Mobility aids are devices designed to help individuals to walk and get around easier, their main purpose is to aid mobility. Mobility aids are generally used when it’s becoming hard for individuals to get around by themselves, e.g an elderly person who is starting to find moving around more challenging and needs help to keep them mobile. Of course, mobility aids are not just for the elderly, in fact they are for any person who has a disability and may need some form of help to get around. Someone with a sprained or broken leg might need to use crutches to help them get around until the leg has healed, they may even need to use a wheelchair, both wheelchairs, and crutches are mobility aids which are commonly used in the world today.
If you’re looking to buy mobility aids, it’s important to know exactly what kind of mobility aid you need.
What are some examples of mobility aids?
Wheel Chairs – Probably one of the most common mobility aids, a wheel chair is used in many different cases, from people who are paralysed to people who are being moved around in hospital – even if they can walk on their own steam. Wheelchairs have a few different common types – the normal wheelchair, this has 4 normal sized wheels and involves the patient or user sitting in the wheelchair whilst a second person pushes them around. The second type is an electric wheelchair, much like a normal wheelchair, however this has a small joystick style control on the armrest which electronically moves the wheelchair via the use of motors. The final type has 2 small wheels at the front, and large rear wheels which can be turned by the hands of the people who are sitting in the chair – these are also used in sports such as wheelchair basketball etc, and give some independence to the user.
Mobility Scooters – Similar to an electric wheelchair, but more like a 4 wheeled motorcycle, mobility scooters often come with baskets mounted to them to allow the user to go shopping. These scooters give freedom to people who can walk short distances and get on and off by themselves. These are common amongst elderly people who wish to keep some of their independence without having to ask other people to help them out.
Zimmerframes, Walking Sticks and Crutches – these devices all have plenty in common – they are not motorised, generally do not have any moving parts, and their primary purpose is to take some of the weight off the users legs. Crutches are commonly used for people with broken legs, ankles or feet and are often used in pairs so that the leg with the issue does not need to touch the ground at all.
Walking sticks generally take the weight on one side of the body, for people who have a bad hip, knee or perhaps have athritis – walking sticks come in many shapes and sizes and are more common amongst the elderly.
Walking/Zimmer frames are small frames which usually have 4 legs and is lifted and moved forward with each step – they are built this way so that they are sturdy and do not easily fall over, they are generally used more commonly by the elderly who are more frail and have less strength which means they can’t use a walking stick efficiently
There are of course other types of mobility aid available which can be used to help people with disabilites and injuries of different types, that is why in today’s world, less and less people are being confined to their homes, or even worse, their beds – mobility aids are keeping people mobile for longer, and this will only get better with ever advancing technologies.