MOBILITY AIDS LEARNING CENTER
Choosing Mobility Aids
Mobility aids help individuals get around more safely and efficiently. There are several types of mobility aids, including: canes, crutches, walkers, rollators, transport chairs, wheelchairs, and transfer belts and boards. All of the aids help regain a level of independence for the individual to move around, and each one serves a different purpose.
Canes help increase support and balance while walking. A degree of arm strength is required to support the body while walking. Canes come in a variety of styles and styles including aluminum canes, designer canes, offset canes, adjustable canes, quad based canes and folding canes. A couple of top brands of are Drive Medical canes and Carex canes. Accessories for canes are also available such as cane tips and attachments.
Crutches help increase stability and balance by alleviating pressure on the legs. Crutches require upper body strength. There are two types of crutches: under arm and forearm crutches. Additionally, crutches come in a variety of materials such as steel, aluminum, and wood. Crutches also come in a variety of sizes, brands including Drive Medical crutches and McKesson crutches, and some are adjustable. Accessories for crutches include crutch tips, underarm pads, forearm sleeves, hand grips, and crutch kits.
Walkers offer stability since it has four legs. Walkers allow individuals to walk at their own pace and offer support when needed. Walkers are typically aluminum and come in different styles such as folding walkers, adjustable walkers and walkers with wheels for easier maneuvering. Accessories for walkers are also available, including walker baskets and pouches, tennis ball caps, brakes, extensions, wheels, brakes and trays.
Rollators offer stability, much like a walker; however, have three or four wheels instead of two. Wheels enable an individual to move faster and smoother. Rollators, such as Drive Medical rollators often come with hand brakes and a seat when resting is needed. Rollators are very mobile and can also be used on a variety of surfaces. Accessories for rollators are also available for rollators such as baskets, brakes, wheels and padded seats and back rests.
Wheelchairs and Transport Chairs:
If unable to walk due to an injury, fatigue or health condition, wheelchairs and transport chairs help reclaim mobility. Wheelchairs are typically for daily use and come in a variety of styles and brands such as Drive Medical wheelchairs. There are light wheelchairs, heavy duty and deluxe wheelchairs, and bariatric wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are traditionally self-propelled with two large wheels in the back. Transport chairs are smaller than wheel chairs and have four smaller wheels. Transport chairs are lighter than wheelchairs and easier to transport. Transport chairs cannot be propelled by the user. There are also several accessories for wheelchairs and transport chairs such as trays, pouches, wheels, brakes, seat cushions, seat belts, foot rests, anti-tippers, and arm and back pads.
Transfer Belts and Transfer Boards:
Transfer belts and boards aid in transferring an individual. Transfer belts such as gait belts are worn and used to lift an individual. There are several types of transfer belts, such as gait belts with buckles and self-releasing transfer belts. Transfer belts also come in a variety of materials such as nylon and cotton as well as solid and patterns. A transfer board is made to slide or carry an individual.
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