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Seniors are more mobile today than ever before and with all the baby boomers set to join the ranks of older Americans, the requirement for greater mobility is expected to dramatically increase.
Census – By the year 2030 the elderly will have increased by 75 percent to over 69 million Americans over age 65.
Studies imply that baby boomers (generally defined as those born in the years 1946 to 1964) are more active, exercising more than ever before and paying critical attention to their long-term wellbeing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the baby boomer generation accounted for over half of all visits to the physician in 2001.
“We know seniors will be healthier but they will also live longer and there are only certain risk levels that grow with age. Freedom is one area often affected because seniors are at higher risk for falls, injury or certain diseases like diabetes.
Portable oxygen is an excellent illustration of how mature demand is already driving innovations that improve freedom. In the past, seniors who had oxygen (such as those who had suffered from emphysema) were restricted by the oxygen delivery method which was often a big, difficult to transport, in-home machine. “Seniors today do not accept these types of restrictions. They wanted oxygen gear that would permit them to keep an active lifestyle,” says Dennis Cook, a licensed respiratory therapist and president of Medline’s Enforcement Division. These devices attach to a tiny lightweight oxygen cylinder and allow the individual to take part in mainstream lifestyle tasks outside the home. Since OCD’s are so mild, a patient can simply carry their oxygen while using a wheelchair, scooter or rollator.”
Walking aids such as rollators (that are basically walkers with wheels and seats) and lightweight transport seats were not available 10 decades ago. Rollators were introduced into the market about five years ago and they allow seniors to walk more smoothly and independently again. Transport chairs are also relatively new to the market place. These are aluminum, extremely lightweight, affordable wheelchairs which have little wheels and fold back so they can be easily kept in the trunk of a vehicle.
“Mobility aids are being updated and enhanced each year, from wheelchairs which have quick-release wheels to a broad range in scooters that are more attractive and less expensive.