Sometimes the smallest of aids and devices can make the biggest difference in everyday life. There are some select and small mobility aids that can have a big impact on autonomy, safety, and quality of life. Consider these to enhance overall convenience in any home or living situation.
When you think of mobility aids, do not just think of things like stairlifts and scooters. Sure, you can install a lift to make access easier for anyone who has physical limitations, but there are also small, simple modifications that can be made to the home, too. These may seem like modest changes, but they may in fact have the greatest impact on convenience, comfort, safety, and quality of life.
Consider these small mobility aids that have a big impact on everyday living:
The first and probably the smallest mobility aid to consider is a simple grab bar. These belong in every bathroom, but especially in the bathrooms of anyone with a mobility issue, physical limitation, or who is over age 60. These are easy enough to install with a drill or screwdriver, and they offer stability that may help to reduce the risk of a nasty fall. These are also precautionary when placed near the top and bottom of stairways, too.
A slightly bigger grab bar could be the SuperPole™ System, which is a highly regarded and award-winning modular support system designed to assist with standing, transferring, or moving around in bed. Talk to a mobility aid retail professional to learn more!
If you have mobility issues or challenges, a bedside commode can be a great resource. These are particularly useful if you are recuperating from illness, injury, or a medical procedure that makes getting up to use the toilet difficult. These are inexpensive and can be picked by visiting a mobility retailer to see what you buy could be a more pragmatic approach.
These commodes are streamlined and don’t take up a lot of space, so they are easily stowed in a closet when not in use. They can double as a shower seat for support when bathing, too! More on those next!
Experts report that the bathroom is indeed the most dangerous room in the home for a senior. The surfaces tend to be slick, slippery, or wet so there is an increased risk of a fall. One solution to bathroom accidents and subsequent injuries may be a shower seat. Sometimes called a shower chair or transfer bench, these seats provide a stable and supportive spot to sit while bathing or performing grooming tasks.
These can be used by independent bathers or they can be a great support for a caregiver that helps with ADLs. These shower chairs increase safety in and out of the tub plus, they don’t take up much room so you can still shower without obstacle. The affordability of these makes them a prudent measure toward a safer home environment for anyone.
A bed rail makes a lot of sense for a wide range of people and they don’t cost a lot to implement. A bed rail usually has a comfy, foam-covered grip that lends support when getting in or out of bed. You use these for stability when standing or changing position in bed. They are simple to install, require no special equipment or tools, and are inexpensive to buy.
Find these aids at mobility vendors, but also online. The rail secures between your box spring and mattress yet allows for access around the bed and convenience when getting around. The rail cover contains no latex, so it won’t trigger allergies or sensitivities either. These aids are discreet and sleek, so they won’t look out of place in your bedroom themes, schemes, or décor.
Finally, look for reaching tools that you can use to access out-of-reach items. These are particularly useful in a kitchen, by anyone, and reduce the stress, strain, and hazards of trying to reach, grab, or pull on something that you simply cannot get to.
These typically have grippers or suction cups on the end, and are operated by squeezing the handle, much like you would a squirt bottle. These can save you the hyperextension of limbs when trying to get in kitchen cabinets, under a cupboard, or reaching for something up high. These also make an excellent gift idea that many can use. They are affordable and widely found, with or without a doctor’s prescription.
Not all mobility aids and modifications must be major. There are small changes, too, that can make a world of difference. Don’t wait to implement mobility aids or equipment that can enhance safety, convenience, and even quality of life in your home. Call or visit Pacific Mobility, mobility professionals in the Bay Area, to learn more!
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)