Old age comes with its ups and downs. Although the wisdom and experience garnered over a lifetime are invaluable, father time is often unkind to an ageing body, with many seniors experiencing mobility issues as they grow older. As their movements degrade over time, the elderly might find it more challenging to retain their everyday routines, which could have a negative impact on their mental and emotional health.
Fortunately, as technology advances over time, we now have better equipment available to help these seniors with their mobility issues. Personally mobility aids (PMAs) – typically in the form of wheelchairs – are often the go-to options for many Singaporeans looking to purchase a mobility aid to help their ageing parents.
If you are also looking to buy such a device for your loved ones, comfort should be one of your main priorities when you are out shopping for a suitable device. After all, your family member will be spending a significant amount of time using the device. As such, they should be as comfortable as possible. Let us share the elements you need to consider to ensure the mobility aid is fit and comfy for your loved ones.
What to consider when finding the ideal wheelchair fit
When choosing a motorised wheelchair, the user profile has to be taken into account to ensure you find the ideal assistive device for your loved ones. Since they are the ones who will be utilising the mobility aid daily, it is essential for you to ensure their mobility and accessibility needs, as well as their comfort, are addressed. This means taking their age, height, and weight into account before making a decision.
1. Age of the user
Age is probably the most important factor you have to consider. This is because as a person grows older, their motor controls decline, resulting in coordination deficits. As such, you should consider buying a motorised wheelchair with a limited maximum speed.
While the recommended top speed for such devices is capped at 10 km/h, it might still be too fast for the elderly. Perhaps you might want to consider looking at motorised wheelchairs with a lower top speed. After all, a fast device may pose a safety hazard to both its user and pedestrians if the operator cannot fully control the mobility aid.
2. Weight of the user
Each wheelchair is built to handle a specific weight load. If the weight of its user exceeds the mobility aid's capacity, not only is the safety of the owner compromised but the equipment's lifespan will be impacted as well.
3. Height of the user
The user's height will likely dictate the wheelchair's dimension you choose. Factors such as seat depth, armrest height, and footrest depth will impact the user's sitting position. If the device is too cramped, the user will suffer joint aches after prolonged usage. Conversely, if the mobility aid is too big, they will struggle with operating the device as they have to stretch to reach the controls.
Buying a PMA is a significant investment. As such, you should ensure your loved ones are comfortable when they are using the device. After all, they will be using it for a significant amount of time, so you would want to select the best assistive device to help them carry out their daily routines.
At Falcon Mobility, we offer our customers a free test drive of our motorised wheelchairs, so they can better understand if their desired mobility aid suits them to a tee. So if you are looking to buy an assistive device for your parents, we suggest bringing them along with you to try out which device is best suited for them. Our friendly sales assistant will also be on hand to answer any queries you may have about our products.