Diseases AIDS

What Are Mobility Aids

Introduction

Mobility means the quality of being mobile. What happens to a person when they start to have issues walking or using their legs properly. Being able to get around gives people a sense of independence. It can be very hard for people to try and get around when their legs are not functioning right. There are devices that you can now buy to help you get around. Mobility aids can be anything from a walking stick, cane, scooters, crutches, walkers and gait trainers. These can be of big help to people who have mobility issues and should be used by those that have a problem walking so they do not fall down and get hurt. They are not just for elderly people either, they are for young people as well.

History

The one mobility aids that has been around the longest is the wheel chair. It was first invented by Harry Jennings and his friend Herbert Everest who were mechanical engineers in 1933. Mr. Everest broke his back and the two of them made the first lightweight, collapsible chair and were the first two to mass produce them. There are now different types of wheel chairs. You have your basic manual one that still uses the X-brace design, four wheels and has locks on the wheels. These are used mainly in hospitals to transport patients from rooms to different areas of the hospital for test and procedures. For home use you can get the manual ones that can be customized to the persons needs. Then there is the electric wheel chair. This is a more advanced model of the manual wheel chair, but it has a motor in it to make the wheels move. There is a joy stick that is controlled by the person using it. If for some reason the person can not use the joy stick, the wheel chair can be fitted with what they need to make it move.

Features

Some mobility aids include your basic cane or walking stick. These are good for people who need little support when they are out and no handrails or baskets are available for them to hold onto. Another mobility aid that many people do not think of is crutches. These are used when someone has either broken or sprained a leg or ankle. These are usually short term mobility aids and one does not have to use them for long. In a nursing home or retirement home, you will see more people use walkers than anywhere else. Walkers are excellent mobility aids for elderly people who do not feel stable enough on their feet to walk with out an aid. They help the elderly still keep some of their independence.

Tips and comments

Most people are reluctant to admit that they may need one of the mobility aids that are available to them. You will also have the elderly think that they can not afford them. There are many programs available to help cut down the cost and some insurance companies will also help with the cost.

By Sally Vigil, published at 02/14/2012
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