Elder Care

7 Ways for the Elderly to Make Walking Easier

Walking is one of the most basic and essential functions of the human body. But, unfortunately, as we get older, it becomes more difficult to walk with ease. There are, however, a wide number of different options available to those who wish to maintain as much of their mobility as possible; what follows is a list of the seven most practical and easily obtainable walking aids.

  1. Ramps: Placing a ramp at the entrance to the home of an elderly person will instantly take some of the pressure off of their body; this is an especially good idea for those who have several stairs to walk up to reach their entry door. Ramps can also be utilized on the inside of their house for areas such as a recessed living room that are typically accessed by a couple of stairs.
  2. Canes: The majority of elderly people are able to walk without an extreme amount of difficulty, but having something to help support them can be the difference between feeling confident enough to go up a staircase or avoiding a trip to a place that is not handicapped accessible. A cane provides both a stability point and peace of mind for those who have previously suffered through a fall or had issues with their knees giving out.
  3. Slip resistant doors and mats: There are several items currently available that carry the moniker of slip resistant, the most useful of which are door stops and entry mats. The slip resistant design of these door stops ensures that the door will stay open even if something or someone bumps into it. The slip resistant entry mats make it much easier to safely navigate through a doorway during inclement weather conditions.
  4. Walkers: Some people require the extra stability that a walker offers over a cane. The design of a walker allows the user to place the majority of their weight onto it, thereby greatly reducing the possibility of the person falling to the ground. Even if a user’s knees start to give out, a walker will help to support them, at least temporarily, and can therefore prevent an elderly person from sustaining severe physical damage during a fall.
  5. Non-slip shoes: Shoe manufacturers make a countless array of shoes that are designed to help an elderly person maintain their balance. These shoes range from those which feature a non-slip heel all the way to mechanical shoes that have been developed by research scientists. The most cost effective and easily obtainable option is to seek out a pair of shoes that is sturdy and is labeled as non-slip. These shoes will perform better on slick surfaces which will help keep elderly people from losing their balance.
  6. Handcarts: Having their hands full is one of the main reasons behind many elderly slip and fall accidents. Purchasing a wheeled hand cart to assist with carrying items can help to remove this extremely preventable issue. Rather than falling to the ground along with the items that they are carrying, a handcart will protect their items and free up both of their hands to protect themselves. The handcart may also serve as a temporary point of balance, which may prevent a fall from occurring.
  7. Handrails: Although it is typical for staircases to be accompanied by handrails, it is imperative to make sure that they are in good working order. Handrails can also be installed in the bathroom and in other rooms of the house. They can be extremely useful for helping senior citizens take on tasks that require a high level of stability. In addition to the handrails, make sure that any staircases, especially those outside, have rubber grips on each of the stairs.