This project explores the process of mobility aid personalization and how it impacts the health and well-being of older adults. Since the non-use of mobility aids among the older adult population is a significant problem with serious adverse effects, research to understand why some use and others refuse their mobility devices is needed.
The project revealed two key findings:
Older adults personalize their mobility devices for reasons of function (physical context) and fashion (aesthetics and personal preferences). It also included the performance and preservation of identity (ethnicity, profession).
The impact of selecting or modifying a mobility device to suit individual needs and preferences facilitated device-acceptance, promoted physical and social participation, and provided a 'place' to perform and preserve identity among participants.