Mobility Aids And Their Use

Ideally, people who live with injuries and disabilities, or the older generation, are at risk of falling when they move around. That is why mobility aids are important to help them navigate around the house or in other environments. Mobility aids provide various benefits to the users; it gives them more independence, reduces pain, and increases self-esteem and confidence, and it allows them to enjoy life.

There are quite a number of mobility devices that can help people to move around, from stair lifts, wheelchairs, to crutches and canes. Let us look at some of the mobility aids.

Types of Mobility Aids

Crutches

Crutches are devices that are used to transfer weight to the upper body from the legs. You can either use one or a pair of crutches. If you have permanent disabilities or short-term injuries, you can use crutches to keep you upright. With these devices, you can easily go to work or events without worries.

The different types of crutches that you can find include:

  • Platform crutches: when you use this pair, you will place your hand on a grip as the forearm rests on a platform that is horizontal. It is not easy to find someone using platform crutches, but they are used by people who have a weak handgrip because of medical conditions such as cerebral palsy or arthritis.
  • Lofstand crutches: this pair is also known as forearm crutches. You will place your arm in a plastic or metallic cuff and hold a hand grip. People with long-term disabilities commonly use this type of crutches.
  • Auxillary crutches: auxillary crutches are also known as underarm crutches. A part of the crutches is placed under the armpits against the ribcage, while you hold the hand grip. People who have short-term injuries use it.

A power wheelchair is used by people who should not place weight on their limbs. They work better than walkers if a person has severe disabilities and desires to move around. You can either propel the wheelchair manually or allow someone else to push it. Wheelchairs can also be propelled by neural impulse.

Canes

Similar to crutches, canes support the body’s weight by loading the weight to the upper body from the legs. However, canes do not take as much weight from the lower body like crutches, but they place a lot of pressure on the wrists and hands.

People who are at risk of falling, and cannot balance properly use assistive canes. It is estimated 1/10 adults above 65 years use canes.

The different types of canes include:

  • Forearm canes: they offer extra support to the forearm and allow the weight to be distributed to the arm from the wrist.
  • Quad Canes: at one end of the canes, you will find four feet that provide a wide base for stability.

White Canes

They are used to assist people with visual impairment. They are thinner and longer than the traditional canes, and they enable users to detect obstacles in the path. These canes also inform other people that the person using it is visually impaired. This makes it easier for people to assist someone to cross the road or even navigate a theme park.

Walkers

Walkers can be described as a metal framework that has four legs to provide stability to users. The basic walker has a frame that is three sided. Users place the lift in front of them by lifting it, and then step to walk with it. This is done repeatedly.

There are walkers that have glides or wheesl on the base to make it easy for navigating a mall or a restaurant. Walkers are usually ideal for people who have limited strength on the forearm.

The type of walkers that exist include:

  • Knee walkers: these devices have a padded cushion that allows a user to rest their knees as they move forward.
  • Rollators: this walker has a four-wheel frame, a seat, and handlebars. They also have hand breaks to provide more safety to the user.
  • Walker-cane hybrid: this aid has a full frame and two legs. A user can use both hands to provide support

Mobility scooters

Just like wheelchairs, mobility scooter has a seat on top of between 3-5 wheels. The device has foot plates to rest feet, and ha steering or handlebars to control direction. A battery powers these devices. You will find people using them in parks.

Mobility scooter gives users a breath of life since they can go anywhere with it. Shopping is not a challenge, meeting friends to catch us is also possible.

Safety modifications

In some offices or homes, you will find a modification that helps people to navigate in places where there is a difference in surface heights. These include:

Handrails: they are fitted in restrooms to provide stability and support to people with mobility problems.

Stairlifts: in most shopping centers, you will find stair lifts that help wheelchairs to move up and down the stairs.

Ramps: people who have scooters and wheelchairs find this helpful when they go for vacations, or meetings in offices, as they cannot manage the stairs.

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