Utilizing Mobility & Safety Aids

by Michael Creurer

Utilizing Mobility & Safety Aids by Michael Creurer

Seniors always seem resistant and reluctant to use aids such as canes, crutches, walkers or mobility scooters to help them maintain an independent lifestyle.

It is usually because they think that using an aid to help them safely get around will make them look disabled or needy. I believe this because that is how I felt when I first needed a cane to help me walk longer distances. I was very self-conscious about using it but I knew that if I wanted to be included in activities that involved walking, I would need to look a bit different. When the time came for me to get a mobility scooter, I needed to overcome the same inner resistance to looking different. But my desire to stay mobile was stronger than my need to look like most other walking people.

If you feel that an aid; cane, walker or mobility, device might help you have better balance and endurance, it is better to get it before you have an accident than to need one after you sprain a joint or break a bone and end up in the hospital. Planning to prevent a fall or injury before it happens is wise. It is like taking preventative medicine to avoid becoming sick. An occupational therapist can evaluate your individual needs in and outside of the home. Many people have extended health benefit plans that will cover most of the cost of many expensive aids. A prescription from your doctor stating that you do need an aid, such as a walker, will enable you to make the purchase for a small outlay of money.An ounce of prevention…

I wrote this article while thinking of my mother. A couple of years ago she took a nasty fall; she broke an ankle and dislocated a shoulder. It seemed to me that her pride would not allow her to get a walker; she preferred to hold my father’s arm for support (she is a polio survivor and used a cane). Unfortunately at the time of her mishap he was parking the car. She now has a good walker and seems to enjoy the independence that it provides her. Perhaps if she had been using a walker then, she would not have had her accident.

Safety at home is very important. The bathroom is a good place to start. Your local medical supply store has many aids to address this issue. It is also advisable to have an ocupational therapist consultation to get what is right for you in your needs.

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