How to assist the elderly with mobility issues

Mobility limitations do not have to become a constraint in carrying out routines. Technical aids allow older adults and dependent persons to adapt their space and movements so that they can continue to carry out some basic tasks, which translates into greater autonomy and a better quality of life. Below are some solutions on how to assist the elderly with mobility issues, how to improve mobility in elderly people, and devices designed to help with their mobility.

What causes mobility problems in the elderly?

Aging and recurring illnesses to some extent. The causes can either be physical, mental, or environmental. Some of the diseases that elderly persons usually suffer from are arthritis, stroke, or Parkinson's disease. These illnesses can affect mobility in older individuals. However, the affected people can seek the assistance of assistive gadgets for their movements. These devices help them do things independently with little or no help.

What are assistive devices for older people with reduced mobility? 

Assistive aids, mobility aids, or assistive devices are a broad group of products and systems specifically designed to promote autonomy for dependent persons. The progressive deterioration of faculties such as balance, coordination, and strength is a significant limitation in the level of independence of older adults, affecting their mobility and general health.

Promoting autonomy in people who are beginning to experience some movement difficulties should prioritise in-home care, either with an experienced caregiver or family member.

Why are mobility aids for the elderly so important?

The psychological and emotional impact of impairment of these abilities has consequences on these people's health status, and efficient solutions need to be found to prevent the situation from worsening.

With assistive products, those who have difficulties performing their daily life tasks regain some of their autonomy.

Who needs assistive technologies?

According to World Health Organisation estimates, in the world, there are about one billion people who require one or more assistive technologies to lead a normal life. Most of them are elderly or disabled people who have lost autonomy in several vital areas and need support to continue to feel productive and autonomous.
This is an aspect that can lead to isolation, marginalisation, and poverty. It is also one of the reasons why dependent people are at greater risk of being perceived as a 'burden' on families and society as a whole. People need to familiarise themselves with mobility aids for elderly individuals.

Advantages of using assistive technology to improve the mobility in elderly people

The use of mobility aids has a double impact. On a personal level, the benefits of these technical aids are translated into:

- Compensation of an impairment or disability

- Increased freedom, mobility, and autonomy.

- Improved quality of life

- slowing down premature ageing

- Reduction of functional and cognitive impairment associated or not with ageing

- Prevention of the development of other pathologies

- Integration and participation in social life

- Promotion of a dignified life

On a social level, this type of support also has positive effects on the environment of the elderly or dependent person:

- It limits the workload on home carers or family members.

- It improves the quality of care

- It reduces social and health care expenditure and the costs of hospitalisation and allowances.

- Offers a more positive view of the elderly or dependent persons

Products and support systems for personal and community mobility

Mobility aids are combined with other assistive products to promote mobility in a safe environment and ensure accessibility, such as grab bars, shower seats, magnifying mirrors, and many other examples.

When we talk about assistive technology, we refer to a catalogue of products specifically aimed at improving the patient's functional abilities and ability to move around independently.

What types of assistive technology are most common in-home care for the elderly?

Some widespread elements in promoting mobility for the elderly do not present great doubts. These are items such as crutches, canes, and walkers. The most important thing to consider with these products is to ensure that they are the correct height for their intended person. That stability is guaranteed with the most appropriate weight, ferrules, or brakes for each patient.

When mobility is more limited and does not allow the person to stand upright, mobility chairs for elderly people or wheelchairs and electric scooters should be used.

And concerning mobility in the elderly outside the home, we can highlight the accessories for wheelchairs that provide comfort and convenience during the walk, the seat belts, the backrests, and the car aids such as the rotating or transfer discs.

At Cuidum, we make sure that the carers who work with us before caring for a person with these needs are knowledgeable about how to help elderly with mobility and elderly mobility exercises; to guarantee the correct care of the older people who choose us.

Caring for the Older Parents on a Rotating Basis