It is a growing trend that individuals with mobility issues due to disease, aging, or accident remain in their own home and receive the necessary care in their residence rather than in some institution. The types of actual services provided vary according to the person being served but the goal is to provide the therapies and tools necessary to make life easier. While services from a professional are often necessary, it may be the category of tools called Mobility Aids which are most important. A mobility aid is any device that is designed to assist the walking or movement of those with limited mobility. Some of the most commonly used aids are described below.
The most critical need for many with mobility issues is simply to have support while walking. These aids come in the form of crutches, canes, and walkers and give the individual the ability to move from place to place. A person who is at risk of falling due to general weakness or poor balance could also benefit from these assists. The type and size of the assist that is most appropriate should be discussed with a therapist.
Even those who walk easily may have difficulty navigating steps and, as you may have seen in TV ads, the staircase can be the most dangerous place in the home for someone with limited mobility. A chair lift for stairs like Easy Climber is one option to help individuals remain independent. This easy solution will allow residents the freedom to use the entire house rather than be confined to one floor.
Wheelchairs and Motorized Scooters
When walking is difficult or impossible even with assists, an individual might benefit from a wheelchair or scooter. For someone with upper body strength, a standard wheelchair that can be self-propelled would improve their lives. For others who cannot move or are limited in their arms, a lighter weight sports model is perfect. These are light enough to be pushed by an aide or they can be battery powered. In either case, they can be folded and easily lifted into a vehicle for times when it is necessary to leave the house. Scooters are being made smaller and can be loaded into a midsize van or SUV.
Speaking of the outdoors, it is a great advantage to be able to be outside whether to attend appointments, to dine out, to socialize, or just to enjoy the fresh air. It is important to note that exterior steps do not make the home a prison. First of all, there are stair lifts designed to withstand the weather and be used outside the home. Second, if a lift is not possible, a permanent or even portable ramp could provide all the independence a person needs.
People with mobility issues generally spend most of the day sitting in one place. For that reason, it is important that they have something comfortable to sit on. In addition, after sitting for hours, it is often difficult to stand due to the stiffness caused by inactivity. The perfect solution is a Lift Chair. This is a new type of recliner that has an electrical lifting mechanism that lifts the chair into the air to give the person a boost and make it easier to transfer. These chairs are well cushioned and have back and leg rests that provide maximum comfort. There are also crane type lifts that act as harnesses to lift the person, wheel them from one place to another, and then set them back down. These lifts could be used to transfer from a chair to a bed or from a wheelchair to a walk-in shower or bathtub.
Choosing any of these devices takes time and research and should be done with the aid of a therapist or other healthcare professional. Each device can be customized to accommodate the height, weight, and capability level of the person using them and it is important that you get the right fit. These tools are designed for comfort and safety and to make mobility a little easier for those who currently struggle. When the tools and the person are a match, staying active at home can be a beautiful thing.