Osteoporosis is a debilitating condition that causes changes in your bone structure, making them weak and brittle. Reports suggest that about 54 million Americans suffer from this condition that puts them at high risk for broken bones. Often, the gradual weakening of bones is part of the aging process. Falls are a serious concern for older people as a high percentage of seniors who have this condition are prone to falls. It is estimated that more than 20 million seniors above the age of 65 years visit the emergency room each year with around a third of the visits mainly related to injuries (many of which are sustained in their homes).
Injuries from falls may significantly affect the mobility and independence of older people. Studies show that about 40% of people are unable to walk independently and more than 60% require assistance sooner or later. Individuals suffering from osteoporosis experience low muscle strength and bone weakness that may significantly impact their ability to perform routine tasks. These people require the use of different assistive or accessibility devices to move from one place to another. Below mentioned are some assistive devices that are relevant to a wide variety of living situations –
- Medical walkers and walking canes – These devices provide greater stability to people who are unsteady on their feet. Walkers and canes are more flexible and they can be used in all types of settings.
- Seat lifts – Often, osteoporosis patients experience problems or struggle to get on to their feet from a chair, which may result in falls. Seat lift chairs help individuals to rise from a sitting position gradually and steadily up to a standing position.
- Wheelchairs – Wheelchairs can prove to be helpful for those patients who have serious difficulty in walking for any distance. These devices provide independence to a mobility challenged individual to perform their regular tasks. It is essential for people to explore the different options available and select a specific wheelchair model matching individual requirements and needs.
- Walk-in showers – A conventional bath or shower presents a major challenge for people suffering from this bone disease as this may increase the chances of suffering serious injuries or falls. Hence, installing a walk-in shower in the existing bathroom or converting it to a wet room will be an ideal option for such people.
- Hand rails – Handrails are a good option for people who have issues with balance and strength as these can improve a person’s ability to move from one part of the home to another. Generally, these devices are installed in the bathroom and wherever there are stairs as they provide a solid handhold support.
- Stair lifts – Negotiating the stairs in one’s home can prove to be a risky affair for older people as they are vulnerable to slips and falls resulting in severe injuries. Stairlifts enable older people to get down the stairs in multi storied buildings easily and safely. These accessibility devices improve the mobility and independence of people by providing smooth and effortless movement.
- Elevators – These devices enable access all areas or levels of your home and other buildings safely and conveniently.
Limited mobility is often a difficult situation for older people as this may force them to spend most of their time in one room or area of the house. By using the above mentioned accessibility devices, people can enhance their mobility and independence to a great extent.