Mobility aids are devices that help people get around with ease. These people may have lost their mobility because of old age, accidents or disease. Several devices can help patients move around in their houses, offices or the immediate environment. Read the article to get a lowdown on this equipment.
Canes or walking sticks are used widely by people who can’t move around. Essentially, a cane is a stick, which is smaller than the height of the patient. What it does is transfer the load of the legs to the upper torso.
Walking sticks are used by people who still have some strength in their legs. However, this mobility device shouldn’t be used by people who have had fractured wrists, elbows, palms or fingers. If you are looking for some good quality walking stick or a cane, you can visit places like Patient Handling Australia.
Quite like canes, crutches also take the load from legs and shift the locus of the mass to the upper part of the body. Crutches are used by people who have short-term or permanent disabilities. There are three kinds of crutches:
- Underarm crutches
Here, one part of the crutch is held under the shoulder against the ribcage, while the patient owns the other part. Underarm crutches are used by patients having short-term injuries.
- Forearm crutches
These aids are used by people having permanent disabilities. They put their arm inside a cuff or a metal arm to support themselves.
- Platform crutches
These crutches are used by patients who have epilepsy or cerebral palsy. Here, the patient uses his palm to grip while his forearm is placed parallel to the ground.
In cases where the patient has lost his strength in the legs, we can use wheelchairs. These are essentially automated or manually driven chairs. Wheelchairs come with two wheels that can be pushed forward or backward by the patient. Sometimes, the wheelchair can be pushed back or forwards by the patient’s attendant.
If the patient is too weak, then he can navigate himself by battery-powered wheelchairs. Of late, wheelchairs have been adapted according to specific needs. For example, standing wheelchairs keep the patient upright while a sports wheelchair is used for specific sports.
Also known as Zimmer frames, many elderlies use walkers. A walker has 3-4 legs. The patient lifts the walker and places it a few paces away. Then he matches that distance by walking. This way, the patient can walk around but with the aid of a walker.
Walkers are invariably made of aluminum, which is one of the lightest materials available. Some walkers have wheels under their legs, so patients don’t have to lift their mobility aid. They have to drag or push their walker. A few other walkers have small seats attached to them so that the patient can stop and take rest. There are three kinds of walkers:
A rollator has wheels under the legs and is designed to help people who have very little strength in their arms and legs.
- Knee pad walkers
These walkers have a knee pad meant to relax the weaker leg while walking.
- Walking cane- Walker hybrid
Here, the walker has just two legs than the standard four, so the patient can use it as a walking stick and a walker.
- Mobility scooters
People who have very little strength in their legs can use mobility scooters to move around. These types of equipment are battery powered and have a steering wheel for navigation.
- Guide dogs
People who are fond of pets can use guide dogs as mobility aids. Guide dogs can help visually impaired people move around. These animals also provide psychological comfort to the elderly.