When the weather starts to warm up, and you have the perfect balance of sun and cool breeze, it makes it hard to say inside. Getting outdoors to enjoy the sights, sounds, and fresh air can lift your spirits as well as give you a healthy dose of Vitamin D.
But if you have limited mobility, you may be hesitant to get out and about. The fear of falling or not being able to navigate certain surfaces can cause you to resign yourself to staying inside.
That’s why a variety of different mobility aids have been invented. The benefits outweigh any reservations you may have about using a piece of medical equipment. Mobility aids can give you more independence. They reduce the risk of injury from falling or overusing a body part. They reduce fatigue and pain. And they increase your confidence as they allow you to continue to do things on your own.
Canes are a good choice for someone who needs just a bit of support on a temporary or even regular basis. Since canes are a one-sided solution, they are best for people who may have a problem with one particular foot, knee, leg, or hip.
Canes can prevent your arthritis or injury from worsening by keeping weight off of and reducing stress to the affected area. They can also prevent falls by helping you maintain balance.
Some people overuse the opposite part of their body when trying to avoid using a painful area. In this case, using a cane can help you prevent injury to the “good” limb when you try to compensate and shift your weight.
Rollators provide a medium amount of support, and they are incredibly versatile. Most people don’t realize how well rollators are equipped for going outside. They are easy to transport and can usually be folded up and thrown in the back of a car. But despite being lightweight and space conscious, the rollator has substantial wheels that are great for navigating outdoor terrain.
Another benefit of the rollator that many people don’t think about is that it often comes with a fold-down seating attachment. When adventuring around town or on a trip, the rollator’s seat makes the perfect place to sit and rest a spell. You’ll never have to push yourself too hard to find a place with seating where you can stop and take a break.
The only downside to a rollator is how easily it moves. If you need moderate support and want to be really active, the rollator is great. If you need a maximum amount of stability, the rollator may not be for you.
Traditional walkers are the way to go when you need a maximum amount of support. They provide support for both sides of your body, and they aren’t likely to roll away from you if you lean into them too hard.
The traditional standard walker has four feet that rest on the floor, often covered with rubber tips. While the standard walker provides maximum support, that comes at a cost. Advancing the walker is more difficult because you must lift the entire walker off the ground with your arms, then put it back down. Traditional walkers don’t allow you to move with the ease and speed of canes and rollators.
One option is to get a walker that has two wheels on the front legs. This allows you to move the walker without having to lift the entire thing. It also makes walking faster. But, like anything with wheels, it increases the chance of you losing balance and allowing the device to slip away from you.
No matter what level of support you need, or what device you choose, don’t let your hesitancy to use a mobility aid keep you from enjoying the great outdoors. They don’t exist to give you the freedom and independence you deserve.
ILA carries a wide variety of canes, rollators, walkers, and other mobility aids. To get an idea of what device might suit you best, check out our products and descriptions under the “Mobility” category page.