If you're one of the 6.9 percent of Americans with an ambulatory or mobility challenge, you already know how getting around can be difficult. Whether you simply walk with a cane or you get around with the help of a wheelchair, it's important to take steps to keep yourself safe when active. This is true even within your own home. This helpful guide details some of the most common dangers you might encounter. From there, you'll learn about several easy solutions to help keep yourself safe.
Both hardwood and vinyl flooring can be extremely slippery, especially if you tend to spend time in socks or fabric slippers. If you walk with difficulty or have issues with balance, this can raise the risk of a devastating fall. As it isn't always practical to just replace all of your flooring, you can turn to other easy solutions to help you gain a bit of traction.
Wear Traction-Grip Socks
Easily the simplest solution, donning a pair of grip-soled socks can help you to stay safe on smooth flooring. These can be found in most department stores and are distinguishable by the rubberized pattern on the bottom of the sock. Available in a myriad of colors, they look less like a mobility aid and more like a fashion statement.
Wear Sneakers at All Times
Most people are used to taking their shoes off right at the front door. After all, the floors might become dirty! If you're mobility challenged in some way, you may want to consider tossing this old custom out the door.
If you're having nightmare visions of all the dirt and mud you'll track in, have no fear--this can be solved by dedicating a simple pair of sneakers to indoor use. They don't have to be expensive, either; just having a rubber sole under you is a fantastic way to secure your tread. If your concern is comfort, invest in a good pair of orthopedic shoes instead.
Difficulty Sitting Down or Standing Up
If your primary concern is with your ability to go from a standing to sitting position--or vice versa--without falling, you're not alone. Many people who have issues relating to the lower back, legs, or knees have this concern. It can make sitting in an armchair or at the kitchen table seem like an obstacle, rather than quality time spent alone or with loved ones.
With the help of certain mobility aids from sites like http://www.twincitystairlifts.com, you can get the support you need even when no one is around.
Chair and Seat Lift Cushions
Designed to be placed on any chair, this type of aid can help to propel you upward or downward. Each cushion has a spring mechanism within its interior; this is able to raise and lower you to and from a sitting position gently.
That means there's no sudden drop when easing into the chair, reducing the risk of a fall. The amount of strain you need to place on your lower back and legs is also reduced when getting up from a seated position.
Some styles also provide a swivel mechanism, ensuring that you can turn around to attend to tasks without getting up.
Tray and Standing Aid Combos
These helpful items offer the best of both worlds when it comes to functionality and safety. Designed to help you rise from a sitting position while on a couch, chair, recliner, or bench, the combo comes with a built-in hospital-style TV tray that can be adjusted in height.
Nestled against the tray itself is a cane with an easy-grip handle above it. You can grasp the handle and push up each time you need to rise from your seat, giving yourself more momentum and stability.
For many patients, even just having the tray itself nearby can increase safety. Placing common items like medication, books, drinks, or remote controls on its surface will ensure that they are within reach at all times, reducing the need for constant mobility.
Difficulty With Remaining Standing
For patients that find it difficult to remain in a standing position, small tasks like doing the dishes or cooking dinner can be a challenge. When you also have trouble with walking, the risk of a fall when engaging in everyday activities is increased even further. With a few special products, it's possible to create solutions for these challenges.
Cane and Seat Combo
To better enable yourself to stay independent, consider investing in a cane and seat combo. Designed to look just like a cane under normal use, this aid can be flipped out quickly to create a portable seat.
As the seat itself tends to be higher than a traditional chair, there's no sudden drop. Most people of average height will be able to reach counters, tabletops, and stoves just fine while seated. Best of all, these can be transported along with you when you leave the house. Wherever you go, you'll have both a walking aid and a seat right beside you.
Mild to moderate issues with remaining upright can sometimes be mitigated through the use of a service dog. These helpful working animals are trained to brace against your legs, giving additional stability to lax joints or reducing issues caused by dizziness. Well-trained dogs can also anticipate and even prevent a fall before it occurs. While not everyone qualifies for a service dog, the list of conditions suitable for their use is worth investigating.
When it comes to staying safe in your own home, you are your own best advocate. It can help to think critically about how you live your day-to-day life and what challenges you typically encounter. A mobility aid likely exists to help you mitigate these challenges. With the right help and support, you can remain as independent as possible for years to come. For more information about mobility aids, contact a retailer today.