Understanding walking aids for the elderly

With age and the degradation of mobility skills, elderly individuals find walking around their own homes and stepping out or even getting up and moving around for their basic needs is an overwhelming task. With the help of walking aids such as a wheeled walking frame or even a simple walking stick changes this overwhelming task into an achievable one by building not only confidence but also prevents the risk of falling and causing injury. However, one has to take care in picking their right mobility aid because otherwise the chance of safety or the very purpose of making walking easier is defeated. One has to factor in the type of equipment needed by evaluating their mobility level, the purpose – whether indoor or outdoor requirement, etc. Some of the options are:

  1. Crutches: These are best suited only for temporary use and only of the elderly individual can manage their balance and weight on one leg. This requires the individual to have a substantial amount of upper body strength. Crutches help balancing with the help of hand and grips for it provide a good amount of safe feeling for the user.
  2. Walking sticks: The use of a walking stick clearly denotes that the elderly individual is slow and needs help getting around. While this may seem like a sign of weakness to others, the user feels able and efficient to be moving around on their own. For those who have very spare mobility in legs may require two sticks provided they still can balance with their upper body.
  3. Walking frames: These structures are best in terms of safety because the user feels that with a little support of their hands they are able to get around without injuring themselves. The wheeled frames are for those who don’t want to lift the frame even a little to move forward.
  4. Wheelchairs and Scooters: These mobility aids are best suited for those who need to move around for long distances and need their sense of independence. With the advancement in technology, these mobility aids are available in various models.

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