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Choosing the Proper Walking Aid

As people reach the later stages of life they begin to lose some of the abilities they had previously taken for granted. Getting to an advanced age can come with many joys, but it also comes with certain physical detriments. Usually, elderlies begin to face some issues that affect their motor skills to varying degrees. That is the reason behind the use of certain walking aids. These devices are employed to provide assistance when walking, as well as to rely on when suffering from stability issues.

Each walking aid  has features suited for specific necessities. In order to chose the walking device that will bring about the most benefits it is necessary to speak with the person who will be using it. This should be done in order to be aware of which one is their preferred choice, since no other person in the world is suffering from the same physical difficulty. To be certain about the device chosen, the person’s doctor can be consulted.

If elderlies have the option of trying different walking aids, then they should check and use different devices for a period of time, until they are able to find one that makes them feel secure and comfortable.

Currently, there are a wide selection of walking aids ranging from small devices such as canes to large devices such as wheelchairs. In this article we will reference the following mobility devices:

  • Scooters
  • Wheelchair
  • Canes
  • Walkers
  • Rollators

To begin with, scooters are devices similar to wheelchairs, but unlike wheelchairs they are power-operated vehicles. Therefore, even elderly people who have substantially lost their motor skills are able to operate them. As result of several factors, such as the extensive space they take and the distance needed to be able to turn properly, scooters are difficult to use in limited spaces including a house. However, because they do not require any sort of strength, they can be used to advance on large distances in external environments without exhausting the user.

The use of a wheelchair is required when the person is unable to walk by himself/herself due to various reasons. Manual wheelchairs make use of human force to lead movement. If the person is not able to set the device in motion on his or her own by turning the rear wheels, then another individual can push the wheelchair using the handles. There are also electric wheelchairs which are less economical than manual wheelchairs, but they use a motor or a battery to allow the individual to regain a certain level of independence.

The devices that follow can be used by those who are still able to walk on their own but need a sturdy support in order to do so.

There are two main types of canes, single-tip canes and four legged canes. Single-tip canes are perfect for  partially  supporting the burden of walking as well as to help the person maintain the proper equilibrium. Whereas, four legged canes are ideal for those who require more support that whan a regular cane offers, but who still possess their ability to walk using both legs.

Walkers can be categorized into standard and wheeled walkers. Standard walkers posses four rubber tips at the end of each leg, they are more reliable than canes, however they can be complicated to use. While, wheeled walkers usually have two front caster wheels and two back rubber tips. They are extremely secure and can be operated without posing any challenge for the user.

Last but certainly not least, rollators are the most common choice among those with mobility issues. They are devices with wheels in its four legs and with lever brakes to stop or reduce speed when the user deems it necessary. They posses many convenient characteristics, including:

  • They are user-friendly
  • They have a seat for added comfort
  • They posses a tray for carrying items
  • They are safe to use