Recover your independence with the right mobility aid available at Mobility 1st
There are many options to keep in mind when purchasing the right mobility aid that will suit your needs. Mobility devices were designed to help people move around easier and recover their freedom.
According to the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Journal, mobility limitations represent the third most prevalent cause of disability, affecting more than 1.9 million Canadians. Physiotherapists and doctors often prescribe walking aids to reduce the impact of mobility impairments.
Older adults, people with disabilities, and people who have suffered injuries are at a higher risk of falling. These are three of the many reasons people choose to use assistive devices that will make their short or long-term process agreeable.
There are several benefits that devices provide to users, including more independence, alleviating pain, and increasing confidence and self-esteem.
The type of mobility aid you need will depend on your mobility issue or injury and what your physician has recommended. Below are the most common mobility aids available at Mobility 1st Ltd.
Assistive canes are useful for people who are unable to remain up straight and steady. This could be a short-term solution for those that may be at risk of falling.
The way canes work is they support the body’s weight and transfer that load from the legs to the upper body. Common types of canes include:
- Single point canes: These have a single support point.
- Quad canes/Tripod canes: These have several support points at the end of the cane, providing a wider base and greater stability.
- Flex N-Go canes: These are adjustable, foldable, and easy to store in a handbag.
- Seat Canes: These are walking canes that when unfolded become a stool. These are for people who get tired easily due to a medical condition or simply need to take a break.
Crutches can be used singly or in pairs. They help to transfer weight from the legs to the upper body. Crutches also help a person stay upright and may be used by those with short-term injuries or permanent disabilities.
Different types of crutches include:
- Underarm aluminum crutches: This crutch is placed against the ribcage under the armpits, while users hold onto the hand grip. Typically used by those with short-term injuries.
- Forearm crutches: This type of crutch involves placing the arm into a metal or plastic cuff and holding a hand grip. Commonly used by people with long-term disabilities.
- Platform crutches: The forearm rests on a horizontal platform while a hand holds a grip. Usually used by people with a weak hand grip or people who have medical conditions such as arthritis or cerebral palsy. These are not commonly used by customers, but they are available as special orders. Please, give us a call for more details if interested in these types of crutches.
Walkers are made up of a metal framework and usually are available with 3 or 4 four legs to provide stability and support to the user.
A basic walker has no wheels. Other walkers will have 2 front wheels on the base of the legs, which means the user can slide the walker rather than lift it. This is helpful for people with limited arm strength.
Types of walkers beyond the basic model include:
- Rollators: This style of walker consists of a frame with four wheels, adjustable handlebars, and comfortable seating so the person can rest as needed. Rollators also include hand breaks as a safety feature and a front basket for personal storage. Other accessories available are cup holders, cane holders, and curb lifters.
- Knee walker: Also known as knee scooter. This mobility aid allows the user to rest their knee on a padded cushion while propelling themselves forward with their stronger leg. Usually used by people who have a broken ankle or are recovering from foot surgery.
- Walker-cane hybrids: This mobility device has two legs rather than a full frame. It can be used with one or both hands and provides greater support than a standard cane. These are not commonly used by our clients. Please ask one of our sales representatives at Mobility 1st for availability in this type of walker and how you can order one.
Wheelchairs are suitable for people with severe disabilities or when walking over greater distances is an impediment. Mostly used by people who should not put weight on their lower limbs or who are unable to walk. Types of wheelchairs include:
- Manual Wheelchairs: These can be manually propelled by the user or pushed by someone else.
- Electric wheelchairs: These types of wheelchairs include a joystick to control the direction to where the chair is going. Other features include speed adjustment, comfortable seating, wider footplates, horn, and visible battery life.
For those who are not able to manage a manual wheelchair and who need more precise handling than a scooter, power wheelchairs are the ideal choice.
Our EasyFold PRO 2.0 power wheelchair is great for everyday travel and anybody can use it. It can be easily folded in seconds into a very compact and portable size. It even fits on a sedan’s trunk.
Other electric wheelchairs such as the Invacare TDX, Q6 Edge, and Quantum are custom power chairs. Usually, a person must be assessed by an Occupational Therapist first as they will be the ones who take measurements and help people find the right power chair according to their medical needs. If you are interested in these types of electric wheelchairs and would like to learn about government funding available, please call us at 519-201-0409 and President Robin Stevens will gladly help you!
Mobility scooters are advantageous for those without the physical strength or flexibility to use a manual wheelchair.
Many of Mobility 1st clients have shared their experience on how owning a mobility scooter has impacted their lives positively.
Mobility1st offers the widest range of affordable scooters in South Western Ontario and Canada Wide. We offer over 40 unique scooters from the best reputable brands in the industry. Whether you are looking for a 3 wheel or 4-wheel scooter, various sizes and portable options, we have them all!
Common scooters features include wider footrest, adjustable tiller or handlebars, visible battery life, horn, and front basket. Typically, battery powered, but manual option is also available in case of batteries dying.
In-home Safety Modifications
There are different affordable options that can help people using mobility aids at home and other areas where the surface is uneven, and heights vary. Here are some aids to consider:
- Portable Ramps. These are essential for people to own if they are unable to walk up or down the stairs. These are usually lightweight and portable so they can be used almost anywhere.
- Straight or Curved Stair lifts. These electric devices move people up and down along the staircase while comfortably seated.
- Grab bars or handrails. These are must-haves in bathrooms and around the home to provide support and stability to people with mobility issues.
There is not a right or wrong answer as to who can benefit from using mobility aids. Anyone who has a mobility issue, whether temporary or long-term, can benefit from assistive devices. However, the right mobility aid used will depend on your physician’s recommendation and medical condition.
What are the risks of using mobility aids?
Just as mobility devices can provide numerous benefits to people, there is often a risk of injury associated with their use.
In some cases, underarm crutches may cause a condition called crutch paralysis. This is often caused by excess pressure on the nerves in the armpit. Improper use of mobility aids may contribute to other injuries.
People using a new assistive device should consult with their family doctor or physical therapist to learn about their benefit and how to effectively use the device.
Mobility 1st is ready to help you find the right mobility aid that works for your needs. Please, give us a call at 519-204-0109 for further questions and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you.
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