AGING & THE PRODUCTS THAT HELP
As we age our bodies and needs change. Even a person who lives a healthy lifestyle and does not suffer any diseases or injuries will see a decline in physical abilities throughout their life. In Canada, the number of people who reached the age of 100 doubled between 1996 and 2006 and that number is expected to triple by 2031, according to the 2009 Special Senate Committee Report on Aging.
Mobility & Accessibility Devices
There are a number of common devices that help us manage our declining abilities and allow us to be more independent while performing our daily activities. Your healthcare team can help you determine the devices that are best for you.
Walkers/Rollators - Walkers, also known as rollators, are the answer for people with balance and leg strength issues. Most walkers have four wheels (although non-wheeled and two wheeled walkers are available), a seat and a basket. Indoor walkers are generally lighter and smaller, while outdoor walkers usually have larger wheels, hand brakes, a seat and a basket.
Mobility Scooters can be helpful to those who have lost the ability to walk longer distances due to shortness of breath, strength, balance issues or stamina. Mobility scooters are most often used outdoors because of their size and resultant large turning radius. Also available are smaller scooters that are better suited to indoor use and easier to transport.
Manual Wheelchairs are available in a wide range of styles and can be customized to optimize functionality. Basic chairs are suited for occasional use due to their weight, but are often adjustable to better match a user's physical requirements. Lightweight adjustable wheelchairs can be customized to an individual user and dramatically reduce the effort required to wheel the chair as they tend to be lighter in weight, thereby increasing manoeuverability and functionality and lessoning the risk of repetitive use injuries of the shoulders, arms and hands.
Stairlifts are an important safety item for many seniors. A stairlift can offer comfort and safety for anyone with respiratory, balance, stamina, strength, heart or vascular issues who finds stairs challenging and potentially dangerous. Both straight and custom curved models are available to fit virtually any stairway configuration.
Bathroom Aids are essential for people with mobility impairments. Bath seats, transfer benches and bath boards, in combination with hand held showers, allow people to sit down while bathing to increase comfort and safety. Raised toilet seats make a toilet higher, making it easier for a person to stand up. Grab bars and toilet safety frames will also help to make bathrooms safer.
Lift Chairs are excellent devices that comfortably raise someone from or lower someone to a seated position. When the user is standing, the chair will gently lower them into a seated or reclined position. When they are seated, the chair will safely, securely and easily raise them to a standing position.