14% of Americans have a mobility disability, so performing everyday tasks like sitting, walking, or getting out of bed in the morning can present challenges. Having the right aids and equipment can be critical to ensure independent living. Mobility devices for persons with disabilities are engineered to assist those with challenges moving around. These tools can transform an adult or child’s life by helping them conduct routine tasks.
Keep reading to find out the answer to the question, what are the different types of mobility devices?
Mobility Equipment Types
Mobility devices for persons with disabilities depend on the issue or injury. The most common aids include:
Canes are the most straightforward mobility tool that supports human weight and transfers the load from the lower to the upper half of the body. Canes are best for those who have difficulty balancing and are at risk of falling. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 adults over 65 years of age uses a cane in the U.S. Three cane types are available:
- Forearm – these provide extra support and allow for improved weight distribution from the wrist to the arm.
- Quad – this cane type has four feet at the cane’s end, offering greater stability due to a broader base.
- White – white canes were created for the visually impaired. The primary differences are this cane type is thinner and longer than traditional canes allowing users to detect objects when walking forward. These also inform others that the user is visually impaired or blind. These canes are often foldable or adjustable.
Crutches are another tool that transfers weight from the legs to the arms, torso, and shoulders to take the pressure off the legs, feet, or ankles. Crutches can be used as a solo crutch under one arm or in pairs under two arms. Those with permanent or short-term injuries can use this mobility aid to help keep them upright.
The most popular crutch types include:
- Forearm – the forearm crutch type places the arms into plastic or metal cuffs with a hand grip. Those with permanent disabilities commonly use forearm crutches.
- Platform – with this crutch type, hands hold a grip with the forearm resting on a horizontal platform. Those with a weak hand grip because of cerebral palsy or arthritis are the most common individuals who use platform crutches.
- Underarm – the user of an underarm crutch places the top padded area of the unit under the armpits and against the ribcage while holding onto a grip further down on the crutch. These are commonly used by individuals afflicted with short-term injuries.
Walkers are constructed from a metal framework with four legs that offer support and stability. Around 46 percent of U.S. adults over 65 use this walking tool. The most basic walkers feature a three-sided frame that surrounds the user as they move. The individual lifts the entire structure and places it further in front of their body, then steps forward to meet it until they reach the desired destination. More advanced walkers have glides or wheels on the legs so the owner can slide the walker instead of constantly lifting it as they move.
Wheelchairs are utilized by those who cannot put weight on lower limbs or cannot walk. They are a better option than walkers for individuals with severe disabilities or who struggle with traveling greater distances. Wheelchairs are available in manual form, where the user propels forward by rolling the wheels or electrically powered.
Another of the best mobility devices for persons with disabilities is the scooter, which has a seat on top of three, four, or five wheels. The user’s foot rests on plates with steering wheels or handlebars to control the direction. Since scooters need to be used by those traveling lengthy distances, they are almost always battery-powered.
Home or office modifications can be installed to help navigate within a structure or areas of surface height changes, including:
Handrails are added to many entrances and restrooms to deliver stability and support for those with mobility issues.
Access ramps are critical to those who cannot manage stairs. This includes individuals with crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, or scooters.
Stair lifts move individuals and wheelchairs up and down stairs through the floor or a staircase wall and are perfect mobility devices for persons with disabilities. Lifts can also be used in vans or other vehicles to help those with mobility issues enter and exit.
Toilet Incline Lifts
Toilet incline lifts are considerably helpful for those who need restroom use but struggle with sitting down and standing up. The incline lift moves forward to align with the body so that the user can lean back or forward, then shift the lift down to the toilet seat.
If you need a mobility solution to assist with a disability, injury, or another ailment, contact the team at Mobility 123 today!