Posted on 26/08/2020

How mobility aids can help older people keep active and walk more

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Getting out for a walk can be a daunting prospect for your relative if their balance and strength isn’t quite what it used to be. Yet walking is a great way to keep fit and is something that can help with both of those issues.

The right mobility aids can help give their confidence a boost and also increase your peace of mind that they will be less likely to suffer from a fall while out and about.

What kind of mobility aid might they need?

For some, a walking stick could be enough to offer that little bit of extra support while they go out and about.

If their balance isn’t what it used to be, a walking frame may help to support them, although outside they may find it a little tricky to lift it over steps and kerbs.

One mobility aid that could really help them get out and about is a rollator.

Rollators are more manoeuvrable than standard walking frames and easier to push.

It can help relatives maintain their independence and give them much needed support while they walk.

Champagne-coloured, 3-wheeled rollator with black back on the front

Rollators come in a variety of styles and range of colours, like the NRS Freestyle 3-Wheel Rollator . It’s one of the lightest on the market and has three colour options: purple, silver, and champagne. Plus it has an easily removeable bag, so they don’t have to try and carry everything themselves.

Older man using an NRS Mobility Care Heavy Duty Rollator

If you find your relative gets tired easily, a rollator with a seat means they’re able to take a rest when they need to. This could be invaluable if their daily walk is to their local shop or supermarket as social distancing means that people may be waiting for long periods of time in queues. Having a rollator with a seat like the NRS Mobility Care® Heavy Duty Rollator means that they can rest in comfort while they wait. Not all come with a seat though so be sure to check if this something you know your relative will need.

With the right mobility aid, your relative will have the confidence to keep walking and get much-needed exercise. They don’t have to walk for miles either – even a short ten-minute walk is a good start.

Research shows:

  • Walking has lifelong benefits. Those who get about by walking are less likely to suffer mental decline, or even dementia. Brain scans of older people revealed that those walking between six and nine miles a week appeared to have more brain tissue in key areas[1]
  • Adults can decrease their risk of disability and increase their likelihood of maintaining independence by 41 percent by participating in a walking exercise programme
  • Walking helps with back pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, varicose veins, reducing cholesterol and other medical problems where inactivity is a factor[2]

 

If you need help choosing the right mobility aid for your older relative, speak to one of our in-house occupational therapists for free on 0345 121 8111 or email [email protected]

 

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11537068

[2] https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/Walking%20works_LONG_AW_Web.pdf

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