An underlying health condition or even normal aging can lead to challenges with mobility in the elderly. Fortunately, your senior loved one can choose from many mobility aids that can help him or her regain independence and prevent falls. When aging adults are no longer able to navigate the home as the result of a health condition or a change in abilities, mobility aids are often recommended and prescribed by medical professionals. The term “mobility aid” is a broad reference to any device that facilitates movement and promotes safety and can include everything from canes, walkers, and wheelchairs to scooters, stair lifts, and bed trapezes.
Benefits ofMobility Aids
Mobility aids can promote a senior’s independence by providing the following benefits:
- Reduced risk of falls and injuries
- Increased confidence and control
- Enhanced ability to carry out regular routines, which is important for emotional wellbeing
- Greater ability to attend events out of the home, stay socially connected, and prevent isolation
Seniors living with conditions that require mobility assistance may want to consider hiring a home caregiver. Homecare services experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Choosing a Mobility Aid
The choice of mobility aids for seniors depends on several factors:
- Medical conditions – knee and hip arthritis, balance deficits, and weakness in the arms, hips, and legs
- Cognitive function – understanding of how to use the device
- Environment – whether the device is needed indoors, outdoors, or on stairs
- Activities – tasks for which the device is needed, such as navigating the home and shopping
Living with cognitive decline due to dementia or Alzheimer’s can be challenging, and you may need to look for mobility aids that are the most simple for your loved one to use. If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s and needs help managing daily tasks, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Denver Home Care Assistance provides reliable caregivers around the clock to help your loved one age in place safely and comfortably while living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Certain assistive devices can be expensive. Fortunately, there are financial assistance programs available to pay for mobility aids should your loved one meet the qualifications
Medicare Coverage for Wheelchairs
Medicare may cover the cost of a wheelchair if:
- A senior has a condition preventing him or her from moving around the home and performing activities of daily living (ADLs)
- The disability isn’t resolvable with a cane or walker
- The wheelchair is needed for more than just outdoor use
- A doctor’s prescription is submitted specifying medical necessity and the type of wheelchair needed
If Medicare approves, 80 percent of the cost will usually be covered. For seniors with supplemental Medicare insurance, the remaining 20 percent may be covered as well.
Medicare Coverage for Scooters
A scooter may be covered by Medicare if:
- A senior doesn’t have the physical strength to operate a manual wheelchair
- The senior can control the scooter without harming him or herself or others
- A doctor’s order is submitted stating the medical reason for the need
Adjusting to Mobility Devices
Although mobility aids can be costly, increased independence makes them worth the investment, and they can significantly enhance quality of life. If your parent is getting used to a new device and could use assistance with the transition as well as household activities, consider enlisting the help of a trained professional caregiver.
Even with the help of mobility aids, living independently may be challenging for your loved one. Denver in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. To create a customized home care plan, call Home Care Assistance at (720) 443-3371 today.