Guest Post By Joe Fleming of ViveHealth
Anxious about considering a mobility aid to help you get around? The thought of your disease or condition getting to a point which requires mobility help can be heartbreaking. And, especially if you are younger, the embarrassment or ridicule you anticipate for having to use a mobility aid might be hard to swallow.
Mobility aids can be empowering, assistive devices that not only help you get around easier, but fuel your own self-drive and independence. While you may be hesitant to try an assistive device to stay mobile, the benefits of using one include reduced stress in executing everyday tasks, decreased risk for falls and injuries, and increased energy and endurance.
Mobility aids typically include:
- Motorized Scooters
- Chair and/or Bath Lifts
Depending on the difficulties and issues you experience with walking, standing, and balancing, the type of mobility aid that best suits you may vary.
You made need a mobility aid if:
- You have difficulty walking – If traversing flat surfaces is difficult and induces unwanted pressure on your back and legs, a mobility aid like a walker or cane can provide the support you need.
- Your balance and coordination are off – Trouble balancing may be a symptom of your disease or associated with “dizziness” that may be a side effect of medication. Loss of balance and coordination can require mobility aids, from canes to wheelchairs, that support you and prevent falls.
- You’ve experienced multiple falls – If the number of falls you experience has increased of late, or if they happen in one particular place (like the bath), it might not be clutter or slippery surfaces to blame. Lack of stability and strength in your legs, knees, and feet could require a mobility aid to help you stay upright when mobile, and get in and out of specific areas with ease (i.e. a bath chair could lift you in and out of a tub).
- You’re in recovery – Recovering from an injury or illness-related surgery? A mobility aid might be a necessity to assist in the healing process and can help you feel able-bodied and independent as you recover.
- You’re regularly fatigued – Outside of ‘resting fatigue’ you may experience with a disease or illness, lackluster endurance and a constant feeling of being tired after you have walked somewhere is a good indicator you could use a mobility aid.
- You have difficulty standing – If standing is painful, causes built-up pressure on your spine or legs, or is difficult to do for more than 10 minutes at a time, a mobility aid can assist you and prevent unnecessary discomfort.
- You have trouble traveling stairs – Going up and down stairs can be the most difficult task for someone experiencing mobility problems. If you notice extra difficulty and discomfort with traversing stairs, a mobility aid can go beyond what a railing may do in helping support your stability and movement.
- You’ve stopped bearing weight – If weakness or increased muscle stiffness and spasticity are preventing you from bearing weight on your feet, this is another good indicator a mobility aid might be of use to you.
Conserve energy and boost activity levels with a mobility aid that assists you in everyday errands, working, traveling, and trying new hobbies as you get older.
Even if getting up to walk across the room is a breeze, if a trip to the grocery store completely wears you out, simple assistance from a mobility aid might be just what you need to take control and get more done.