At some point, regardless of age, people may need to use walking support devices on a temporary or permanent basis. These may be recommended by doctors in order to provide or increase mobility due to a broken ankle or leg. They may also be required to assist with post-surgical maneuverability as well as to accommodate a wide variety of health issues.
It has been estimated that the number of walking aids for elderly individuals will double by 2050, however. In 2015, for example, interviews were conducted with over 7,600 Medicare beneficiaries. At this time, it was determined there was an increase of nearly 50% in the usage of canes and other walking support devices since 2008.
Currently, almost 10% of seniors have reported they use more than just one type of device to assist them with being mobile. A recent survey showed that these were the preferred types of mobility aids for the participants:
- Canes: 16.4%
- Walkers: 11.6%
- Wheelchairs: 6%
- Scooters: 2.3%
Unfortunately, older adults are treated in emergency rooms every 15 seconds due to a fall. In some cases, the injuries they sustain may not require them to use walkers and canes upon returning home. However, in other cases, and especially if they fell due to being off-balance, different types of walkers for elderly may be recommended to prevent future falls and injuries.
Given that older adults will comprise approximately 20% of the United States’ population by 2030, it’s important to consider the current and future need for mobility aids for seniors. Since these devices can enable or increase mobility, it can assist these individuals with remaining or becoming more active.
As a recent survey with retirees revealed, the key to experiencing a happy retirement for 81% of the participants was good health. While each of these retirees will likely define “good health” differently, feeling healthy and being able to enjoy life is likely at the top of the list.
Walking support and other mobility devices can potentially assist seniors with preventing falls and other accidents associated with poor mobility. Furthermore, being able to continue attending events and engaging in other activities is known to assist seniors with maintaining a positive outlook on life.