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Four commonly used mobility aids that can change the lives of disabled people

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People with disabilities heavily depend on mobility aids and devices to keep them going so that they can be on their own and need minimal assistance to carry out their daily activities.  From crutches, sticks, and walking frames to wheelchairs and tricycles, there are plenty of devices that help to improve the personal mobility of disabled persons. Staying immobile can be a frightening experience as it robs people of their liberty to move around and can cause severe mental stress. Whether the disability happens at some stage in life or an in-born infirmity that affects the ability to move around, invariably people would need some kind of aid or device to overcome the limitation to some extent. Luckily, a wide assortment of mobility equipment is available today, some with very advanced technologies that can change the lives of disabled people.

In this article, we will discuss four commonly used mobile aids that assure freedom of movement and contributes to better living. However, to learn more about personal mobility aids, log on to disabilityfriendlylv.com.


Walking aids


Walking sticks, crutches, and walking frames are some of the walking aids that assist people while undergoing rehabilitation programs when recovering from injuries or provide long term assistance for disabled people. The selection of the appropriate device depends on the kind of assistance you need, as well as the home environment and your lifestyle. Walking equipment provides a wider support base that offers greater balance and stability, thereby aiding the process of walking in terms of evenness of stride and speed while maintaining an upright body structure. Ultimately it gives you the confidence in your walking ability.

Crutches


Only a healthcare professional can give the right advice about using crutches by defining exactly what you need. Crutches are designed for use in pairs, and it needs good coordination of the body to use it correctly.  Sometimes it might be necessary to use a single crutch but only if a physiotherapist advises it. Crutches help to overcome the difficulties in walking that happen from an injured foot, ankle, or leg. 

Crutches are of three types – Elbow crutches, forearm crutches and underarm of Axilla crutches.

Elbow crutches – These are the most common type of crutches and available as single or double adjustable types. The single adjustable crutches allow you to adjust the height between the floor and handgrip while the double adjustable type has an additional facility of adjusting the distance between the handgrip and cuff.
Forearm crutches – These crutches suit people who use their forearm to bear the weight of the body instead of using the hand and wrist for it. The height is adjustable, and the device has a gutter armrest that supports and distributes the user's body weight across the forearm. 
Underarm crutches – Also known as Axilla, these crutches have height adjustment facility between the axilla pad and handgrip. When using the crutches, avoid leaning on the underarm pad as it can put pressure on important nerves that run through the armpit and interrupt blood flow.

Wheelchairs


People with stability and balance issues would be comfortable in using manual wheelchairs, but those who have other physical infirmities and lack the strength to operate manual wheelchairs would do good to use electric wheelchairs, but these are expensive.  The weight of the wheelchair determines how comfortably a person can operate it manually and many wheelchairs are made from a lightweight material like titanium that makes it easy to operate and manage the equipment on your own or by caregivers as well as when transporting it. Adding accessories to wheelchairs enhances the convenience as users can enjoy the ride on the device even more. Adding a cup holder and a pouch to the wheelchair makes it easy to shop around and enjoy your social activities. A comfortable seat made from memory foam or gel provides the cushion that allows sitting on the chair for a longer time without muscle fatigue.

Electric wheelchairs are battery-driven and have control device for speed control and direction changing when moving around. By using a joystick, you can attain very finer movements that are not possible with manual wheelchairs.  Regardless of whether it is manual or power-driven, some wheelchairs are foldable that makes it easy to transport. 

Knee walkers

Knee walkers are another type of walking equipment that can substitute wheelchairs and scooters. The equipment design resembles unicycles with a seat and handlebars with brakes. You can sit on it and use your foot and legs to push the equipment for moving around. This is ideal for someone who has an injury on one leg while the other leg is fit to provide the needed support. After sitting on the equipment, you can rest your injured leg on a shelf or padded hammock and push the walker along with the help of your healthy leg. Some other design of knee walkers allows users to keep their hands free when using the equipment, which gives more freedom. Just imagine a unicycle with wider wheels or dual wheel system, and you can figure out what the design of the equipment is like. You can add some accessory like a basket that enhances user convenience.


Scooters


The similarities in the manner of use of power wheelchairs and scooters sometimes make people use the terms interchangeably, although the design and features of the equipment are quite different. The basic similarity is that both the devices are power-driven that suits people who have a weaker torso that hinders managing the equipment manually.  The joystick of a powered wheelchair that is used for controlling the equipment is absent in scooters that have handlebars instead of steering the equipment. However, scooters are suitable for outdoor use only on pavements, walkways, and sidewalks, and it has appropriate tires to withstand the conditions. The easy to operate equipment is a choice only for those who have the physical ability to control it.
The range of mobility devices covers the needs of people with various kinds of disabilities, and you will always get the equipment that you need.


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