Here in the UK, there are around 13.9 million people living with some form of disability. Many of these individuals are physically disabled, meaning that getting around can sometimes prove to be especially difficult. Thankfully, due to a host of rules and legislations requiring buildings and public places to have some form of disability access, it’s now much easier for those who may struggle with mobility to get around.
Also, thanks to innovation in the industry, the variety of mobility aids on offer today has also made getting out and about significantly easier than it used to be. However, as the level of mobility differs from person to person, there will likely be one aid that will be more beneficial than the rest. Yet, how do you know which mobility aid will work for you?
Choosing the right mobility aid is an important and personal decision to make, which is why it’s vital to have as much information about what’s on offer as possible. Here at L.T.C Mobility, we understand the importance of investing in the perfect mobility aid, which is why we’ve decided to put together this handy guide to help you get a better idea of what’s on offer.
Anyone who has some form of mobility issue can stand to gain from having a mobility aid to rely on, however, the type of aid will depend completely on the individual’s needs and requirements. There are a range of options for everyone, from those recovering from a recent operation or injury such as a broken leg, to those who require a more permanent alternative, for example, individuals living with arthritis or cerebral palsy.
The benefits of increased mobility go much further than simply being able to get around easier, as the simple act of getting out more can benefit everything from physical health to mental and social well-being. However, there are inherent risks in investing in the wrong mobility aid, as using one type incorrectly can exacerbate any prior issues. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to talk through your options with your local GP who can advise and help you to make the right decision.
Now that we have a better idea of how a mobility aid can benefit an individual in need, let’s take a closer look at the various options on offer in the UK today. Ranging from the minor to the significant, there is definitely a type of aid that can fit your needs.
Probably one of the most easily available and unobstructive of the mobility aids on offer, a cane or walking stick can be useful for those that simply require a little bit of extra balance when out and about or a weight redistributor to make walking less painful. Crutches are similar in that they provide increased balance and support, however, they are usually used for temporary purposes, such as after an accident, as they can be uncomfortable when used for prolonged periods of time.
The NHS does have a range of borrowing schemes for walking sticks and crutches, however, you will likely have to pay a deposit. Taking the NHS route can also be tricky due to the fact that a walking stick needs to perfectly fit its user, meaning it can be a better option to buy your own from a reputable supplier.
For those looking for another level of support, a walking frame, also known as a zimmer frame, can be an excellent alternative. Offering a superior level of stability compared to walking canes, a zimmer frame can be helpful both around the house and out and about.
Helping those who have limited or no use of their lower limbs, wheelchairs have, in one form or another, been around since the 16th century. Luckily, the wheelchairs of the past are much different to the high-quality options on offer today with models being modified to fit the users needs.
Individuals can choose between either a manually powered wheelchair or one that is propelled by an electric motor. These types can then be divided into even more specialised subcategories. For example, self-propelled wheelchairs can be designed for sporting events, while new advances in electric wheelchair technology has developed a steering system controlled by neural impulses, making them invaluable for severely disabled individuals.
As wheelchairs can be expensive, the Motability Scheme can help to make payments for an investment easier by exchanging mobility allowance to lease your new disability aid. Also, there may be local options that may be able to aid you further so it’s always good to speak to your GP.
In the same vein as wheelchairs, a mobility scooter offers users a much better level of access and mobility. However, unlike wheelchairs, mobility scooters are designed for a different subset of disabilities and intended for outdoor use only. If an individual struggles with upper body strength but can comfortably get in and out of their seat, an electric mobility chair may be the best option.
Powered via a pedal, much like a standard vehicle, and with between three and five wheels, mobility scooters can be great for travelling long distances. However, it’s important to remember that, as you will be operating a powered chair, there are certain rules and regulations that you will need to read up on.
While the above mentioned mobility aids are useful for getting around, it’s also important to ensure that your homelife is as stress-free as possible – this is where safety modifications come in. Installing modifications around your home is essential to remaining autonomous and luckily there are a range of options to choose from.
For those that struggle with steps, investing in ramps and stairlifts can make going between different floors infinitely easier. Rails can also be installed around the home in places such as the bathroom to act as a support.
Investing in a quality supplier
Of course, the mobility aids mentioned in this article is not an exhaustive list and by talking to an expert in the industry, you can make sure that you make the right decision. Having in-depth knowledge on their products and the benefits they can offer, by getting advice from a local professional, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you’ve invested in quality.
Also, by visiting your local dealer, you can get a chance to try before you buy. As we’ve mentioned, investing in a mobility aid of any sort is a very personal decision, which is why it’s so important to feel completely comfortable with it. By spending time trying a variety of products, you can get a feel of what works best for you, ensuring you get the perfect fit.
Finding the right mobility aid can sometimes feel like an uphill battle and while your GP will be able to signpost some of the best options for you, for those looking to invest in their aids with confidence there’s L.T.C Mobility. Helping countless individuals maximise their access and mobility thanks to our range of products, our team is on hand to help you find the perfect aid for you.
Offering everything from helpful disability aids to sleek, lightweight mobility scooters, you can count on L.T.C Mobility to help get you moving. If you’re in the South West Wales area and are in need of informative, reliable advice on your next mobility aid, visit our website today or get in touch with a member of our team on 01554 773 608.