What are Mobility Aids?
Mobility aids are devices to help people move around more easily. They include canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters. Many different types of mobility aids are available to help people enjoy greater freedom and independence. People that need a mobility aid are usually older adults or people with injuries or disabilities. Some mobility aids are designed to be used during recovery from injury while others may be used for long periods of time. The type of mobility aid required depends on the person’s individual health needs.
Mobility aids are generally divided into 3 categories:
- Minimal assistance for people who feel a little unsteady when walking
- Moderate assistance for people who need support to walk
- Maximum assistance for people who are unable to walk
Minimal Assistance Mobility Aids
Canes can be used to help support balance or minimize weight bearing on an injured leg. They help reduce the effort needed to walk around so people do not tire out as quickly. People can use canes to help prevent falls if they feel a little unsteady on their feet. They can also help people feel more comfortable navigating through crowded rooms.
Most canes are adjustable in order to be the correct height for the user. Most people use canes with a single rubber tip. Offset canes provide a straight hand grip that is more comfortable for people with arthritis. Folding canes can fit in tote bags or under seats, making them ideal for travel. Quad canes have 4 feet on the end of the cane. This provides a wider base and more stability for people with poor balance.
Moderate Assistance Mobility Aids
Walkers and rollators provide more support than canes. They provide stability for people who have poor balance or weak legs. Walkers can support some bodyweight while standing or walking. It is very important to choose the right type of walker in order to prevent falls or injuries.
Standard walkers are well suited for people who are too unsteady to use a cane. Some people use standard walkers instead of crutches because they need a more stable base for each step. Some standard walkers have 2 wheels that allow the walker to be pushed forward rather than lifted with each step. The walker stays in place because the person’s body weight is placed on the two back legs with each step.
Rollator walkers have 3 or 4 swivel wheels and a convenient built-in seat. Rollators are for people who have good balance and only need a little support for walking. Rollator walkers have brakes on the handles and they roll freely unless the brake handles are squeezed. People must have the strength to squeeze the brakes to safely use rollator walkers. Rollator walkers are not recommended for people who may not always remember how and when to use the brakes.
Power scooters are designed for people who need to conserve their energy or cannot walk long distances. They are ideal for shopping and errands because storage baskets are easily mounted to the front section. Unlike power wheelchairs, most mobility scooters can be taken apart to fit into the trunk of a car for travel.
Maximum Assistance Mobility Aids
Wheelchairs are helpful for people who can only take a few steps before needing to rest or have difficulty walking long distances. Manual wheelchairs are designed to be self-propelled by the user or pushed by a companion or caregiver. They are available with a wide variety of colors and features. Standard wheelchairs have large rear wheels so they can be propelled by the user or a companion. Transport wheelchairs have small rear wheels and are designed to be pushed by a caregiver or companion. They have lightweight folding frames that can fit into the trunk of a vehicle or storage space.
Power wheelchairs increase independence and quality of life for people who are unable to walk. They allow people with weak arm and leg muscles to move around without relying on a companion to push a manual wheelchair. Power wheelchairs are available in a wide variety of configurations for indoor and outdoor use. Joystick controls help people navigate easily through tight spaces. Modern models feature long-lasting batteries for daily living and social activities.
To summarize, mobility aids help people with disabilities maintain their self-confidence, freedom, and independence. They allow people to participate in social interactions and daily activities of living that would not otherwise be possible. Many options are available with various features for people of all ages. Canes can be helpful for people who are a little unsteady while walkers provide more support with each step. Scooters enable people to conserve their energy while shopping or traveling. Manual and power wheelchairs are required by people who are unable to walk.
It is important for people to get expert advice from medical professionals before purchasing mobility aids. Doctors and physical therapists can help select people select the most appropriate mobility aids and ensure that they are used correctly.
If you have any doubts on which mobility aid is best for you, please contact our HomeCare Hospital Beds team so we can help you make the right choice. Call us today at 877-414-0002 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.