Alternative Aids for Active Aging

Ensuring seniors keep fit and active in their homes

How much do we move every day? From starting the day getting out of bed, going up and down the stairs, reaching for a clean towel or bending down to put on our socks: so many slight movements that many of us take for granted. That is, until they start getting a bit more difficult. As we age, we notice what used to be an easy task might take us longer, while others become more uncomfortable.

If we start to struggle with these day-to-day activities, it can make a big difference to our comfort and safety. For many seniors, the thought of losing mobility, and as a consequence, independence, can be very worrying. However, studies have shown that staying active while aging is key if we want to keep up our strength and stay fit as we get older. So, what support is available? There are ways to make our daily lives easier and stay active by using specially designed equipment and devices. Two of the more well-known aids to help with moving around our homes are stairlifts or homelifts. But they aren’t the only aging in place appliances. In fact, if you find yourself needing a bit more help getting around but don’t quite need the full support of a stair or homelift, there are options to give you that helping hand you’re after. Check them out:

One of the most versatile options is the Gripo (by Hepro). An easily installed support pole, it helps users stand up, get in and out of bed and move around their home, making it an ideal addition to any property for seniors who want to keep up as much movement as possible.

Although Gripo works great on its own, accessories can be added to enhance the users’ experience. Triangle or grab bars can be fixed on for those who want extra grip when standing up. There is also an option for a seat and armrests to be installed to the Gripo in the shower.

But how about getting up the stairs?

Walking up and down the stairs can be a good way to keep active at home. According to one study carried out in Norway, Sweden, the UK and the USA of 36,000 participants, they found that climbing the stairs helps maintain your balance and gait function, making it a good fall preventive measure.

Stairlifts and homelifts are certainly great options for seniors who are no longer able to go up and down stairs multiple times a day. However, there is another solution for those who want to keep using the stairs. Enter the AssiStep.

assistep canada

The AssiStep is a mechanical stair climbing aid – think of it as a more affordable alternative to lift devices. Designed and created in Norway, the AssiStep is a railing installed against the wall and has a locking mechanism handle that supports you as you walk up and down the stairs. With no servicing or operation costs, it is much less expensive than stairlifts while still providing the user with safety and support.

Other advantages of the AssiStep are that it doesn’t take up much space compared to lifts. The railing itself extends just under 4 inches out from the wall and can be installed in stairways as narrow as 23 inches. For users who don’t need to use the locking handle system, the stainless-steel handrail offers high-friction grip to give residents support when walking up or down the stairs.

Keeping active at home as we age is important for senior fitness to encourage healthy and independent living for as long as possible. Exploring the different options available to find what suits you, your property and your budget can help your family plan for a future in the comfort of your own home.

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Age Safe® Canada is committed to the importance of home safety and accessibility to help older adults improve their odds for having an independent and productive life.
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