Mobility aids are pieces of equipment that are designed to assist people in moving around. Mobility aids can be used for multiple reasons ranging from a broken foot to long-term back disorders to neuromuscular disorders. With each of these reasons and based on severity, comes a different piece of equipment – some of the main pieces of equipment that a person who requires mobility assistance would use are:
There are also a number of additional pieces of equipment or accessories that can be used in conjunction with a mobility aid. These would be things that when used in combination with a mobility aid, provide an enhanced experience for the user. Some mobility aid accessories are:
- Cane tips and comfort grips
- Safety roller clip-on baskets
- Tote bags
- Rollator cushions
Mobility aids provide numerous benefits to people who have been affected by an injury, disease, neural disorder, etc. Some of the biggest benefits include:
- Increased Stability: Mobility aids provide additional points of contact which can prevent potential injuries caused by instability.
- Less Joint/Limb Pressure: Using a mobility aid provides huge benefits to your limbs by reducing the amount of pressure placed on them by your body weight. This is particularly useful in situations where a person has had an injury, like a broken foot, and is required to temporarily alleviate any physical stress from the limb.
- Overall Exercise: By simply moving your body you increase your overall heart rate which in itself is an enormous benefit to the body. As a result, your immune system is strengthened, your sleep quality increases, and stress levels decrease to name a few.
Mobility Aid General Care
As previously mentioned, there is a long list of benefits to using a mobility aid, but to be able to fully experience the benefits of these pieces of equipment, regular maintenance and care are very important. Much like a car or motorcycle, if a mobility device is not maintained you will likely encounter performance issues. Luckily, with regular check-ups and general care, keeping your device in good shape should not be a problem. Below are some main areas to monitor and how to make sure you get the most out of your mobility aid.
- Metal Surfaces: To maintain the structural integrity of your aid it is important to keep all surfaces, crevasses, and joints clean. It is recommended that you wipe these areas with a clean, damp cloth regularly. This will deter erosion and weak spots from forming.
- Wheels and Axles: Regular inspection of wheels and axels is extremely important with mobility aids. It is crucial for all wheels and axels to be functioning properly as they are the pieces that truly allow mobility. Furthermore, if not maintained, can result in an injury caused by a fall or loss of balance.
- Locks/Brakes: Mobility is important but so is the ability to stop and slow down when necessary. Not being able to can lead to many dangerous situations that can easily be avoided with lock and brake maintenance. Ensuring that brakes are securely fastened to the frame of your device and functioning properly can easily be done by performing frequent inspections.
There are other smaller areas that require regular maintenance but are sometimes overlooked. Some more minor but essential areas to monitor on mobility aids are things like:
- Cane Grips: Has it been put on the handle properly so it and your hand will not slip off?
- Cane Tips: If not properly attached can result in a slip and fall.
- Cane/Crutch Height: Having your aid set too high or low can lead to instability. Regular check-ups can help avoid this.
Overall, frequent inspection of your mobility device is essential in maximizing its performance and providing you with the best experience. Unlike most cars and motorcycles, these inspections can be done in the comfort of your own home by yourself or a loved one and generally done with household equipment.