By Susan Hackett, Vice President, Williams Lift Co.
As you get older, you may notice that the stairs are getting more difficult to climb or it’s harder to get in and out of your vehicle. Some people may start dreading going places because of their mobility issues.
As your mobility declines, your risk of falling increases. One in four Americans over the age of 65 fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these falls are preventable.
Here are some tips to keep in mind for anyone experiencing early mobility issues:
- Talk to your doctor. Perhaps there’s a medical reason for these mobility issues that you may not be aware of. Could any of the medications you’re taking be affecting your balance?
- Tell your family. You may be embarrassed, but let your family or friends know. Mobility issues can lead to falls which can be extremely dangerous for seniors. Someone needs to be aware that this is going on, so they can check up on you.
- Check out what mobility aids are available. Any medical supply store or pharmacy will have walkers or canes. Go there and try them out as there are many options available. These will help you feel more stable as you navigate around your home. Walkers and canes are also small enough to take with you in the car when you go shopping or to someone’s home. If you have difficulty getting out of chairs, including standing from a sitting position, there are also reclining lift chairs available. These chairs are electric and help you stand up by doing the lifting for you.
- Assess your home. There may be areas where you can place grab bars on the walls to help with your balance, especially in the bathroom. Getting in and out of the shower or bathtub can be potentially dangerous for someone who is having mobility issues. Placing grab bars in the bathroom can be extremely helpful and lower the risk of falls.
- Look into getting a stairlift or ramp. Many people don’t want to move out of the home they love just because the stairs have become too difficult to navigate. Stairlifts can take away the fear of going up and down stairs inside your home and ramps will help you get in and out of your home safely. Also, there are companies that have rental options so that you can try them out first to see if they’re helpful.
Mobility issues can lead to falls. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to feel safe and lessen the likelihood of falls in your home.