A step towards better mobility
We’ve mentioned before in previous blogs how being able to get out and about can massively impact physical ability and mental health, and because it is such an important concept we thought we should cover the walking aids that are available.
Many people of varying ages use these in an effort to promote improved recovery, an improved state of mind and allow them to meet up with family and friends.
There are many different aids to help with walking, each designed to suit individual requirements. If you’re looking for extra support when walking we hope the information below will help you.
If you are able to get around reasonably well but just want that extra confidence when standing or walking to the shops or even the next room a walking stick could be just what you need.
Surprisingly there is more of a range of walking stick than you would think. You can choose from a range of walking stick types, including:
- Folding walking sticks
- Shock absorbing walking sticks
- Height adjustable sticks with foldable seats
- Wide base 3-point contact/tripod sticks for maximum stability
- Heavy duty sticks to take extra weight
- All-terrain canes which can be used on virtually any surface
The above walking sticks can come with a range of handles to suit the user:
- Swan-shaped handles which keeps the user’s weight directly over the shaft providing better balance
- Straight, T-shaped handles which allows for the user to get their hand right round and makes for a better grip
- Anatomic and ergonomic grip handles are ideal for arthritic or sensitive hands as they spread the user’s weight evenly and can reduce discomfort
Crutches are often associated with broken legs or feet but can be used to make life more bearable when recovering from other conditions or even just to add a bit more confidence to the walk around the house.
They come in two types, underarm and forearm, and are often made from aluminium which makes them lightweight but strong enough to cope with various weights and outdoor use. They often come with a number of features to help support your needs including:
- Adjustable centre tubes to offer additional strength
- Adjustable forearms for comfort and to suit your height
- Slip-resistant ferrules (or feet)
- PVC impact absorbing handgrips
These are also known as Zimmer frames and have been designed to help individuals move about inside or outside thanks to their lightweight, strong aluminium frame and rubber capped legs.
All frames come with adjustable height but there are a few variations to the basic model. These include:
- Baskets to help the user carry small light items
- Foldable frames for easy storage or packing in the car or on the bus
- Narrower designs should the doorways in your home be narrow
- Seats to allow the user to take a quick rest should they become tired easily
- The option of wheels on the back two legs
Rollators or Walkers
These devices are most suited to those who would struggle to lift a frame or who want to venture a little further. These can come with 3 wheels, 4 wheels and there are even 2-in-1 rollators which can convert to a transit chair to allow friends or family to assist over short distances.
A 3-Wheel rollator will help reduce the risk of you falling and will sometimes include a built-in basket for you to store your shopping. These have been carefully designed to help you maintain balance whether there are items in the basket or not.
4-Wheel rollators often include baskets and a seat if you need to stop for a rest.
As with all disability equipment, which type you need depends greatly on your level of movement and what you want to get from its usage.
The best way to ensure you are looking at the right one is to visit your preferred disability equipment supplier and test some. Also, never feel pressured by the sales person. You will know better than them as to which is better for you.
If you have experience in using any of these walking aids and have helpful advice for others, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch here.