Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Mobility Issues? You CAN Keep Moving!

Discover the Many Mobility Aids Designed to Help You Enjoy Greater Freedom and Independence

People with mobility issues due to a disability, injury, or age don’t have to be “stuck.” Today, more than ever, mobility aids have improved and provide more independence, higher self-esteem, increased confidence, reduced pain, and a better quality of life.  

So, let’s get moving!  

Which Mobility Aid is Best for You?

The type of mobility aid you or your loved one requires depends upon the specific mobility issue.

Some folks need mobility aids all the time. Others, from time-to-time. Still others, while healing from an injury. Whichever the case, there are innovative mobility aids out there for everyone. And each one is designed to keep you on the move and enhance independence!

Types of Mobility Aids

Canes are for people who may be at risk of falling. Canes support the body’s weight and help transmit body load from the legs to the upper body. In the United States, it is estimated that 1 in every 10 adults over the age of 65 uses a cane.

Some of the most useful and common types of canes include:

  • White canes - These are designed specifically for assisting people who are visually impaired. White canes are longer and thinner than traditional canes and enable the user to detect objects in their path. The white color of the cane also lets other people know that the user is blind, or has low vision or another kind of visual impairment
    4-Section Aluminum Folding All Terrain Cane
  • Quad canes - Also known as support canes, quad canes are for folks who need balance and stability. Quad canes have four feet at the end of the cane, providing a wider base and safe stability
    Heavy Duty Quad Cane
  • Walking canes – Walking canes give support while standing and walking for those that may tire quickly while out and about. These canes also improve balance to help prevent falls and injury. Many people use canes for assistance after surgery, or when they have an injury

Crutches help to transfer weight from the legs to the upper body. They can be used singly or in pairs. Crutches help keep a person upright and are often used by those with short-term injuries or with permanent disabilities.

Type of crutches include:

  • Axillary (underarm) crutches - These crutches are typically used by people with short-term injuries. One part of an axillary crutch is placed against the ribcage under the armpits, while the user holds onto the hand grip
  • Forearm crutches - This type of crutch involves placing the arm into a metal or plastic cuff and holding a hand grip. Forearm crutches are most commonly used by folks with long-term disabilities
Underarm Crutch Forearm Crutch

Walkers, made of a metal framework with four legs that provide stability and support to the user, are very secure walking aids. Walkers are used by nearly 5 percent of Americans over the age of 60.

Various type of walkers include:

  • Rollators - This common type of walker has a frame with four wheels, handlebars, and seat so the user can rest as needed. Rollators also include hand breaks as a safety feature
    Durable 4-Wheel Rollator with 7.5-in Casters
  • Posterior Walkers - Posterior walkers (also known as reverse walkers) are walking devices the person pulls from behind for improved posture and balance
    Drive Nimbo Posterior Walker
  • Knee walkers - Similar to a rollator, this walker allows the user to rest a knee on a padded cushion while propelling themselves forward with their stronger leg
    Steerable Knee Walker with Basket

Wheelchairs are used by people who should not put weight on their lower limbs or who are unable to walk. They can be more suitable than walkers for people with severe disabilities or when travel over greater distances is required.

Wheelchairs can be manually propelled by the user, pushed by someone else, or electrically powered. A wheelchair that can be propelled by neural impulses was designed in 2016.
Blue Streak Wheelchair with Arms and Footrests

Mobility Scooters
Similar to a wheelchair, these devices have a seat set on top of either 3, 4, or 5 wheels.

The user’s feet rest on foot plates, and there are handlebars or steering wheels to control direction.

Mobility scooters are beneficial for those without the upper body strength or flexibility to use a manual wheelchair. Many scooter users experience a positive impact on their lives and newfound independence.

Electric Senior Mobility Scooter

Who Benefits from Mobility Aids?

Anyone who has a mobility issue, either temporary or long-term, can benefit from mobility aids. The type of mobility aid used will depend on the needs of the individual.

Mobility aids may be beneficial for people with:

  • arthritis
  • cerebral palsy
  • developmental disabilities
  • difficulties maintaining balance
  • fractures or broken bones in the lower limbs
  • gout
  • heart or lung issues
  • injury to the legs, feet, or back
  • obesity
  • spina bifida
  • sprains and strains
  • walking impairment due to brain injury or stroke
  • visual impairment or blindness

Older adults, people who have had an amputation, and those recovering from surgery also benefit from the use of mobility aids.

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