Common Devices to Aid Individuals with Limited Mobility

Whether due to age or industry, finding yourself with new limits regarding your mobility can be frustrating. Often, it leads to a lowered sense of independence, to which it can be difficult to adjust. However, there is a wide variety of devices that can help you regain the level of freedom you once had.

Some mobility aids feature notable amounts of technology while others use basic physics to compensate for a lack of mobility. Regardless of the mechanisms involved, if a simple device can help you manage your life more effectively, it is worth considering.

To help you understand the types of mobility devices that are available on the market today, here is an overview of some of the solutions.

Canes, Crutches, and Walkers

Some of the most commonly recognized mobility devices are canes, crutches, and walkers. All of these are designed to help those with issues walking, whether due to injury or aging, maintain a level of independence. Often, which option is used depends on the nature of the person’s condition. For example, someone who recently sustained an injury to a leg, including the knee or ankle, may be prescribed a set of crutches. This allows them to move around more freely while eliminating any excess pressure on the injured leg.

Canes are often a more long-term solution designed to provide a source of support to an injured leg. They are typically more convenient to manage than crutches and can be suitable in cases where just a light level of support is required to maintain stability or relieve some of the weight normally placed on the leg or joint.

Walkers are often used by those who require significant support or have balance issues. The frame helps promote stability, allowing them to walk with greater ease. Additionally, they can come equipped with other features, such as built-in seats for individuals that can’t stand for long periods of time, or even bags to hold personal belongings without having to physically carry a bag on one’s person.

One variant of the walker that has features similar to a scooter is a knee walker. These provide support to one leg, with the lower leg placed on a pad with the knee bent, while leaving the other on the ground. Effectively, the injured leg remains elevated, making it an ideal choice for those with lower leg, ankle, or foot injuries.

Scooters and Wheelchairs

For individuals that either cannot walk due to an injury or age or cannot walk for prolonged periods of time, then a scooter or wheelchair may be a better option than the walking aids above. These allow a person to remain seated, removing any required use of the legs for mobility. Scooters are typically motorized devices, allowing the person to control how they move through a space based on the provided steering mechanisms. Wheelchairs can be either manual or electric, allowing a person to choose a solution that works best for them.

Both wheelchairs and scooters can be equipped with various accessories, including bags and baskets. These provide methods for carrying and storing items without having to leave them on your lap or slung over a shoulder.

Reacher Grabbers

Sometimes, the issue is less with getting oneself around, but with reaching items placed above or below a comfortable movement limit. However, these issues can be relieved with a suitable reacher grabber. These devices are based on a long pole with a grabbing mechanism located on one end.

When the person needs to get an item from a high shelf or off the floor, the person just grabs the handle end and directs the grabbing mechanism toward the desired item. Once the arms of the grabber are around the desired object, the person just pulls the trigger of the reacher grabber to close the arms around the item. Then, the simply lower the item to a convenient location and release.

Transfer Benches and Grab Bars

For individuals that have trouble moving themselves in and out of bath tubs, transfer benches can be an ideal solution. They provide an alternative to having to either sit on the floor of the tub, a position that can be challenging to lower oneself into or get up from, or standing in a shower, which can be a challenge for those with balance issues.

Often, these seats are designed with appropriate handles and stable feet. This allows the person to simply sit on the bench and, if necessary, slide or shift into position.

Some transfer benches are even designed to allow a person to more easily use the toilet, allowing them to maintain a level of independence without compromising hygiene.

Grab bars also accomplish similar goals by allowing a person to use some of their upper body strength to make moving into or out of bath tubs, as well as onto or off of toilets, a more manageable task. Traditionally, sophisticated grab bars offer multiple grip points and a significant amount of weight-bearing strength. However, these may need to be secured to a wall to provide necessary support, a task that may need to be managed by a professional installer.

Bed Rails

Bed rails provide individuals with issues getting into or out of bed a point of support. They can help a person go from a lying to a sitting position, or to properly orient themselves on the bed. Often, these are either standalone supports or devices that are secured to the bed frame. However, some options are actually supported between the mattress and the box spring, making them suitable for use on most bed types.

Choosing Mobility

Mobility devices have been created to provide individuals with alternative methods for handling daily tasks. In the end, all mobility devices are designed to help you live the best life possible whether you are healing from an injury or suffering from a long-term condition that restricts your ability to move easily on your own. So, if one of these can help you reclaim your independence, then consider making the investment.

About the Author Nurse Susan, RN

I have always been passionate about helping people heal. After I retired from my lifelong career as a nurse, that passion didn’t go away. That’s why I started this site. I encountered all sorts of medical products during my years as a nurse, and now I want to use that knowledge to help you make the best choices for your health. I know how the right product can change someone’s life for the better, so I’m here to help you find the best medical products to keep you and your family healthy, active, and happy.