience. Depending on where the pain or arthritis originates, you may need to consider certain devices over others. Canes and walkers help reduce weight on the lower joints and back, while motorized devices can also be used if pain becomes too severe.
3. Accessibility Issues
Our strength also tends to decline as we get older. Even everyday activities like getting up from a chair or bed or going up the stairs can pose problems. A lack of mobile strength can also prevent some seniors from accessing places you could normally reach with little difficulty. Assistive devices can help you maintain access to places you frequent or provide you with the means to get to places. Motorized wheelchairs and scooters can increase the range to which you can travel, while walking sticks and support bars can help reserve your energy as you move around.
4. Recovery from Surgery
Some surgeries require an extensive recovery period. Depending on the surgery, normal life functions may become harder to perform without rehabilitation, such as walking or standing.
Assistive devices can be used to maintain some mobility after surgery. Canes, for example, are a popular choice among people in recovery. For extra support, two-wheel walkers can also be utilized for extra assistance during the rehabilitation process.
5. Social Isolation
Mobility provides people with the ability to travel and meet friends, family and new faces.
Seniors with mobility issues may not be able to attend events or meet with their friends. Feelings of inadequacy and loneliness may arise if you’re unable to be as mobile as you’d like to be. If left unchecked, depression may set in. Seniors may benefit from the use of assistive devices to maintain mobility and social interaction with their loved ones. All devices are designed with mobility in mind, and this provides an extra benefit to allowing seniors the power to get to places and visit others easily.
If you or a loved one has experienced any of the above signs, it may be time to consider an assisted living community for more support. At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, we offer a variety of compassionate senior living options to ensure that you have what you need to live happy, healthy, inspired lives. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a personal tour of our community for yourself.