Whether it is yourself or a relative or someone you care for that has got mobility issues, there is no doubt that they will benefit from some of the excellent mobility aids and products out there on the market. The amount of choice and variety of makes and models can be overwhelming, so let’s take a look at some of the better and most important options.
Look at the feet
Before delving into the more complicated products, it is worth noting that many accidents as well as plenty of discomfort stem from the wearing of inappropriate footwear. Making sure the person in question is wearing supportive slippers in the home (bootee style with zip or Velcro fastening) and supportive, low-heeled, no-slip shoes for outdoors is definitely the first step.
When it comes to freedom, mobility scooters can be life-savers. They can be used to go short distances straight from the home, or loaded into specially adapted cars (we’ll look at that later) for shopping trips around the town. The choice of mobility scooters on the market is now quite staggering. When it comes to choosing, here are some key points to consider:
- Mobility – how easily can they move about? From walking, to sitting and standing (transferring) and adjusting your body while in the scooter.
- Tolerance – How long can they tolerate sitting or standing or even walking?
- Balance – Whether they can remain steady when seated and standing.
- Posture – How they hold their own body.
- Body Weight. Larger people will need a scooter that considers this. Measure and record weight before browsing and then compare with manufacturer’s details.
- Sight, memory, perception and cognition. If visual, perceptual, memory or cognitive abilities are impaired or becoming impaired then mobility scooters are likely to be off the menu.
Once you’ve decided on a mobility scooter, it’s probably time to consider a car hoist for it. Even if a mobility scooter is out of the question, a car hoist is invaluable for standard wheelchairs as well. The general rule of thumb in determining whether your vehicle can be fitted with a car hoist is as follows: as long as you are able to fit your mobility scooter or wheelchair into the gap of the boot then it should be able to cope with a hoist. When the hoist is eventually chosen and fitted it will avoid the need for a change of car and gives great flexibility and freedom to travel.
Mobility in the home
Of course we all spend much of our time at home. Mobility issues dictate that some modifications be made. Two of the most important modifications are easy access showers and adjustable mobility beds. There are so many easy access showers as well as some walk in baths on the market. There is plenty of choice and most suppliers offer good, free advice. Finally, adjustable beds are certainly a must for those with mobility issues as they offer exceptional comfort, flexibility and ease of access to the place we spend most of our time!