Mobility Aids Education to Older Learners


Aging is a pleasant experience but not without its fair share of challenges like diminishing physical agility and limitations in an individual’s movement. Musich et al. (2018) show that about 24% of people aged 65 years and above use mobility devices, while only a minute proportion gets training on their usage. The aged are highly susceptible to falls and sustain various injuries, with some succumbing to death due to the severity of the falls (Musich et al., 2018). Most seniors have lifestyle and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular illnesses, stroke, and obesity that impede mobility (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). The ill-health and injuries necessitate the elderly patients’ training on mobility aids to enhance their safety and autonomy.

Learning Needs Assessment

A learning needs assessment is critical in a teaching plan for various reasons. First, it helps the trainer, a nurse, establish a constructive nurse-patient relationship (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Secondly, it aids the nurse educator in modifying the client’s teaching scheme to fit their current needs for effective learning (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Thirdly, the needs evaluation enables the instructor to identify the emotional, psychosocial, intellectual, physiological, and environmental elements that contribute to the client’s learning demands.

As a person grows old, the effectualness of their sensory organs, including the eyes, ears, skin, and taste, declines. Whitson et al. (2018) posit that about two-thirds of the feeble aged experience hearing and sight defections and require assistive listening and visual devices. Whitson et al. (2018) reveal that 85% of the elderly are diagnosed with chronic illnesses ranging from diabetes and dementia to different forms of cancer. The decline in the normal functioning of body organs and cognitive and physical resilience may hinder learning.

Clients with chronic diseases may suffer from depression, hindering learning capacity (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Elderly patients may be prone to delirium, and their medications may affect their psychological processing. Lack of a social support system such as a may hinder home activities that quicken the use of the aids (Musich et al., 2018). Financial constraints could hinder the learners’ affordability and transportation of outpatient trainees to the sessions.

The learning will be in a hospital setting and free of social stigma. Light, room temperature, and seat adjustment will enhance the trainee’s comfort (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Neutral and sensitive phrases will ensure the atmosphere is free of discrimination. The hospital has support structures such as a ramp for accessibility. Outdoor sessions will occur during the late summer and early winter periods for the learner’s wholesome experience.

Educational Theory

Ageism is a phrase describing the segregation and negative perception of the aged populace. A teacher must conquer the stereotypes through research to promote the health of the elderly (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). The number and life expectancy of the elderly are rising and have a prolonged development timeline (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). People age differently and an educator must assess the needs of each trainee independently for optimal training.

Psychosocial phases of development entail the aged appraising their life’s meaning, victories, defeats and reconsidering their decisions. The aged should derive satisfaction from their individuality and focus on adapting to their changing bodies and life’s achievement rather than their looming deaths (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Maslow’s theory posits that the instructor should consider the changing needs of learners with age (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Aging also forces the transition of responsibilities from active to inactive roles and social cycles. A trainer must provide an atmosphere that fosters admissibility and adaptation to these stages.

Developmental tasks mirror the concerns and difficulties the aged encounter in their day-to-day activities. Knowledge of the duties aids the learner in comprehending their life phases and challenges to formulate strategies for easing their transition. Financially stable individuals could be involved in leisure activities, while those facing constraints may continue working to make ends meet (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). They may also have challenges transitioning from working to an inactive lifestyle.

The aged undergo numerous morphological alterations that influence their learning capabilities. Their skin, sight and hearing sensations may become weaker, necessitating protection from penetrative light, heat, and the use of aids (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). They are slower, get tired quickly, and require constant breaks. Their musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and breathing structures alter their stamina, strength, and momentum (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Their bladder gets weaker, and they may easily pass urine.

Learning Styles

An instructional program brings clients of different generations in one room. Segregation of learners as Silents, Millennials, Baby Boomers and Generations X, Y and Z is vital to an effective training (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Since the training is for the elderly, the educational style will address Silents born before 1945and Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). The educator will use classroom lectures to transfer knowledge to the traditionalists as they prefer being information recipients (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Baby Boomers favor a classroom setting but with a personalized structure. Group activities and demonstrational education will address their learning needs.

Readiness of the Learner

Readiness to learn is an inspired enthusiasm that transpires when a learner makes a deliberate option to acquire knowledge. The program will incorporate the aged with levels 2, 3, and 4 willingness to learn (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Trainees with periodical dementia and low literacy will show curiosity about the program but may lack the capacity to follow it to the core. Clients with pain and partial paralysis will articulate more enthusiasm for mobility aids education, hunt and pursue directives and have the needful developmental skills for the training (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). Additionally, trainees near full recovery will participate fully, be more inquisitive, take personal initiative to hasten their education process, and have the morphological and developmental capacity to grasp information.

Learning Objectives

Learning objectives are the desired results of an educational program. The objectives assess a learner’s cognitive, affective, and psychomotor abilities (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). First, the program will promote the intellective element by ensuring that the elderly patients can verbally identify different mobility device with their functionalities. Secondly, each client will portray their affective ability by expressing their views and experiences on mobility aids in a group setting. Lastly, the training will foster psychomotor capabilities by allowing each learner to demonstrate their prowess on using a mobility aid device without any assistance.

Learning Outcomes

Miller & Stoeckel (2019) state that learning outcomes pinpoints the knowledge and skills that a learner will acquire in a teaching activity to address their needs. The trainees will illustrate their knowledge of mobility devices by pinpointing them and stating their functions by scoring a minimum of 70% on the safe use of mobility aids checklist (SUMAC) and complete at least five tasks on the Berge Balance Scale. Skill measure of the learning outcomes will be by the client’s ability to use an assistive device. Performance metric entail examining the learners using the SUMAC and BBS.

Teaching Content

The teaching content will have short units that address the learner’s needs. The content will provide brief details on the cane, walker, and wheelchair and their usage. Understanding the characteristics of each mobility aid is the foundation for their proper usage. Work coordination through group activities is a core component of the education content. Group involvement help learners to build their social skills, give them a sense of belonging and gain positive input in their recuperation journey. Lastly, the course will address preventative measures and skills in using assistive gadgets. Improper usage of the mobility gadgets could cause falls and medical complications to the user.

Instructional Materials/Methods

Demonstration and group activities are the instructional methods for this program (Miller & Stoeckel, 2019). The trainer will demonstrate how to use a mobility gadget appropriately in different settings, such as navigating through the stairs and on a flat surface if using a cane. Videos, mobility device samples, markers and a whiteboard are vital materials in the demonstration process. An illustration of the safety measures and specific requirements of the aids will follow suit. The educator will also assist each learner with using their recommended aids before giving out a trial exercise. Each learner will have a group with similar capabilities for practice and positive competition.


The learning program will employ SUMAC and BBS as assessment tools. SUMAC will center on the learner’s physical capabilities while using the assistive devices. Additionally, the appraisal will center on the secure utilization of the equipment while performing nine simple daily activities (Hunter et al., 2020). Berg Balance Scale (BBS) is another tool for measuring the trainee’s capacity to safely stabilize while using the mobility devices in a succession of prearranged activities. BBS has an inventory of 14 tasks, each with a ranking scale of 0 to 4 (Soubra et al., 2019). 0 and 4 denote dismal and exemplary performance; the whole exercise lasts 20 minutes.


Hunter, S. W., Divine, A., Omana, H., Madou, E., & Holmes, J. (2020). Development, reliability, and validity of the safe use of mobility AIDS checklist (Sumac) for 4-wheeled Walker use in people living with dementia. BMC Geriatrics, 20(1). Web.

Miller, M. A., & Stoeckel, P. R. (2019). Client education: Theory and practice (Third). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Musich, S., Wang, S. S., Ruiz, J., Hawkins, K., & Wicker, E. (2018). The impact of mobility limitations on health outcomes among older adults. Geriatric Nursing, 39(2), 162–169. Web.

Soubra, R., Chkeir, A., & Novella, J.-L. (2019). A systematic review of thirty-one assessment tests to evaluate mobility in older adults. BioMed Research International, 2019, 1–17. Web.

Whitson, H. E., Cronin-Golomb, A., Cruickshanks, K. J., Gilmore, G. C., Owsley, C., Peelle, J. E., Recanzone, G., Sharma, A., Swenor, B., Yaffe, K., & Lin, F. R. (2018). American Geriatrics Society and National Institute on Aging Bench-to-bedside conference: Sensory impairment and cognitive decline in older adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 66(11), 2052–2058. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. "Mobility Aids Education to Older Learners." April 15, 2023.