As people age, falling can become a real concern. One of every four older adults takes a fall at least once a year, and about half of those falls occur in their own home. Older people are also more likely to be seriously injured by a fall, even a minor one. More than 2 million senior citizens wind up in the emergency room annually because of a fall. The causes of falls can vary. Some people lose mobility because of conditions such of arthritis, while others struggle due to conditions such as brain or muscle degeneration. Depending on the level of restricted mobility and the reason behind it, there are a number of solutions to consider.
About 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 uses a cane to get around. Using canes for stability is a good solution for older people who may have slight mobility or balance problems due to normal aging. There are a number of stylish canes for people worried about how they look, and there are a number of materials available as well. Wood canes can be the cheapest option and look nice, but for people willing to spend more money for something more sturdy, a carbon fiber cane can be a good choice. A carbon fiber cane is a lot more durable than a wooden cane and is likely to last longer, which is an additional reason to help justify the expense. An alternative to canes are walking sticks, but these usually don’t offer the same level of stability.
If you have mobility problems that are more serious and a cane does not offer other support, there are options. People with more severe mobility and balance issues sometimes use a walker. This is a sturdier option than a cane that allows you more stability because you can use both hands and put more of your weight on the apparatus. It is unwieldy, but using it does allow you to be more independent. The other option is a wheelchair or scooter. These devices are good for people who have trouble walking, especially when they need to go for longer distances, such as maneuvering around a store. These devices are much more expensive, but some stores these days offer such devices as a courtesy to customers with restricted mobility.
Ultimately, the mobility device you choose, whether it be a carbon fiber cane, walker or scooter, should be done in consultation with your doctor and family. People can sometimes be reticent when it comes to their independence, but safety should be the number one consideration when it comes to getting around as you age.