For many seniors, using mobility aids is a source of shame. Those who used to be able to run marathons may find themselves needing a cane or scooter, while steps outside and inside the home pose an insurmountable obstacle. Having to using a walker, cane, or elevator reminds them that time has passed and they see their mobility and independence fading. For children and others who care about those with mobility issues, it can be challenging to convince an older relative or friend to use what is available to help them keep the maximum amount of independence in their lives.
Helping Your Loved Ones Accept Mobility Aids
Mobility aids are helpers in maintaining independence. Despite the emphasis on universal design, the world is full of impediments that make it difficult for anyone with less than perfect agility to manage. Using grab bars, stair lifts, wheelchairs, and ramps make it possible to maneuver stairs, restrooms, curbs, and public spaces with little or no help. A cane, lift chair, or walker makes simple acts of rising from a chair and walking from room to room possible to do safely. Using these aids can help keep a person in their own home, even if they live alone, or help them be more independent wherever they reside.
If you are working with someone with mobility issues who is struggling but unwilling to accept available help, here are a few strategies that might convince them to give aids and devices a try.
- Many options are available. Seniors fear that going into a nursing home is the only option when they can’t manage at home; but there are many home healthcare options as well as assisted living to consider. For low income seniors, some programs that send in aids to provide personal services, housecleaning, or companionship are available for little or no cost.
- Reserve the power of choice. Even though many seniors have diminished physical or mental capabilities, this does not mean that they are children who want to be told what to do. The best way to get buy-in on mobility aids or accepting help is when a person has several options to review. A walker and home healthcare might sound a whole lot better than moving from their home into a senior facility.
- Consider other resources. For those trying to adjust to declining mobility, occupational therapists can be invaluable in teaching ways to cope with aging in place, preventing falls, recovering after strokes, and other changing capacities that often involve mobility aids. Once a person sees how much easier life is with the use of aids – with the help of a professional third party – he or she might be more willing to incorporate their use.
- Try out the options. A cane or walker is a minor investment, while other mobility aids can be costly. Most products are available in showrooms for testing, while others can be rented on a trial basis to see if they feel right. Seeing and trying the options can help a potential user make a confident choice.
Work With a Reliable Supplier
If you are trying to encourage a loved one to use mobility aids for greater independence and a better life, a reputable supplier can help you review your options and feel more comfortable. For a free consultation, contact the professionals at Western Stairlifts today.