With the passage of time, our limbs start giving out on us and we are slowly but surely, reduced to relying on various mobility aids so as to be able to get around without becoming a burden amongst our friends and families.
As a matter of fact, few full bodied and healthy young people can understand how difficult it is for the elderly to be totally mobile or at least to the extent that they can take care of their day to day chores. This is where certain safety and mobility aids for the elderly come into the picture.
As a matter of fact, many, if not most of them are able to make a clear and tangible difference to the lives of the people who have to learn to rely on them the most.
- The ubiquitous wheelchair
This is one of the most common mobility aids around for the elderly. Really old people who suffer from paralysis or weakness of the legs can be taken around in a wheelchair to parks, malls and cinemas so that they can also enjoy life to the maximum. However, a wheelchair is restricted in the sense that it is not always possible for an otherwise geriatric patient to get into, or even wheel himself around in a wheelchair. Unless it’s an electric wheel chair or the patient is pretty agile, they will need help to get along and complete his daily tasks.
Canes are deemed to be pretty useful for those elderly people who may often be at risk of suffering from a nasty fall. In this respect a cane can said to be somewhat similar to a set of crutches in that it can also help to support the body’s weight and thereby help transmit the load of the body from the legs and transfer it the hands, arms and the upper body. There are many different kinds of canes, but they all work in pretty much the same way.
All crutches, just like their cane counterparts help to transfer the full weight of the body from the legs to the upper torso and body. Crutches can be used either on a standalone basis or for that matter, in pairs. The key function of crutches is to basically help keep an elderly person properly upright so that he does not stoop over or fall. In addition to that, they can also help people with leg injuries or even permanent disabilities. There are different kinds of crutches around. Some of the more popular ones include the following:
- Auxillary or underarm crutches
These are by far, the most popular type of crutches around. One part of an underarm crutch is placed next to the ribcage directly under the armpits, while the user of the crutch holds it via a conveniently placed hand grip. He uses his arms and hands to propel himself forward.
- Platform crutches
Platform crutches enable the user to hold a grip while his forearm rests on a more or less horizontal platform. They are great for people who suffer from cerebral palsy or similar illnesses.
These and other mobility aids have helped improve the lives of the elderly to a considerable extent.