Have you noticed that your relative seems to be less mobile recently, or maybe they have hinted at this themselves? If this is the case, find out more about mobility aids here.
Common mobility problems
Older age affects muscle strength, joint flexibility and stamina. If this is combined with aches and pains, as well as fatigue and potential other medical conditions, it is likely that your relative will experience difficulty with:
- steps, stairs and inclines
- uneven ground or loose surfaces
- walking long distances.
Under these circumstances, your relative might well benefit from more awareness of stair safety and the support of a mobility aid, such as a walking stick, walking frame or even a mobility scooter.
The installation of grab rails around the home to support those with balance or mobility issues might also be helpful.
Getting a mobility needs assessment
As well as investigating the options for mobility aids, it is worth getting an assessment for mobility equipment needs by a physiotherapist, who may make recommendations for what kind of help your relative requires. These could include learning about certain mobility techniques (for example, how to move up and down the stairs) and exercises to help with strength and balance.
Appropriate footwear can also help with stability and support. Make sure that slippers around the home are supportive. It's best not to wear ones that you slip your feet into - instead there is a good range of 'bootee'-type slippers that have zip or Velcro fastening and non-slip soles. For outdoors wear, consider well-fitting supportive footwear with a low heel and non-slip soles.
- Sitting comfortably and safely, Kitchen safety and Getting into and out of bed safely: three of our articles exploring the options for safety in the home for older people.
- Care services directory: use our directory to find what home care agencies are in your relative's area if you think he or she is in need of more support at home.
- Dealing with a fall: sometimes a person with mobility problems may be at an increased risk of experiencing a fall - read our advice for helping to prevent a fall and what to do if your loved one has already fallen.
Page last reviewed: November 2016
Next review due: February 2019