Anyone who has ever experienced a physical disability of some sort knows just exactly how hard it is to get around without some help. Many buildings have only the most cursory of nods to attempts toward aiding those with disabilities, and older sidewalks often betray that they were designed and created before handicap compatibility laws took effect.
In a world tailored to those without disabilities, mobility aids can be all important in increasing the safety and comfort of getting around. Choosing the right equipment for your lifestyle can be even more important, as doing so further helps you get where you need to go with maximum convenience.
Canes are a lightweight and easily portable aid. They come in single and quad point varieties, with the quad pointed type offering a greater amount of support. Often they are foldable, which means they take up little space and are easy to keep on the body. Canes are great for those who are capable of walking entirely without support, but nonetheless benefit from a bit of extra balance help. The downside of canes is that they only support one side of the body, and may leave the user open to dangerous falls.
Another good option for those who are more or less capable of moving without aid but require extra stability is a walker. Walkers come in standard and wheeled varieties, called Rollators, which are easier to maneuver. Like canes, walkers are lightweight and collapsible for easy transportation. They provide the additional benefits of supporting both sides of the body and preventing falls. The problem with walkers is that use requires both hands, which limits the number of activities that the user can participate in. They can also lead to bad posture with long term use, which can make existing problems worse.
Manual wheelchairs are a good option for those who desire an active lifestyle but cannot move using only their legs. They are collapsible and generally light enough to be easily handled and lifted. Manual wheelchairs allow the user to move quickly and efficiently, all while providing some exercise to maintain muscle tone. The largest drawback to manual wheelchairs is that they are only safe to operate in a more or less flat environment, and are therefore not the best option in many places.
Finally, electric powered wheelchairs and scooters can help those who do not possess the ability or energy to move their legs and arms to live their life independently. These aids can grant freedom of movement to those who otherwise may have difficulty transporting themselves, but tend to be heavy and somewhat bulky. They require an appropriately flat environment for proper function.
For those living with disabilities, mobility aids can make a huge difference in quality of life and ability to live in a desired manner. Ensuring that the right equipment or mix of equipment is in your arsenal can be the key to living an independent and satisfying lifestyle.