Choose the health content that’s right for you, and get it delivered right in your inbox.
Older age doesn’t have to slow you down. Find out how a few assistive devices can help you stay active and moving through your best life.
Muscle weakness, joint pain, unsteadiness on your feet. There are a number of different health issues that can affect mobility — the ability to get around. But that doesn’t mean you have to slow down on living your best life. The right products and tools can help you manage mobility challenges, so you are able to stay more active, independent and fulfilled.
Talk to your doctor about what products could safely help you, and consider these, too.
If you have significant difficulty with walking but don’t need a wheelchair, a motorized scooter might be right for you. Medicare Part B may cover a scooter that your doctor prescribes for use in your home.
Today’s scooters are more than just a way to get from here to there. Among the handy accessories you may want to add are:
- Cane holder
- Carrying bag or basket
- Cupholder or eating tray
- Oxygen tank holder
- Rearview mirrors
- Small trailer
- Reading and writing tray
There are also scooters made for specific purposes. All-terrain scooters are built for use in outdoor settings, including sand, uneven terrain, and soft, wet ground. Large-rated scooters are designed for those of a heavier weight.
If stairs are a problem for you, a well-constructed ramp may be an important tool. Ramps are now sold in a wide variety of sizes and materials. Or, they can be custom-built to fit a particular area. There are even little ramps made to go over a high door threshold without getting in the way of the door.
If you have a ramp installed, make sure it conforms to safety guidelines:
- The ramp should be 30 to 40 inches wide.
- It should rise no more than one inch per foot.
- It should have sturdy handrails on both sides, if it’s long enough.
- The top and bottom of the ramp should be clearly marked with brightly colored paint that has a rough texture due to sand additives.
Driving is one way to stay independent. But it’s also a very demanding activity, both physically and cognitively. If you’re concerned that mobility issues may be affecting your ability to drive, talk with your health care provider. Ask whether you should have your driving skills assessed by a certified driver rehabilitation specialist (CDRS).
Many innovative driving tools are now available. If needed, the CDRS may recommend equipment such as:
- Hand controls for the gas and brake
- A special seat to make it easier to enter and exit your vehicle
- A lift for a scooter or wheelchair
Be sure to have such equipment installed by someone who’s qualified. You can reach out to the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association for a list of certified dealers. Once you get your new driving equipment installed, you may need some training on how to use it safely and correctly.
Mobilize for a Happy, Healthy Life
New advances in mobility aids are constantly being introduced. Even walkers have gotten a facelift. Some newer models have built-in seats, so you can sit and rest when you need to.
If you’re having problems with mobility, make your move. Ask your health care provider about products and tools that can help, and learn more about our specialized whole-person senior care.