The changes that occur with aging can lead to problems with a person’s ability to move around, or mobility. Mobility problems may be unsteadiness while walking, difficulty getting in and out of a chair, or falls.
The number one mobility problem that older people experience is falls. Older bones break more easily than younger bones and they heal less quickly and not as completely. If a hip is fractured, canes, walkers, or wheelchairs might be needed permanently.
The standard walker pictured at the right gives the user stability and support when walking. The standard walker folds for storage, is lightweight at approximately 7 pounds, and the height is adjustable.
Another type of walker is the rolling walker which has 4 - 8" wheels, a seat, locking hand brakes, and can be folded. There are several manufacturers of rolling walkers and each has various standard features and options.
Lift chairs are helpful if a person has difficulty getting in an out of a chair because it gently lifts the individual gently to their feet. There are various styles of lift chairs, each for different uses and functionality.
A two position lift chair is perfect for people who simply want a chair that can be used for watching TV, reading, or using a computer. A two position lift chair isn't limited to two positions, however. It can recline to any position in-between straight and reclined.
A three position lift chair reclines further than a two position lift chair. It can almost reach a full recline, although there will be a slight "V" where the back and seat meet.
Infinite position lift chairs are able to achieve a fully reclined position.
The strength and ability of the person to stand or sit will be the deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a lift chair.
In 2013, 2.5 million nonfatal falls among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 734,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
To reduce the chance of falls in the home remove tripping hazards such as area rugs, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in the home.
Regular exercise is important and be sure to focus on leg strength and balance.