Monday, April 09, 2018

Five Top Balance and Mobility Aids for Seniors

Every year, one in three adults aged 65 or older experiences a fall.

Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors, and these injuries are the cause of the thousands of hospitalizations and deaths that occur each year.

Many seniors are scared of the increased risk of falls that accompanies aging. They’re so scared, in fact, that they avoid leaving their homes and participating in activities that they once enjoyed. This doesn’t have to be the case, though.

By investing in high-quality balance and mobility aids, seniors can continue to enjoy their daily activities without worrying about falling and hurting themselves. Five of the best balance and mobility aids for seniors are listed below:

1. Walking Sticks

Sometimes, a basic walking stick is all someone needs to feel more confident moving about inside and outside of their home.

When choosing a walking stick, seniors should keep these factors in mind:
  • Aluminum and carbon-fiber models are the best materials for bearing weight
  • A tripod or quadruped walking stick will support weight better than a traditional stick
  • Folding walking sticks are lightweight, easy to store, and are less likely to become tripping hazards
2. Grab Bars

Grab bars are great options for helping seniors avoid slipping and falling. They also promote independence and help seniors take care of personal hygiene tasks without a caregiver’s help.

Most seniors can benefit from having a bar installed in their bathroom. The shower and next to the toilet are both good places for one.

Look for a sturdy grab bar that has to be screwed into the wall. Bars that attach with suction cups are not very secure and could come crashing down under the user’s weight.

3. Shower Chairs

For many seniors, standing in the shower is tiring and difficult. Because of this, shower chairs are good for individuals with balance issues.

A shower chair is a chair that usually has suction cups or special grips attached to the legs so that it doesn’t slide on the tile or tub floor when the user sits down on it. These can be used in conjunction with grab bars to help seniors feel more secure when they’re showering.

4. Lifting Cushions

Many seniors often struggle to stand up from a sitting position, especially when they’re sitting on a soft surface like a couch or rocking chair. Lifting cushions are a handy tool that can be used to rectify this problem.

A lifting cushion is specially designed to give seniors a gentle boost when they’re standing up so that they don’t have to rely on their leg and core muscles quite as much. Cushions also help prevent injuries that can occur when a caregiver is trying to lift or pull a senior up out of a chair.

Most cushions lift between 70 and 80 percent of the user’s weight, but some automatic models can actually lift 100 percent of their weight.

Look for a cushion that is made with memory foam, especially if the user is going to be sitting on it for an extended period of time. These models will be the most comfortable.

5. Balance Discs
Seniors who struggle with poor balance don’t just have to accept their mobility limitations. While some limitations are more severe than others, many seniors can improve their mobility and functionality simply by doing daily exercises that strengthen their core and make them more stable.

Simply standing on one foot while using a chair or wall for support is a great place to start. Investing in a tool like a balance disc can also help seniors improve their stability.

Balance discs are designed to be sat, stood, and knelt on while performing exercises like squats, leg lifts, and planks. The disc creates an unstable surface that forces the user to engage their core to keep themselves from tipping over, so it’s a great option for seniors who want to feel stronger and steadier in their daily activities.

These five balance and mobility aids can make a major difference in the lives of seniors who struggle with mobility limitations or are anxious about falls and injuries. Give them a try today!

This is a guest blog entry.

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