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Finding the Right Mobility Aid

Many seniors experience difficulty getting around independently and safely without the stability and support of a mobility aid.  Approximately 1/3 of older people living at home fall once a year.  Many seniors experience unstability performing motions like sitting down, standing up, walking.  (MerckManuals)

Mobility issues are more than just an inconvenience.  They also put seniors at a high risk of falling.  Falls are extremely dangerous for older adults and can result in bruising, fractures, breaks, need for physical therapy, surgical correction, hospitalization, and death.  (MerckManuals)

Mobility problems can stem from a number of risk factors.  These risk factors can increase a senior’s risk of having mobility and balance problems.  Addressing the root causes of these risk factors, along with the use of mobility aids, can decrease the risk for injury.

  1. Diminished eyesight
  2. Diabetes or heart disease
  3. Thyroid problems
  4. Nerve issues
  5. Medications
  6. Dizziness
  7. Muscle weakness
  8. Gait changes
  9. Postural hypotension
  10. Foot pain, deformities, or poorly-fitting footwear
  11. Confusion or memory problems
  12. Environmental factors like lack of lighting, throw rugs, uneven floors, clutter, etc. (NIA)

Common Mobility Aids

Common mobility aids are designed to help seniors living at home and wanting to maintain a high level of independence to get around safely.

  • Canes – increase stability, compensates for minimal balance issues
  • Walkers – support for significant stability issues, requires moderate upper body strength
  • Rollators – support for severe stability issues and weak upper body strength
  • Power Scooters – support for those unable to walk longer distances, requires upper body control and stamina
  • Wheelchairs – support for those completely unable to walk on their own with safety.  (Aging Care)

Environmental Aids

Not all mobility aids are designed to support long-range motion, but rather they make the home environment safe.  These aids are designed to increase independence with specific tasks and allow for safety and mobility within the home.

  • Rails – along stairs, near bath fixtures, in hallways etc
  • Tub/bath transfer seats or benches
  • Supportive seat cusions
  • Grab handles for car, bed, couch, or chair
  • Rolling over-bed/over-couch tables
  • Additional lighting/ voice command lighting to improve visibility
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Stair lift
  • Ramps to replace stairs
  • Lift chairs
  • Grab bars (ScripHessCo)

Paying for Mobility Aids

Insurance companies, grant programs, and senior non-profits are all possibilities to help with the costs of mobility aids.  It is important to ask a doctor or local ADRC for financial assistance sources.  (DailyCaring)  Seniors to should make sure to know what their insurance requires in the form of pre-certification and written prescription for aids as well as what is covered by their insurance.

Caregiver tip:

Style does matter.  Seniors are sometimes resistant to using mobility aids.  Consider some different options that look sleek or match a senior’s sense of style.  A personalized device can sometimes make a difference for those who are struggling with the change.  Mobility aids come in a variety of styles, colors, patterns, and more.  Allowing them to customize it to their specifications can make a big difference in their attitude towards the change.


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Services WE OFFER

  • Companionship
  • Light Housekeeping
  • Meal Preparation and Grocery Shopping
  • Accompany to Appointments & Errands
  • Assist with Transferring & Positioning
  • Mobility Assistance
  • Laundry & Bed Linens
  • Medication Reminders