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Assistive Devices to Enhance Seniors' Mobility

 

An Assistive Device as a Mobility Aid

An assistive device (also referred to as assistive technology or assistive technology device) is any item or piece of equipment used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. One common disability faced by many older adults is a loss or decline in mobility. With a general goal to lessen the negative impacts associated with an age-related decline in mobility, assistive devices are capable of improving a senior person’s lifestyle in more ways than one.

Assistive Devices to Increase Mobility for Seniors at Home



For those seniors experiencing mobility impairment related to aging, there is a wide range of assistive devices that can help. Even though the physical changes associated with growing older are never easy, there are products to enhance our way of life and make our daily activities easier to perform.
Our senior population wants to be independent. As older adults, we want to be active, mobile and fully functioning. Most importantly, we want to be all of these things…in our own homes. Assistive devices, mobility aids, and smart home adaptations are what make this possible.

Assistive Devices as Mobility Aids

One of the easiest ways for seniors to become disconnected from the outside world is from a loss in mobility. In addition to having difficulty leaving the house to go out and about, you or your senior loved one may also have troubles moving around and executing various tasks inside the house.

Seniors’ Environmental Control Devices

Some environmental control devices help seniors operate just about any household item that runs on electricity (television set, radio, computer, telephone, lights, etc.), and beyond that, these devices can help elders use other common daily use items. A few excellent examples include:
  • Remote controls (with larger buttons for easy use)
  • Touch lamp devices – with a single touch anywhere on the lamp stand, the light turns on and off
  • Voice-activated wall switches – speaking the audio commands “on” or “off” will operate the lights in your room, without a need to fumble with switches on the wall
  • Foam tubing – to be wrapped around your tooth and hairbrush handles for easy gripping
  • Zipper ring – attach a key ring to your zipper for easy grip and use
  • Buttonhook – slip the hook through your buttonhole, grab the button on the other side with the hook, and pull it back through!

Common Mobility Aids for Seniors

Other mobility aids for seniors help elderly individuals move about. These assistive devices, which often fall within the category of medical supplies, are suitable for the indoors and the outdoors. Among the most common are canes, walkers, crutches, scooters (primarily used outdoors) and wheelchairs.


Have you heard of a reacher? Reachers are assistive devices that extend a senior’s reach in order to effectively grasp and move objects at a fairly close distance – but a farther distance than one would be able to reach without the device.



Mobility-Focused Assistive Devices for Daily Activities



To make you or your elderly loved one’s chores easier around the house try one of these assistive devices:
  • Cart on wheels – a cart used around the house for easy transport of items from one room to another, or for setting the table by filling it with plates, cutlery and glasses that you can easily wheel from your cupboards to your eating area
  • Grab bars – most effective on the walls of staircases, beside your bathtub, and by your bed
  • Bath and shower bench – this bench is inserted into your bathtub for easy bathing while you sit (you may also consider the installation of a fold-out wall seat, best suited to walk-in showers)
Although we may need a little help along the way, it is still possible to age in our homes safely, conveniently and wisely. Mobility aids provide us with the assistance we need. Whether you or your elderly loved one has troubles with walking, getting in and out of the shower, or twisting the light switch on the living room lamp, the right assistive device can ease the burden to create a more comfortable lifestyle at home.
 
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