Cathie's Corner - What is a mobility aid


What is a mobility aid and which one is best for me?


We are asked on a daily basis: “What is a mobility aid?” and the broad answer is that it is anything that helps you to be more mobile, to move around more easily, more safely, or to get from place to place with less effort and/or more independence.

 

Mostly when people are referring to 'mobility aids' they are talking about physical items, from handy walking sticks, to functional shopping trolleys and rollators or walkers.

 

In my mind the BEST mobility aid you can have is to strengthen your body to be at its best so that you can do everything you want to do for as long as you wish.

 

So, the mobility aids that strengthen us are key to maintaining independence as we manage or recover from injury or illness, or just age gracefully.

 

Here are some examples:


Shopping Trolleys

Embrace the shopping trolley to help you increase your incidental exercise EVERY day – walk to and from the shops to each day's supplies and use your handy shopping trolley to get your groceries or other items home. You’ll get fresh air, eat fresher food, and get stronger, all while improving your cardiovascular fitness at the same time.

 

Playmarket Play care shoppimg trolley

 

 

 

The term 'mobility aid' encompasses lots of things and can mean different things depending on your challenges – many devices are available to help us to be more mobile, to get around more safely and to be more active, it's just a matter of choosing the option that best suits your needs.

 

If you have an injury, are recovering from illness or surgery, or have a condition that makes moving your limbs and particularly walking more difficult, we usually talk about mobility aids as being the whole range of products that are designed to move us, support safe movement, or help us move about.

 

Below we review the range of mobility aids available to help you find the level of mobility support you need and choose the aid/aids that might provide greater freedom, and encourage you to continue doing the things around your home, or in your community, that you want to.

 

In my experience many people are a bit resistant (some VERY resistant) to using mobility aids as they feel that adopting help might signal increasing incapacity or loss of independence, or they might feel that they are “giving in” to needing assistance.

 

To those of you who are just now thinking, “Mmm that could be me she’s referring to, I don’t want a stick, walker, wheelchair or whatever the case may be”, can I just say, what if you could get out more, have more fun, avoid strain or injury, and keep doing the things you love with the people you want to spend time with for a lot longer by 'parking your pride' and embracing the help available? Many people would say "YES please, I’ll do it!".

 

playing with grandchildren while using a rollator

 


Not sure if a mobility aid is right for you?

Have a look at the many types of mobility 'helpers' and supports we have available at Leef. They’re effective, safe and stylish and could have a positive impact on your enjoyment of life.

 

Walking Sticks

There are many varieties of walking sticks to suit all tastes – light-weight foldable options that are a “just in case” support and a bit of a reminder to place your feet carefully, to a more robust stick with a stable rubber foot that you really can lean your whole weight through if you need. Walking sticks can be either a constant companion or an occasional one, taken out when you feel that the terrain or people in it are likely to be more challenging. Acknowledging your strengths and also identifying when supports are needed are great and wise skills to acquire.

 

Walking stick while travelling

 

If you are currently NOT using a walking support (mobility aid) but can sometimes feel unsteady, find yourself searching for things to hold on to, are wary of changing surfaces or rough ground, or cautious in a crowd – then maybe a good walking stick for extra confidence would be a good idea. It is also relevant to note that crowds of pedestrians (you’ll have seen them with their eyes glued to their phone whilst walking!), as well as people on public transport, suddenly seem a bit more considerate when there's a walking stick in your hand!

 

Walking Frames / Rollators

If you are feeling a bit off balance or not confident on your legs when walking or standing for periods of time, you might benefit from a secure symmetrical support such as you would gain from a lightweight indoor and/or outdoor rollator. There are so many choices. Think about the terrain, whether you will need to fold and lift it (or if not you, who will be doing this for you), and whether it will be going out to small cafes or more to open spaces, to help you choose the size, weight, and folding attributes accordingly.

 

Many people will use a walker out of the home as it can have the added advantage of providing a seat for a rest wherever you are, and is a further protection against being bumped in a crowd, however, they will use a walking stick around the home. In fact, many walkers (also known as rollators) have a walking stick holder so that you can walk with the walker to get to a destination then park it and just use the walking stick for support in getting around inside where space might be tight.

 

using walker in home

 

If you think you could be in need of some mobility assistance, don’t allow it to put you off doing the activities you enjoy - instead, have a chat to a health expert about your needs and/or chat with a friendly & knowledgable Leef Team member at one of our 16 store locations around Australia about options that might help you to feel more confident and enable you to keep doing the things you love.

 

Our team have years of experience in finding the right products and will tailor the solutions based on your needs.
Find and contact your nearest store here:


 

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