Top Mobility Equipment
This is my own personal list of Top Mobility Equipment. Which one you get is dependent upon the level of ability of your love one. It also has a definitive progression based on current abilities. As a person gets better they move up the list with their mobility device. As they decline different mobility devices are needed and they move down the list. Here is the mobility progression followed by (in my opinion) the best mobility products that I’ve worked with in caring for others.
Single Point Cane
Front Wheel Walker
Power Wheelchair & Scooter
Single point canes are easy to find, cheap and everywhere so why this one? First of all it is fun as it mimics a Candy Cane. Loved ones are often needing more social interaction than they or we realize. This one is a conversation starter and invites others to comment (kids love it too!). Secondly and more important, the way the cane is designed refracts light causing somewhat of a sparkle by day and is a bit reflective of streetlights at night. It’s not glow-in-the-dark by any means but the reflective surface can work as safety bonus. (Also See: Does your Walker/Cane Fit your Loved One?)
One of THE best walkers our there. Very light weight, sturdy, folds up small enough to fit in a carry-on suitcase. Has a large “stuff” bad, a comfortable seat and a place to hold a cane. A friend of mine, Jan, has had a lot of experience in the walker department. For her and from my observation this is the best built one I’ve ever seen. And reasonably priced too. Comes in Black, Purple and Titanium. I’m currently working on a video of Jan to show you more. It really is impressive. (See Also: Does your Walker/Cane fit your Loved one?)
Please do not just go out and buy any wheelchair that you find on the market. Wheelchairs need to be measured to the user. Consult your physical or occupational therapy department for those measurements or if you do not have the resources you can learn how on this site. Why is this important? If it doesn’t fit the person’s body correctly it can cause sores that can be very serious. Older loved ones, especially the geriatric population are not always able to verbalize discomfort so it falls to the caregiver to prevent and troubleshoot problems.
I do have to say that personally there are a few features in a wheelchair I prefer. These are not necessary but they are added helps.
- Footrests–I have a love/hate relationships with these things. My legs are perpetually bruised. BUT they are necessary. All footrests pretty much have a swing out option and the foot rest is detachable. What they don’t always have is a vertical adjuster or elevated foot rest. This is especially important if there is any hip fracture involved. I HIGHLY recommend making sure that the wheel chair you purchase has these adjusters as everyone has different leg lengths.
- Swing back arm rests–Most arm rests have buttons on the front and back so you can take the whole armrest off. It’s a nice idea if it worked. The buttons that hold the armrest in place are tight, frequently jammed and can cause a great deal of frustration. It’s not that you often need them to remove them but when you do it would be nice if they worked. The armrests that I prefer are hinged in the back and have a push down lever that makes it pivot up.
What I love about this cane is that it is adjustable to the left or right because it does matter. The cane always go on the same side of the strongest leg when walking. A quad cane also has 2 of the 4 legs a little bit more horizontal that go towards the leg so a person does not trip over the feet of the cane. This cane is very sturdy and stable which is very important and it’s not overly expensive as well. We use it and while quad canes take awhile to get used to, it is a good quality. It comes in black, rose and cocoa. (See Also: Does Your Walker/Cane Fit your Loved One?)
Front Wheel Walker
Do you see the blue lever system on the walker on top? Yes, that one. It’s priceless. Having worked with this kind and the kind on the right with literally hundreds of people, I want that push-down lever and I believe you will too. Do you see the red lever that sits across the bar in the picture below? That’s a traditional one. These in my experience jam up (often!), pinch fingers and seem to regularly be stuck. If you have one, that’s fine. But if you have a choice, go with the above.