Australia is aging. In 2017, 15% of all Australians were 65 or above. This number totalled more than 3 million and is set to increase over the next few years. With a growing elderly population, we have a challenge at our hands- How to reduce mobility-related incidents in our homes. According to the National Council of Aging, every 15 minutes, there is a mobility-related incident involving the elderly. Our seniors are susceptible to the following:
- Bathroom falls
- Isolation of the elderly
- Inability to stand up or sit in toilets and other places
The following article attempts to address these issues by identifying a few assistive devices.
You can get a wheelchair for your elderly to help him, or she gets around in the house. A typical wheelchair comes with four wheels and a chair for the elderly to sit in. The two big wheels support the bodyweight of the elderly; these can be pushed forward or backward by him. Also, there is a small platform built in the front for the patient to rest his feet.
Wheelchairs a be manually operated or be powered by a battery. Lately, some homes have also begun using mobility scooters which are advanced versions of wheelchairs. Here, the patient is strapped upright, and he can guide his chair anywhere. To get your wheelchair, please click here.
Canes are meant for those elderly who have recovered from their illness or accident but still have weak legs. Canes help them to walk around. While using a cane, the patient shifts his body weight to the stick while walking. This arrangement will not work if he has weak wrists or fingers.
Walkers also help people move around in homes or places nearby. A conventional walker comes with four legs, each of those surrounding the patient. These legs are made of aluminium or some other light material. Some walkers have wheels installed at the base, so the patient doesn’t have to raise his device while walking.
Like canes and walking sticks, walkers also transfer the weight of the legs to the forearms. In some cases, patients can slide their arms inside the rings installed on the walkers. This way, they don’t have to grab the arms of their walkers to lift their devices and bring them down. This arrangement works best with people who have weak palms, wrists or fingers.
People having limited mobility can also use crutches. These assistive devices are made of wood or other light materials such as aluminium. Crutches are trapezium-shaped devices that can be held by the patient. Each crutch has a padded platform that can be held against the chest and under the shoulder. The crutch is handled by grabbing another platform that connects both its legs.
You can consider putting ridged mats in your toilet for the safety of your elderly. Bathroom falls are a common cause of injury of the elders, and you can mitigate this by having these mats. Most of the times, our bathrooms are damp and have wet floors. This may cause your elderly to slip and injure himself. Ridged mats help the seniors to have a firm grip on the floors. You can also place these mats under the shower for bathroom safety.
You can also install ribbed grabbing rods in your bathrooms for your senior. These rods and handles should be fixed within reach of your elderly. Rods and handles such as these help seniors get vital support while walking around in the bathrooms.