Earlier this year, British smart mobility scooter manufacturer RELYNC commissioned a survey that offers some worrying results for ageing Brits: over half of them would be “reluctant” to use mobility aids currently available “due to what others might think”.
The survey, which included 1,003 British adults, gauged how participants felt about everything from walking sticks to electric wheelchairs – and the picture respondents paint is a worrying one, where safety and mobility plays second fiddle to (misplaced) concerns about status.
57% of people said they were worried about the impact mobility aids could have on their “social status”. One in three people said they wouldn’t want to use mobility aids “even if they became reliant on these devices to get around” because of “out of date” designs.
An upsetting 87% admitted that “worries about how others may perceive them” played a large part in influencing their decisions. A secondary, but still important, issue facing the adoption of mobility aids focussed on their visual appearance, with 62% of respondents confessing that it put them off. Last, but probably most important, comes social stigma, with 54% of adults worried that they would be stigmatised as a result of using mobility aids in old age.
Ellen Zha, the sales director responsible for commissioning the study, commented: “Unfortunately it isn’t uncommon for those people who use mobility devices to feel a little self-conscious, especially if they’re just starting to use them.”
This is a particularly eye-opening study for many people, and it is worth everyone’s time to consider whether unwillingness to adopt equipment that can help people retain their independence may have deeper roots than first assumed. At Shire, we make our customers’ dignity a top priority… and our commitment to ending stigma means we think you should, too.
If you want to speak to a company that will treat your dependents with care and respect, you can get in touch with us via the contact page on this website.