Technology Helps Regain Mobility That We Have Lost
At some point in our lives almost everyone has lost their mobility for reasons ranging from minor falls, to muscular disorders, to traumatic accidents. However, those often traumatic and depressing events don't have to ruin your life and can be overcome with the help of today's modern mobility aid technology.
Losing one's mobility is often a one-way ticket to greater health problems including infections, sores, and worst of all, depression. When you lose your mobility you lose your independence which can have deep psychological ramifications for people who have been independent their whole life. This article will explain three common mobility aids as well as some new technology that we can get excited for in the future.
Motorized Scooters Are Driving A Mobility Aid Trend:
The motorized scooter industry has started to really take off as the inevitable wave of Baby Boomers begins to swell. The good news is that when a market begins to swell, new competitors come into the picture, thus forcing each company to innovate while also lowing their prices to stay competitive.
This good-news story for the consumer has already resulted in scooter prices as low as $500 and a wide range of options to choose from - plus these scooters are now covered by most insurances if they are deemed necessary by a professional. Some scooter options include having three or four wheels, different weight limits, they can be compact or heavy duty, can have headlights for night use, or a myriad of other options. This can be pretty overwhelming so it's recommended to answer a few questions about your usage (listed below) and then go see a professional or authorized dealer who can help you choose the right fit.
- What weight limit will you require based on your current and future weight?
- How and where will you use the scooter? Think of all of the scenarios where you will need the scooter - this should provide a good idea if you need heavy duty four wheel stability for more outside usage, or three wheel maneuverability for more interior usage.
- Will you have frequent access to a charger (ex: frequently in your home), or will you need extended battery life?
- If you require the scooter full-time, how will you transport it to other locations? You may need to invest in a vehicle lift/storage option.
The scooter industry specifically geared towards the elderly/disabled is ripe for innovation. In the next 5-10 years, motorized scooters as we know them today might be unrecognizable. For example, a Japanese startup is creating an alternative to the common wheelchair and hoping to get the price so low that it becomes as common as the wheelchair.
With low prices, the potential for insurance subsidies, and tons of options, the motorized scooter will be a valuable piece of technology to the aging population in the next decade.
Lift Chairs Help Lift You Out Of Lethargy:
One mobility aid that we personally used within the Aging In Place Builders family was a Recliner Lift Chair. These chairs help can help you go from standing to seated and vice versa. Ranging in price from under $500 to well over $1,000, these chairs come with a variety of mobility features as well as comfort features such as massaging options.
Although this particular device has remained relatively simple in design, it's likely that in the next 5-10 years that lift chairs will get more technologically advanced to include built-in household controls (lights, TV, phone) as well as biometric sensory technology to continually monitor the lifestyle and health of it's customers. This mobility aid will be interesting to watch as more homes become "smart."
Vehicle Innovation Cannot Ignore The Aging Population:
Car companies have often lead the way when it comes to new technology (ex: Tesla pioneering clean electric mobility), but they have largely focused their efforts on the younger generations. This makes sense for now, however, as humans live longer and longer, it's possible that mobility issues become more common for age groups that are still perfectly capable of driving a vehicle.
For that reason, a handful of smaller companies have started to design vehicles dedicated to the elderly or people with disabilities. Features include swiveling chairs to make entry/exit extremely easy, large windows and sensors for blind spot detection, hand-operated gas/brake features, and a slew of other customizable features to make your vehicle as safe as possible despite your mobility limitations.
Mobility Aid Technology Will Improve Billions Of Lives:
As we wrap up this three-part series on technology for the aging population, it's clear that there will soon be a massive shift in focus towards the aging demographic. As we grow older and ultimately become the majority demographic on this planet, companies will try to profit off this trend. This is a GOOD thing because the race for profits will drive incredible innovations that will aim to solve each and every problem we face as an aging population. This is an exciting time to be alive so make sure you remain curious and strive to keep up with the technology - it may help save your life.
Think you may need some help on this subject? Click below to download our Home Self Assessment to see if your home may need alterations. If you find that you may need mobility aids or require your home to be altered for the inclusion of a mobility aid, don't hesitate to reach out to Aging In Place Builders for a Free Home Assessment by one of our Certified Experts.