Ageing can often inhibit activities that, once upon a time, used to be so simple and easy. For instance, even just walking around can be a challenge when one starts to get older, as the joints in the legs tend to become immobile and painful. It is difficult to experience and even tougher to watch a loved one go through this, whilst in Aged Care.
However, there are several ways that can help with the use of the appropriate mobility aid. Finding the right aid for your elderly loved one, or yourself, can improve your quality of life in an Aged Care home.
Do the Elderly Need Aged Care Walking Assistance?
Many elderly people use walking assistance aids when they’re in an Aged Care home. Ensure that the home you choose can accommodate the walking aid you or your loved one uses.
What Are the Benefits of Walking Assistance Aids?
The main benefit of walking assistance aids is the convenience and independence it gives to the elderly person to move around freely. It can be quite debilitating both physically and mentally when you are reliant on someone else to get you from A to B.
Walking assistance aids allow you or a loved one the freedom to move around as you please.
What Walking Assistance Aids Are There?
Several options are available for the elderly to choose from. Choosing which one is best for you may depend on your current mobility and the type of support that is required. Here are some suggestions on what you should consider using while in Aged Care:
- Cane. Provides minimal support, they are commonly used to help stability whilst reducing strain on the legs. They are easily portable and can be adjusted. Canes can however put more strain on the wrists and hands.
- Crutches. Whilst these take the weight from the legs and transfer it to the upper body, they can be cumbersome, obstructive and difficult to use, so therefore should only be used temporarily such as after surgery.
- Walking Frame. A walking frame may be a better option instead of a cane or crutches, although they are not good at handling uneven terrain and so are best for use indoors. Most of these will have a metal frame with 4 legs, but some will have 2 front wheels.
- Walker Rollator. For elderly individuals who have issues with stability, a seat walker or rollator can be highly beneficial and a step up from walking frames. Designed to provide balance to users when walking, these items of equipment come in a range of styles and can improve independence while also increasing safety. Rollators are lightweight, portable and easy to use, they feature essential features such as hand brakes, convenient baskets and trays. The seat walkers not only assist with walking, but also provide a comfortable and safe space for users to sit down and rest when needed.
- Wheelchair. When walkers are no longer an option, a wheelchair may be the next best thing. Wheelchairs can accommodate different types of seating and postural support. Some also offer accessory options such as trays, cup holders and cushions. The standard wheelchair is best used indoors as it has limitations outdoors, where it can only be used on footpaths or paved grounds due to its narrow base and wheel size. Wheelchairs can manoeuvre through small indoor spaces and are lighter than a mobility scooter, there are also electric wheelchair options.
- Mobility Scooter. For maximum independence, mobility scooters can be quite a good option to consider. It’s simple to get around with the press of a button, allowing you to reach places you may not typically get to otherwise. They are well suited for outdoor use and for those who can’t manage a wheelchair due to strength, balance, endurance and coordination issues. They do, however, need a much larger turning radius so they cannot be used in cramped spaces and are not a great choice for use in an Aged Care home.
Getting walking assistance can help an elder transition better into Aged Care by being able to get around the home a little easier. It’s paramount to make the best choice, which will improve your loved one’s quality of life and overall experience.
Looking for Aged Care homes near Melbourne? Homestyle Aged Care has residential homes all over Victoria, providing quality aged care accommodation and services, including respite and dementia-specific care. Contact us today!