How to Pick a Mobility Aid for Your Senior Loved One

Selecting a Mobility Aid for a Senior Loved One

By Will Reid, 8:00 am on

When an aging parent or loved one is no longer able to navigate the home as the result of a health condition or 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 of Mobility Aids

At Cincinnati Home Care Assistance, we know that mobility aids make all the difference when it comes to promoting a loved one’s independence.

  • By maintaining mobility, there is less chance of incurring a fall or injury
  • Seniors enjoy increased confidence and control
  • Seniors are able to carry out their regular routines, important for emotional well-being
  • Seniors can attend events out of the home, staying socially connected
  • Mobility aids help prevent isolation, which can lead to depression.

Choosing a Mobility Aid

The choice of mobility aid for a senior adult depends on several factors

  • Medical Condition – Knee and hip arthritis, balance deficits, and weakness of the arms, hips, and legs
  • Cognitive Function – A senior’s 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

Financial Considerations

Certain assistive devices can be expensive. Fortunately, there are financial assistance programs available to help pay for mobility aids should your aging parent or loved one meet qualifications.

Medicare may cover the cost of a wheelchair if:

  • A senior has a condition preventing them from moving around the home and performing activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • The disability is not 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% of the cost will be covered. If a senior has Supplemental Medicare, the remaining 20% may be covered as well.

A scooter may be covered by Medicare if:

  • A senior doesn’t have the physical strength to operate a manual wheelchair
  • They can control the scooter without harming themselves or those around them
  • A doctor’s order is submitted, stating the medical reason for the need

Adjusting to Mobility Devices

Although mobility aids can be costly, they’re worth the investment in independence, and can significantly upgrade your loved one’s quality of life. If your aging parent or loved one is getting used to a new device and could use assistance with the transition, as well as household activities, rely on the highly trained caregivers from Home Care Assistance of Cincinnati.

While we are recognized as the Cincinnati live-in care experts, our caregivers are also available on an hourly, as-needed basis to assist with cooking, light housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation and more. Request more information or complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a Care Manager by calling 513-891-2273.