Choosing a mobility aid that fits your needs and lifestyle can overwhelming. Accepting having to use one is another story and doesn’t always take place before the need arises.
Getting used to the idea that a mobility aid will enhance your life isn’t always easy, and neither is choosing one that fits your needs and lifestyle. Which of the following is your mobility match?
Whether this step takes place before or after you begin using one, you still need to figure out which mobility aid is going to be the best fit for your needs and lifestyle so you don’t waste precious time and money on ones that aren’t a fit.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee-drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article should be mistaken for medical advice…
Mobility Aid for Balance
Is balance an issue for you?
Do you find that you need a little something to help keep you upright as you move about your home or while on the go?
Canes are a fantastic option when you need a little stability. I prefer one that is able to stand upright by itself. There is no need to find somewhere to hang them, nor do they slide off of rails, chairs, etc., and onto the floor.
Walking down dark hallways or outdoors after sunset can be dangerous, even with a cane. A cane equipped with a flashlight is the perfect solution!
Canes don’t have to be boring and cute ones don’t have to be extravagant, like the blue diamond cane that Selma Blair rocked at the Oscars.
Another option for stability in the home is a basic walker. I do not recommend it for outdoor use as it doesn’t have wheels, but it is a safer option than a rollator for indoor use.
I am currently using forearm crutches. Traditional under-the-arm crutches have never been an option for me. Not sure if it has anything to do with my chronic illnesses are not, but the pain in my armpits and the muscle soreness I experience are too much to handle, no matter how little I use them.
Mobility aid that provides balance and a place to rest while on the go
I have been using a rollator for balance while on the go since 2007. However, my rollator solves more problems besides aiding my stability. It gives me a place to sit when my feet, knees, or back need a moment to rest.
My rollator provides a place to sit when my body needs to rest. I wouldn’t last all day at Disneyland without it.
It also reduces how much shoulder and back muscle strain I must endure from my purse or backpack. Instead of wearing them on my body, I often hang them or place them on the seat of my rollator.
I recently purchased a rollator/transport chair combo and holy moly, has it become a game-changer!!
Since the original review, I have had numerous opportunities to use it. Because this rollator combination is as comfortable to sit in as a wheelchair when I sit to rest, my body actually rests. Even with an injured knee last week, I was able to clock 22,000 steps at Disneyland, and because of the relief I experienced when resting on my rollator, I DID NOT end the day in pain.
Mobility Aid for Independence
Depending on your abilities, a standard wheelchair may be what allows you to remain independent. But if you are like me and your body will not tolerate the physical movement it takes to propel one, you will either need someone to assist you or choose to purchase an electric model.
If you are looking for an inexpensive wheelchair that is tougher than it looks, you need to check out the one that I have.
I purchased it in the fall of 2016, and although it collected dust in the garage during 2018, it is a tough model that will see me through many more years. This wheelchair has been rammed into curbs, walls, poles, you name it, and you would never know by how it performs or looks. Read my original review of it.
Although this is the most affordable option for me at the moment, I am looking into purchasing a motorized one to allow me to keep my independence for as long as possible.
My father-in-law recently purchased a foldable electric wheelchair. He and my mother-in-law have taken it on several trips and love it. It folds up and is easy to transport in their vehicle and gets him everywhere he wants to go. It allows them to enjoy walks without him having to spend days and weeks in physical agony.
Update (3/28/2022) I purchased my own power folding wheelchair in 2021. It was the best decision and investment I have ever made in my chronic life. Listen to my review here.
Whatever you choose, please remember this.
Repeat after me: There is no reason to be ashamed of needing to use a mobility aid.
I don’t care how old or young you are; if your lack of mobility is forcing you to stay home and isolating you from friends and family, put your pride aside and find the mobility aid that best suits your needs.
In the past 3 years, there have been days when I haven’t needed any assistance. Then other days, my cane kept me from toppling over, my walker saved my knees and back, and my wheelchair allowed me to spend time with friends and family without accruing a high level of pain.
Which one or what combination of mobility aids would enhance your life?
Still not sure if you need one or not? Find out with my mobility aid assessment worksheet.