It is sad to suffer any form of disability, but what is more disheartening is to lack access to good and durable walking aid. I can imagine how bad you felt with your last experience, that shouldn’t happen again. If you or someone you know has a disability and you want to know which equipments are good to enhance mobility, worry not, I will be telling you which mobility aid is good enough and how to identify a reliable one.
A mobility aid is a device designed to improve the movement of people with disability, it helps you to become mobile and less dependent on people. With the use of a good mobility aid, you can get to the bus or the train station all by yourself and even go on a cross-continental travel; basically, you can go wherever you want and live the life of your dream once again. The following are examples of mobility enhancing equipment.
These are devices designed to enable you to work all by yourself. The common examples are walking sticks, walkers and crutches. Walking aids helps to improve ambulation by offering you support while walking, bear weight and assist in generating movements. When you are choosing a walking stick, consider:
Height: walking sticks are build to a different height, to fit into our respective height. You must ensure the stick you are buying is the correct height for you.
Feet or foot?: I am sure you have noticed that walking stick comes with a varying There are some with just a foot while there are others with 3 or 4 feet. In making your choice, consider your age and movement ease. The single foot walking stick is usually faster to move with but offers less balance compare to 3 or 4 feet. Elderly people and those just getting back on their feet usually prefer 3 or 4 feet walking stick.
Single or double: I am sure during your rehabilitative stage, your physiotherapist already advised you to get either a single or double walking stick. The assistive canes are usually made specific for sides of the body. So if you need for both hands, ensure you are getting one right and one left walking sticks. It won’t be convenient for you if both of your walking sticks are suited just for a side.
Elderly people usually do better on walking frames, it assists them to move on their own without support that might be needed with use of a walking stick. Walking frames like Rollators or Zimmer frames offer you better support than walking sticks, allowing you to rest on it between movement. You should consider the following when getting a walking frame.
Height: you should consider the height before buying. Shorter height than what you required might give you back pain as you will be forced to bend for long.
Indoor or outdoor use: if you want to use it outdoor, you might need frames with wheels whereas frames without wheels do well indoors.
Strength: You will have to exercise some strength lifting the frames without a wheel. You should consider if you can cope with the strength required in carrying a frame without a wheel; a needed exercise if you ask me.
Sit or basket attached: You should also consider if you will like the one with sit or basket attached. This is the time to ensure you buy what you like; look out for it.
If you have a very significant walking impairment or simply can’t walk at all, then you should get a wheelchair. With a wheelchair, you can get your weight around anywhere. Consider the following before buying:
Manual or electric powering: Consider if you are going to be pushing yourself or an assistant will push you. There are manually propelled wheelchair by the user or an aid and there is also electric powered wheelchair known as a powerchair.
Cost: The cost of a wheelchair differs depending on what you can do with it. You have to consider what you are able to afford to buy and to maintain. Also, you should consider the cost of repair.
If you have a very significant mobility and balance impairment, consider getting a mobility scooter. They are electrically powered.
Whatever decision you have made, it is also good to double check with a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist. They will reinforce your choice with professional advice.