Can you imagine living a life with a mobility aid? No one wants to. But with age, most of our wishes of not using mobility aids could turn unrealistic. We need a walking stick or a cane when we undergo minor surgeries. However, many with complete disabilities would need a wheelchair or power scooter to move around safely. What matters is the use of these aids that gives us the confidence to move around and lead an independent life.
Click here to read how Additional Aid Mobility is helping the Chelsea Pensioners regain confidence in their elderly days. Being able to walk and move independently gives immense confidence in not being a burden on anyone else. Mobility aids instill the elderly to enjoy their second-innings of lives.
In older days, we only had a few options for walking aids, such as walking sticks, crutches, and wheelchairs. But now, we have a wide range of mobility devices to suit our mobility requirements. Choosing an ideal aid can be confusing. We have listed a few walking aids which can be of help to the elderly.
Popular Types of Mobility Aids
1. Walking Stick / Canes
Walking sticks are used by those who can walk but need that extra support. Walking sticks take away the extra burden on your legs by transferring the added bodyweight to your hands. Even visually impaired individuals use walking sticks to get a feel of the ground and move around.
Canes are available in different types, like adjustable canes, folding canes, tripod canes, quad canes, and forearm canes. Consult an expert to choose the walking stick that suits you best for better movability.
Crutches can bear more bodyweight than walking sticks. People with temporary or permanent disabilities in both their legs use crutches. Crutches are also available in different types, like a conventional underarm crutch, leg support, forearm crutch, and platform crutch.
Different crutches are available for people with distinct walking conditions. For example, individuals who have weaker hand grips prefer using platform crutches. But an underarm crutch is used by people with temporary injuries and who require walking assistance for a few days.
Walkers have four legs and have a structural frame that provides stability while walking. Some walkers also have wheels in their front legs for faster moving. Walkers are very lightweight yet sturdy to hold on to the weight of the user.
Common types of walkers are walker cane, zimmer frames, and rollators. Zimmer frames are more practical, portable, smaller, and lightweight when compared to rollators.
In situations when an individual cannot use his legs completely, wheelchairs come into action. Wheelchairs are categorized based on their purpose and means of operation. Some are used for daily purposes, while others for specialized purposes.
Wheelchairs can be moved manually or by a helper who moves them from behind. Nowadays, electric or power wheelchairs are also very common. They use electric motors and batteries for their maneuvering.
5. Power Scooters
These are specially designed scooters for the disabled. Although most of the mobility scooters get powered by batteries, now we also have the gasoline versions. Mobility scooters use a steering tiller to maneuver around. People who can sit effectively, walk a small distance, and use the steering tiller, are best suited to use the power scooter.
Main Benefits of Mobility Aids to the Elderly
1. Stability and Steadiness While Moving
The biggest reason for using walking aids is a person’s incapability to move by himself. The mobility aids provide them stability while moving around. Moving alone without support can be dangerous for people with disabilities. However, get yourself well trained by experts before you start using the mobility aids yourself. Training ensures that you use the mobility aid in a proper way, and it gives you complete safety and stability.
2. Makes You Independent and Confident
Walking aids provide stability which in turn enhances your level of confidence. With walking aids, you can move independently and do your things without depending on others.
3. Ease in Maneuvering
With mobility aids, you can move around, with or without the support of others. It reduces your dependability on others for moving around and getting things done.
4. Faster Recovery to Injuries
Walking aids also help in the faster healing of your injuries as they assist in transferring the weight away from the affected part. You do not exert the injured body part while moving with walking aids. Hence, resulting in faster recovery.
Mobility Aids – An Important Tool in the Lives of Elderly
Mobility aids not only provide moving assistance but also enhance the psychological and mental fitness of the elderly. They assist them in moving freely and without anyone’s support. It boosts their confidence level by making them do their routine work, just like everyone else. However, consult an expert or a physiotherapist before buying a mobility aid. They can suggest the best based on your requirements and conditions.