Whether it’s an accident, medical condition, or wisdom years kicking in, the inability to get where you want and function normally has a great impact on your overall productivity and well being. The ability to stand, walk or generally move a little faster and conveniently at work, home or in between can create a whole new different and meaning to your life.
Within the confines of your house you are able to support yourself by holding on to grab bars, walls, sinks, counters or cabinets. Mobility past the front door can however be very tricky as there are no walls or cabinets to hold onto. Without a careful consideration of your mobility needs, it can be quite a daunting task running errands that have long distance mobility needs. These could be attending school, work, shopping or visiting friends.
There are numerous mobility devices to choose from depending on the the individuals unique needs and lifestyle.
Here are some available options;
Assistive Devices for Ambulation
They are quite simple devices designed to help you walk, most commonly crutches, walkers and canes.
This is basically a chair with wheels that help you self propel or be wheeled along by an attendant. Learn more here.
Power Assist Devices
These are essentially mechanical devices embedded on manual wheelchairs to help you self-propel easily. Learn more here.
These are little advanced versions of manual wheelchairs powered by an electric motor. They usually have an alternate control device or joystick that puts you more in control. Learn more here.
A mobility scooter is a little more sophisticated and stable for longer distances and rougher terrains. They are also powered by a motor and have a tiller for steering. Learn more here.
Making the choice
As mentioned earlier, you need to make a very informed choice shopping for your mobility aid. The best way is to look for reviews of previous users of the specific device you have in mind, or ask other users about their experiences. As you consider your options, it is important to consult an experienced physical and occupational therapist in relation to your unique situation.
Considerations when choosing mobility aid alternatives.
Mobility Needs: Careful consideration of your mobility needs will help you focus your choices. Depending on your needs, you may even realize that you need more than one device. The rule of the thumb is to meet your most important priority first, and then you can later purchase additional devices to accommodate different environments. Perhaps the most important environments to keep in mind are your home, community, and the movement in between
More tips on choosing ambulation aids
Canes: It should be fitted to the right height. Adjustable options are also available, but you are advised to cut to your custom height if you are a long time user.
Crutches: two types crutches are currently available in the market; the ones cuffed to your forearm and under the arm or auxiliary crutches. You will need the assistance of a medical provider to make an informed choice on this.
Walkers: They also come in different styles; sliders, pick-up walkers and rollator walkers. They all have difference unique features but basically the same working principle.
Wheelchairs and Scooters: there are broadly three categories of devices that classified as wheeled mobility devices. These are manual wheelchairs, power Wheelchairs and scooters. As earlier mentioned, the choice of your devices will depend on your mobility needs and environment.
Manual wheelchairs can be less bulky and less costly, but you may need an attendant to maneuver in some environments. While power wheelchairs and scooters may have a significant bite into your budget, they are the best if you need a little more independence and convenience as you go about your daily chores.
As you can see, there are hundreds of different products and configurations to consider. This is why it is so important to make sure a trained clinician and/or supplier is involved in assisting you to make the most appropriate product selection. The Keystone Mobility team is very experienced in working with residents with mobility product needs in central Pennsylvania to recommend the exact mobility product for your needs and environment. Contact us today for a comprehensive mobility evaluation!