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‘takes Steps’ To Find The Right Mobility Equipment

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By Author: Derry Hall
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Modern mobility aids can make a big impact in some people’s lives. There are many different types available, including a wide range of walking aids. If you have limited mobility through injury, illness or disability, you may find there is something out there which is just right for you.

Crutches, walking sticks, walking poles are all good examples of commonly used aids. On top of these, wheeled walking equipment like rollators are also available. All these devices help with your balance and provide support as you walk. They can help when you are walking inside or outside the home.

Select the Correct Size

It is important to make sure you choose a walking aid which is the right size. Consulting an occupational therapist should always be your first port of call. In terms of sizing, as a general rule of thumb, the walking stick handle should be the height of the crease of your wrist, when your arms hang down to your sides. It is the same when you are choosing a walking frame for use at home.

This also applies to the height of the handles if you are using a rollator for outdoor use. It is important to ensure that a rollator is the correct size for you. If it is too small, you will find yourself stooping forwards. This puts pressure on the back.

If the rollator is too large or the handles too high, the user’s shoulders may hunch upwards, which can lead to shoulder or neck pain. Most models have adjustable handles, so they can easily be set to the correct height.

Rollator Wheel Size and Brakes

Four wheeled and three wheeled walkers are widely available. The most stable models are those four wheels. But the three-wheelers can be slightly easier to manoeuvre and are usually more compact.

Larger wheels on rollators tend to be better if you need to climb kerbs regularly. Wheeled walkers for indoor use usually have smaller wheels. Modern models have 360 degree swivelling wheels, providing excellent control.

Most rollators have brakes. In most cases these are similar to those found on bicycles. Before making your choice, ensure that you have the finger and hand strength to operate them.

While the mechanisms are usually lightweight, if you suffer from arthritis in your hands, it could cause issues.

Most brakes are lockable. This means you can engage them, remove pressure and they will not disengage. This is a useful safety feature designed to make sure the rollator does not roll away on its own!

Locking brakes are also good if you want to have a rest and use the rollator as a seat. Four-wheeled mobility aids like this tend to have an in-built seat between the handles. Usually there is a back-rest fitted too.

Many of the seats flip up to allow the rollator to collapse down, either for storage or to go in the car boot. Others feature a wire basket underneath the seat, great for small bags of shopping.

Other wheeled mobility aids include substantial items like wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Some people only need this type of aid at certain times. They may find that for the longish journey to the shops they use their scooter, then get out and walk around the shop itself.

They may be able to do this without help, or possibly with the aid of walking sticks or crutches. Some bags for wheelchairs and scooters have special high pockets on the sides made to hold crutches or sticks. The bags usually attach the back of the chair and many are of substantial size, great for food shopping. Side fitting ‘pannier’ style bags are also available. These fit to the arms of mobility scooters, providing extra carrying space.

More About the Author

Essential Aids provides disability aids, mobility equipment and rehabilitation products to people in the UK.

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