Mobility aids are devices that assist people who have problems moving around on their own. People with disabilities, injuries or are elderly are at greater risk of falling or hurting themselves because of mobility impairment, so often seek mobility aids for support.
More than offering benefits such as independence, reduced pain and increased confidence and self-esteem, mobility aids are incredibly helpful for those that have a hard time moving on their own. Luckily, there is a broad range of mobility devices on the market to help address different needs.
If you’d like to learn more about the different types of mobility aids, feel free to continue reading down below.
The Types of Mobility Aids
As mentioned, there is a wide range of mobility aids available on the market. The type of mobility aid is dependent on the type of mobility issue. Some types of mobility aids include the following:
Crutches are mobility aids that transfer weight from the lower body to the upper body. They can be used both singly and in pairs. Crutches are often used by people who have short-term injuries or permanent disabilities. The types of crutches include the following:
- Axillary or underarm crutches, where a part of the crutch is positioned under the armpit and against the ribcage. There is also a handgrip that users can hold. They are often used for individuals who have short-term injuries.
- Loftstrand or forearm crutches, where the forearm is positioned into a cuff and you hold a hand grip. These crutches are commonly used by people who have long-term disabilities.
- Platform crutches, where a hand holds a grip and the forearm is rested on a horizontal platform. Usually, these crutches are used by people that have weak hand grips due to pre-existing conditions.
Canes are quite similar to crutches in that they are designed to support the weight of the body by relieving the load to another part of the body. In this case, crutches transfer load from the lower body by placing more pressure on the hands and wrists.
Some canes can be folded and some canes can be designed for non-medical purposes. Generally, canes are commonly classified as the following:
- White canes, which are suited for individuals who are visually impaired. These canes are longer and thinner and allow the user to detect objects that stand in their path.
- Quad canes, which have four feet at their wide base to provide enhanced stability.
- Forearm canes, which, as the name suggests, offers more support to the forearm area. These canes can distribute the weight from the wrist to the arm.
Walkers are composed of a metal frame with four legs designed to offer support and stability. Usually, walkers have a 3-sided frame surrounding the user. It functions by having the user lift the frame, place it further away from them and step forward to meet it and so on and so forth.
Some walkers have wheels so that the user can slide the walker instead of lifting it away. Examples of walkers include:
- Rollators, which have a frame consisting of four wheels, a seat and handlebars so that the user can rest.
- Knee walkers, where the user can rest their knee on a padded cushion while pushing themselves forward with their other leg.
- Walker-cane hybrids, which is a cross between a cane and a walker. This walking aid has two legs and can be used with one or both hands. Compared to a standard cane, walker-cane hybrids offer more support.
Wheelchairs are used by people who are unable to put weight on their lower limbs or who simply cannot walk at all. They can be manually propelled or electrically powered. There are even standing wheelchairs where users are supported in an upright position or sports wheelchairs that can be used for certain sports.
Mobility scooters are battery-powered devices that have a seat and can come with 3, 4, or 5 wheels. The user can rest their feet on foot plates and a handlebar allows the user to steer the scooter accordingly. They are often used by people that lack the body strength to operate a manual wheelchair.
There is a wide range of mobility aids on the market and they are all designed to help make the lives of the elderly or people with disabilities and injuries much easier. This boosts their self-esteem and gives them a level of freedom they would otherwise not be able to enjoy.
However, it's important that you only purchase mobility aids from reputable sources. At Get About Mobility, we only offer premium devices at the most competitive prices. This means you can trust every purchase to be safe, effective and durable.