Mobility in the elderly
A prevalence of females, widowed, and living alone was observed. From those interviewed, 77.4% used some assisting technology, mainly lenses and supporting banisters. Concerning frailty assessment, 23.6% were considered as mild, 13.1% as moderate, and 7.8% as severe. A statistically significant association with the use of assisting technologies such as wheel chairs, banisters, and walkers was verified at all frailty levels.
With the aging process, the older adult may suffer from different geriatric syndromes, among them, frailty syndrome, which may lead to a decrease in functional capacity, becoming a dependent person with the need to use assistive technologies to carry out different activities.
The frailty syndrome is defined as a state of vulnerability with a poor resolution of homeostasis following a stressor event, thus increasing the risk of adverse events6. On the other hand, the Canadian Initiative on Frailty and Aging states that in addition to affecting the biological dimension, it is important to evaluate the psychological and social dimensions that are related to the life history of the older adult7.
Reduced mobility in older adults
Many experts advocate the use and development of assistive systems to improve road safety for older people. In addition to many other equipment features or vehicle configurations, these systems can compensate for age-related deficits and help keep senior drivers from being involved in car accidents or even reduce the frequency of their being the main cause. In addition, technological assistance also protects elderly pedestrians and cyclists.
A study commissioned by the German Federal Highway Institute (BASt) published in 2019 took an in-depth look at the support options that driving assistance systems offer older drivers. In this context, the most important driving- and age-related performance deficiencies were also summarized and put in relation to the desired driving assistance functions or appropriate systems (Figure 23). At the same time, the BASt study also addressed the factors that lead to a faster diffusion of driving assistance systems among older people. Essential to this are the degree of familiarity with the different systems and, especially, knowledge of their functions and their limits. Other factors identified in a survey of the target group were the fear of high repair costs in the event of a system defect and concern about the lack of transparency in data processing by the vehicle manufacturer. Clarification of all aspects is essential.
Assistive devices for the older adult pdf
“Physical activity is considered a basic element for the well-being of older adults, since all exercise programs provide flexibility, strength, endurance and muscle relaxation, very important components for good mobility,” commented Herrero.
“If you have not been a physically active person during your life and you are already an older adult, it is always possible to improve the mobility of your body if you join a regular physical exercise program according to your capabilities,” concluded the physical trainer.
It is said that nowadays many people die in smaller numbers and fewer are born, making the group of people who inhabit the Earth older. We call this manifestation: population aging.
If you have suffered shortness of breath at rest or with light exercise, increase in abdominal circumference, changes in behavior such as depression, anxiety, agitation or memory problems, pay close attention because you could be suffering from edema, or as it is popularly known: fluid retention.
Technical aids for mobility
Mobility limitations do not have to become a limitation in the development of routines. Technical aids make it possible to adapt the space and movements of older adults and dependent persons in such a way that they have the possibility of continuing to perform some basic tasks, which translates into greater autonomy and a higher quality of life.
Technical aids, mobility aids or assistive devices are a broad group of products and systems specially designed to promote autonomy in dependent persons. The progressive deterioration of faculties such as balance, coordination and strength is a major limitation in the level of independence of older adults, something that not only affects their mobility but also their general state of health.
Old age is a complicated stage for many older adults, especially for those who do not reach old age with full motor skills. The psychological and emotional impact of the deterioration of these abilities has consequences on the state of health of these people and it is necessary to find efficient solutions to prevent the situation from worsening.