The risk of falls, slips and accidents increases with age. It may also become harder and slower to move around the house or take a trip to the shops. Mobility aids can help people retain their freedom and independence by allowing them to continue doing the activities they normally do, safely.
NHS statistics show that 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 will have at least one fall every year, which rises to 1 in 2 people over 80. The risks of falling are well known, with broken wrists and hip fractures particularly common. An additional consequence for many is a reduced assurance in one’s own steps, and a decrease in confidence.
In this Age Space guide we have looked at the different types of mobility aids available to help older people or those with disabilities to regain their confidence and freedom. Where possible we’ve listed some examples of products under each mobility category and their prices. All prices are exclusive of VAT as the vast majority of users will be eligible for VAT relief.
Mobility scooters are great mobility aid options for those who are still mostly independent but would struggle with walking longer distances e.g. to the shops. Users will still have to get themselves on and off the vehicle, operate it themselves and be comfortable doing so. There are different types of mobility scooters for aimed at people with different needs and requirements, which we’ve broken down for you here.
Boot scooters are so named because they are meant to fit in your car boot! This type of small mobility scooter dismantles quickly and simply into around 5 pieces that are light enough to pick up and put in the boot. Even if you don’t need to put it in a car lots of people like boot scooters for their compactness and price versus other mobility scooters.
Popular Boot Scooter Options
Pride Apex Lite
A good, simple, entry level boot scooter ideal for shorter journeys
Price – £990
Motion Healthcare Alumina
Top scooter in weight, comfort, range and convenience
Price – £2,240
Great, mid-range scooter with suspension and choice of colours
Price – £1,325
If space is a little more in demand, folding scooters might be a great option for you. However, for the convenience of being able to origami-them-up into a smaller form, the whole unit is heavier than the individual parts that a boot scooter breaks down into. That being said, they are still very transportable and light enough for most people to pick up and carry. We think folding scooters are great for people who have less space at home to store a scooter.
Popular Folding Scooter Options
Moving Life Atto Sport
Can be split into two lightweight parts for easy transportation
Price – £2,945
Top scooter in weight, comfort, range and convenience
Price – £1,995
Motion healthcare mLite
One of the lightest folding scooters out there
Price – £2,380
Pavement & Road Scooters
If you have the space to store a bigger scooter and you don’t need to be able to transport it anywhere – pavement and road scooters can be great options. In return for some sacrifice when it comes to size and transportability, pavement and road scooters are often more robust, more stable, comfortable and have a further range than boot and folding scooters.
Pavement scooters are limited to 4mph and are often cheaper than road scooters. Road scooters are the ultimate in scooters, with much further ranges, higher top speeds and great suspension – they are not too far away from a small car!
Popular Pavement & Road Scooter Options
A super-competent pavement scooter with an best-in-class range
Price – £1,950
Pride Colt Deluxe 2.0
One of the smallest road scooters available with great extra features
Price – £2,020
TGA Breeze S4
Famed for its Top Gear appearance this is the “ultimate mobility scooter”
Price – £4,095
Wheelchairs & Rollators
Light, simple, convenient, easy to transport and much cheaper than mobility scooters, rollators & wheelchairs will be the only mobility aid lots of people need. For older people, wheelchairs are more likely to be pushed by someone else over wheeling themselves – so it’s important to bear that in mind when searching for a wheelchair. You can also even get power-assisted wheelchairs that get help give a little boost to help push (however, no where near the extent that mobility scooters are able to).
If your older relative is a little more mobile but still slower or less stable than they’d like, rollators are a fantastic mobility aid for elderly people. They can be great around the shops, home and for short trips.
Popular Rollator & Wheelchair Options
Mobilex Jaguar Indoor Rollator
A simple, light and sturdy Rollator that will do the job perfectly
Price – £140
Rollz Motion Performance
Brilliant design means this Rollator can transform into a wheelchair
Price – £849
Karma Ergo 115
A light yet sturdy wheelchair that can be customised for your needs
Price – £465
Other Walking Aids: Walking Frames & Sticks
Don’t fancy (require) wheels? Many people prefer the simplest mobility aids – walking frames and sticks. These types of support for walking enable users to still get the benefits of walking independently, while offering some extra stability and safety while doing so, to help prevent against slips and falls.
Popular Walking Aid Options
Height Adjustable Walking Frame
More stable than other walking frames and fully height adjustable
Price – £25.82
Folding Walking Stick
Comfort, stability, support and convenience with this folding stick
Price – £7.49
Derby Luxury Walking Stick
A great looking walking stick with comfort and support in mind
Price – £16.65
Mobility Aids in the Home
It is not just getting around out and about that people can struggle with, there are also daily activities around the home that can become a real struggle. Fortunately, there is a wealth of mobility equipment out there to help.
Bedroom Mobility Aids
Sleeping well is incredibly important to everyone, but especially as we get older. To help there are beds that are easier to get in and out of, specialist bedding for comfort and other accessories such as over-bed tables.
Popular Bedroom Mobility Aid Options
Outstanding value for what is a great rising bed in a traditional style
Price – £1,695
Easy Overbed Table
A fully adjustable over-bed table that can help with meal time
Price – £166.65
Washable Bed Pad with Tucks
Soft and subtle machine washable bed pad with tucks
Price – £19.15
Rise and Recline Chairs
Away from the bedroom there are a lot of great mobility aids out there that can help around the house. One of the most important items, especially for the less mobile elderly, is their living room chair as it is likely, apart from their bed, it is where they’ll spend much of their time.
Rise and recline chairs are both good looking and incredibly functional, with different settings to make getting in and out of a comfortable chair easy. By enabling body weight to be shifted around through the different chair settings they can also help with a variety of common ailments such as heart problems, digestive issues, comfort following hip surgeries and arthritis.
Popular Rise and Recline Chair Options
Wheelfreedom’s most popular chair
Price – £1,420
An award-winning chair with express delivery in standard sizes available
Price – £1,420
Stylish rise and recline with scroll arms and split-back cushion
Price – £1,317.80
The final type of mobility aid for elderly relatives that we want to talk about are stairlifts. As their name would suggest, stairlifts enable the less mobile to get up and down their stairs very easily. Prices of stairlifts will vary substantially depending on the type, size and curve to your stairs, as well as the type of seat you prefer.
Installing a stairlift is a big decision,but there is lots of choice and guidance available. Wheelfreedom have two stairlift examples installed in their showroom in Chessington that you can try out. There is also a second hand market for stairlifts you may want to consider.
UK Best Selling Stairlift
When it comes to stairlifts it is hard to look past the trusty and popular brand, Stannah – synonymous with stairlifts.
See all of these mobility aids in person at Wheelfreedom's showroom
Age Space preferred mobility retailer
With over 300 mobility products, Wheelfreedom’s showroom not only boasts the ability to try out most of the mobility products that might interest you, but also experts in their field to help you find the mobility aid that is best for you.