How to Convince Seniors to Use Mobility Aids

elderly woman on mobility aid

When old adults become unsteady on their feet or have a disease or surgery that affects their balance, they need assistance to stay safe. However, getting a senior to use mobility aids, such as scooters or walkers, can be difficult. It can become frustrating for family caregivers and loved ones.

You want what’s best for your elderly loved ones, but what can you do when they refuse help? You can’t force your loved ones to use mobility aids, but you can do your best to convince them to use one or help them conclude that it’s best for them.

Here’s how to persuade seniors to use mobility aids and get the proper help they need.

Explain the Benefits of Using Mobility Aids

Many elderly adults assume that when they use mobility aids, that will automatically mean they’re giving up their independence, which most seniors loathe. You can start convincing them to get the help they need by shifting their perspective and explaining the benefits of a mobility aid.

For instance, explain to them that a portable lift can help them transfer certain items safely. Seniors can also move these lifts from one room to another, providing better flexibility. Shift their focus on the stigma of having to use mobility aids and help them start focusing on the benefits.

Be Patient and Understanding

Although it can become frustrating, it’s best to be patient and understand them when they continually refuse to use a mobility aid. When seniors refuse to use a cane or wheelchair, ask them why, and their response can provide you with clues on how you can approach the subject better. For instance, if your loved one is afraid of standing out from the crowd or being judged, give them the choice of using umbrella canes or walking sticks for low-key assistance.

Lay Out the Options

elderly man on mobility aid

If the safety, health, and general well-being of your elderly loved ones are at risk because of their mobility challenges, lay out the options that can help them. Providing solutions that allow seniors to have control can be a great way to persuade them, as it still gives them a sense of independence. You can ask them if they would prefer the assistance of a family caregiver or transition to assisted living.

Let Them Choose

When you have reached an agreement of using mobility aids, let your loved one choose the item themselves. This can encourage them further and not change their minds in the long run. It’s best to provide a senior with different resources, including catalogs, web-based, and print materials.

Do a Trial Run

See if there’s a way you can let your elderly loved test the mobility aid first before renting or buying it. Giving the senior time to familiarize themselves with mobility aid can convince them that it’s not as bad as it sounds. However, this can only work with smaller mobility aids such as wheelchairs, canes, or walkers. But you can check with your local assisted-living communities if they have stairlifts or ceiling lifts for your loved one to test out.

Never rush a senior when it comes to mobility aids, as it can discourage them further. Follow these steps to successfully convince your elderly loved one to get the help they need.

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