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While generally the health of older people is better than it has ever been, mobility remains an issue as people get older and often they need assistance to remain mobile. Many pharmacies now have specialist areas devoted to mobility aids for the ageing population as well as for people who need aids as a result of accidents, or for other medical reasons.
More and more Australians need mobility aids to help them lead a normal lifestyle.
Australia's population is much older today than it has been in the past, and both the number and proportion of older people is growing steadily.
In 1964, the median age in Australia was 28.5 years, and 8 per cent of the population (948,100 people) was aged 65 and over. Only 0.4 per cent of the population (50,100 people) was aged 85 and over.
But based on population projections by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, by 2064 there will be 9.6 million people aged 65 and over, and 1.9 million aged 85 and over, constituting 23 per cent and 5 per cent of Australia's projected population respectively.
Mobility aids range in style from simple steel frame walkers to ergonomically designed rollators. Many are technologically advanced, such as luxury lift chairs to space-age hospital beds and high-powered mobility scooters.
However you should ensure you choose the right aid for your needs or for the needs of the person you are caring for.
The majority of mobility aids are designed to assist in the recovery from a disease or an injury. Crutches, knee walkers and canes are aimed at helping the injured with mild balance impairments and surgery recovery.
Crutches and standard canes are available in different weight capacities and heights, though there are several other injury and balance mobility aids available. For people with moderate support and/or balance issues, rollators and walkers can help to maintain mobility.
Make sure you ask your pharmacist about the right aids for your needs.
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