Last Updated on October 1, 2016
Mobility aids are typically reserved for one or two purposes: either the person needs them as part of a rehabilitation program when recovering from an injury, or they’re needed for long-term assistance when an individual has a difficulty with walking that’s more permanent.
Mobility aids are designed to perform one or more of the following functions:
- Allow for greater stability and balance through providing a wider base for support.
- Assist an individual with maintaining an even walking pattern.
- Help with maintaining an upright posture.
- Restore confidence in one’s walking ability.
- Redistribute weight carried by the legs to reduce joint and muscle pain.
In this post, we’ll provide information on the types of mobility aids that are available, beyond what’s available at Williams Lifts. We know you may need assistance throughout the day beyond what a stair lift and ramp can provide, and we want to help point you in the right direction.
Types of Mobility Aids
Walking sticks are well suited for those with slightly reduced balance. How it’s held will depend on the individual and whether they have one leg or one side stronger than the other. Walking sticks are available in metal, wooden, and folded varieties. There are even some walking sticks that can fold out in a seat so breaks can be taken when needed.
Tripod Cane and Quad Canes
These mobility aids are similar to walking sticks, but they have a three or four point base on the bottom for added stability. Because of this, they are able to stand on their own and are overall more stable than your standard walking stick. They are all made of some type of metal, usually aluminum or steel, and are fully adjustable thanks to spring-loaded catches on the shaft.
Crutches are usually used after being recommended by a medical professional. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend the use of crutches unless you have spoken with your doctor or another healthcare professional about it first. These mobility aids are designed to be used in pairs, which means you need good coordination in order to use them correctly.
These mobility aids are typically used by individuals with poor balance and/or weak legs. Walkers can transfer 64% of a person’s body weight throughout the arms of the frame, while a walking stick can only transfer 24% of the person’s body weight. Walkers are available in a wide variety of models, including models with 4 wheels, 2 wheels, or no wheels. For more information about walkers we recommend, please read our blog post on all the different types of walkers.
In addition to stair lifts, ramps, and power lift recliners, these are some of the major types of mobility aids available. If you’re still not sure which one is right for you, you can always visit a medical equipment supply store to try the various types of equipment for yourself.
Keep in mind that no matter what type of equipment you buy, regular maintenance of the equipment is highly recommended. We also recommend that you make sure your home is equipped for safe use of the equipment before bringing it home — that includes removing all potential hazards that might get in the way.
If you have questions about any of the mobility aids mentioned in this post, please contact us or leave a comment below.