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Reduced mobility

Reduced Mobility Panel

Reduced mobility, a common concern with age, can affect your ability to navigate your home and participate in daily activities. This can lead to a reliance on others, decreased independence, and even safety hazards.

Common scenarios and concerns

Lifestyle and equipment options to help you

Difficulty walking or standing for long periods.

This can lead to increased reliance on others for errands or outings and limited participation in activities.

Walking aids: Canes, walkers, or rollators provide support and stability while walking or standing.

Challenges with stairs or uneven terrain.

This can lead to difficulty accessing different levels in your home or navigating uneven surfaces outdoors.

Stairlifts: Mechanised chairs that transport you safely up and down stairs. 

Ramps: Portable or permanent ramps create a gradual incline for easier access to different levels.

Difficulty getting up from a seated position.

This can lead to an increased risk of falls and potential injuries.

Grab bars: Installed in strategic locations like bathrooms and next to chairs, they offer support and stability when rising from a seated position. 

Raised toilet seats: Elevate the toilet seat height, making it easier to sit down and stand up.

Reduced balance or coordination.

This can lead to an increased risk of falls and potential injuries.

Assistive shoes: Shoes with good arch support and non-slip soles promote stability and reduce the risk of slips and falls. 

Physical therapy: Exercises can improve muscle strength, balance, and coordination, reducing the risk of falls.

 

Common challenges faced with reduced mobility

Here are some everyday tasks that can become difficult with reduced mobility:

  • Walking: Difficulties walking long distances, standing for extended periods, or navigating uneven surfaces can limit your ability to complete errands, participate in social activities, or get around your home.
  • Stairs: Climbing stairs can become a safety hazard for individuals with reduced mobility.
  • Standing up: Getting up from a seated position, especially from low chairs or toilets, can be challenging and increase the risk of falls.
  • Balance and coordination: Reduced balance and coordination can make walking, navigating uneven terrain, or performing everyday tasks like getting dressed more difficult and increase the risk of falls.

Equipment and aids to help enhance your independence

By incorporating these mobility aids into your home environment, you can continue managing your daily routine with greater ease and confidence:

Walking aids

  • Canes: Provide basic support and stability while walking for individuals with mild balance issues.
  • Walkers: Offer more substantial support with four legs for individuals with moderate balance concerns.
  • Rollators: Similar to walkers, but with wheels for easier manoeuvring and often featuring a built-in seat for resting when needed.

Stairway and level access aids

  • Stairlifts: Electrically powered chairs that safely transport you up and down your stairs.
  • Ramps: Portable or permanent ramps installed to create a gradual incline, allowing easier access to different levels in your home or overcoming small steps at doorways.

Aids for daily activities

  • Grab bars: Installed in bathrooms near the toilet and shower, and next to chairs throughout your home, they offer support and stability when rising from a seated position.
  • Raised toilet seats: Elevate the toilet seat height, making it easier to sit down and stand up, especially for individuals with limited hip or knee mobility.
  • Shower chairs and benches: Provide a safe and stable seat within the shower stall, reducing the risk of falls.
  • Reachers: Extend your grasp to retrieve objects located on high shelves or low cupboards.
  • Sock and stocking aids: Assist with putting on and taking off socks and stockings without bending or straining.

Maintaining balance and coordination

  • Assistive shoes: Shoes with good arch support, a wide base, and non-slip soles promote stability and reduce the risk of slips and falls.
  • Physical therapy: An occupational therapist or physiotherapist can recommend specific exercises to improve your muscle strength, balance, and coordination, enhancing your overall mobility and reducing the risk of falls.

Additional things to consider

  • Home modifications: Consider minor home modifications like installing grab bars, improving lighting, or removing throw rugs to create a safer and more navigable living environment.
  • Occupational therapy assessment: An occupational therapist can assess your specific needs and recommend suitable mobility aids and home modifications to optimise your independence and safety in your home.
  • Regular exercise: Maintaining a regular exercise routine can improve your overall strength, flexibility, and balance, promoting better mobility.

Where to buy equipment to help your mobility

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

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  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.

 


 

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