Mobility aids are invaluable devices. They can change the life of an older person by alleviating discomfort and at the same time, reinstating their independence.
With mobility limitations currently affecting an estimated 35% of the 70-plus population and the majority of those aged over 85, the need for assistance in this area is crucial. But where to begin? With so many makes and models on the market at present, it can be hard to decide which mobility aid is the top choice for the individual in question.
In this article, we explore which mobility aids are available, what function they serve and how to choose the perfect fit for your elderly loved one.
What are the different types of mobility aids available and who are they suitable for?
With so much choice available in the context of mobility aids, it’s important to first research what purpose each one serves and who they are most suited to, in terms of the level of mobility limitations.
Wheelchairs are typically recommended for individuals with more significant mobility limitations. They are available in manual or electric models; manual wheelchairs require the user or a caregiver to propel them, while electric wheelchairs are motorised and can be operated with a joystick or control panel. Wheelchairs provide mobility and independence for individuals who are unable to walk or have difficulty walking long distances.
Mobility scooters are battery-powered vehicles designed for outdoor use. They offer a comfortable seat, handlebars or a steering tiller, and multiple wheels for stability. They are an excellent option for individuals who have limited mobility but still desire to move around outdoors and cover more significant distances.
Walking frames and rollators
Walking frames provide stability and support for individuals who require assistance while walking. They typically have four legs with rubber tips for traction and hand grips for holding onto. They can be used indoors and outdoors and are suitable for individuals with balance or strength issues.
Rollators are quite similar to walking frames, but they include wheels on the legs, allowing for easier manoeuvrability. They often feature handbrakes, a seat for resting and a storage basket. Rollators are beneficial for individuals who need support while walking but also desire the option to sit down when needed.
Walking canes are single-pointed sticks that provide balance and support for individuals with mild mobility challenges. They come in various designs, including standard canes, quad canes (with four legs for increased stability), and offset canes (with an angled handle for better weight distribution).
What to consider before choosing a mobility aid
When it comes to mobility aids, a ‘one size fits all’ approach simply won’t work. There are several boxes to tick before choosing the correct model that will make a drastic difference in the user’s life.
1. Find out what mobility limitations need to be addressed
From speaking with your loved one to consulting their doctor, it’s important to cover all bases to ensure you have a clear idea of the extent of the mobility challenges they are facing and which device will provide the most appropriate solution.
2. Consider the user’s environment and lifestyle
Evaluate the places where the individual will primarily use the mobility aid. Consider factors such as indoor versus outdoor use, manoeuvrability in tight spaces, and the terrain they will encounter.
3. Speak to a specialist provider of mobility aids to ensure comfort and correct fit
To ensure that the mobility aid provides proper comfort and support, it’s best to speak to the experts. They will consider important factors you may not be aware of such as seat height, cushioning, handlebar height and grip comfort.
Regain mobility and independence with the help of O Neill Healthcare
When it comes to selecting the right mobility aid, we know that one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why our team of experts at O Neill Healthcare is dedicated to providing personalised solutions tailored to individual needs.
With our extensive range of mobility products, including wheelchairs, mobility scooters and a wide array of mobility aids, we aim to enhance comfort, support and stability for our clients. Our products are designed with both functionality and comfort in mind, ensuring that your loved ones can navigate their surroundings with ease.
Get in touch with our friendly team today to learn more about our range of mobility products. We’re here to answer your questions, provide guidance and assist you in finding the ideal solution for your loved ones’ mobility needs.
Don’t forget to also visit our blog, where you’ll find valuable information, tips and insights on mobility aid selection, usage and maintenance.