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A Quick Guide to Mobility Aids

Here at when we think about mobility aids, we’re primarily focused on a few key things that can aid you or a loved one in recovery from a fall or surgery or for additional stability to prevent falls. Our goal in this article is to give you a basic overview of each type of mobility aid and when it is typically employed.

Our Mobility Aids Product Companion can help you determine the best options on our site for your needs, but we know it can be hard to find helpful, comprehensive information about these topics, so hopefully we can offer some assistance.

Our main mobility aid categories include:

Crutches are most typically associated with mobility aids specific to an injury to a lower extremity. Crutches essentially transfer the body weight from the lower body to the upper body and are generally used for a short period of time while the injury, or surgery heals. Some people will use crutches for the long term, depending on their condition or challenge. Work with your medical provider to determine if you should secure under arm crutches or forearm crutches. While crutches used to be made of wood, you can now find super lightweight crutches that offer great support without the weight.

We have several types of walking canes or medical walking canes from which to choose. You can choose either a standard, offset or quad cane. Standard canes are usually for people with an injury or weakness on one side of their body, who have good balance and good hand strength. An offset cane is great if your hands are not as strong, but your balance is good, and you just need additional support. The quad cane is designed for people who have trouble maintaining balance but don’t yet need the support of a walker or rollator. The quad base offers a lot of additional support and balance.

Walkers are a great option for people who need support and balance either from a chronic condition or when recovering from fall, injury or surgery. A walker is constructed of a three-side metal lightweight frame, with handles, that can be easily moved with every step. You can find walkers with no wheelswalkers with two wheels or with walkers with four wheels. Your best bet is to get a recommendation from your health practitioner as to which will be the best choice for you. Always remember that while the wheels will make the walker easier to maneuver, they will also make the walker more difficult to control.

Rollators are a newer addition to the mobility aid options that offer people a lot of support, both in and outside of the home. You can find rollators with three sides like a walker, some that are more like a hybrid scooter with three wheels, some with seats and some without. The difference between a rollator and a walker is that a rollator has brakes, so if you want wheels for easy use but more control and you have sufficient hand strength a rollator may be a great choice for you. Rollators often also have seats and a basket or bag to transport items. Rollators can usually be collapsed to fit into your trunk as well, so they are ideal for moving both inside the home or outside at places like the grocery store, the drug store or your local senior center.

While people are recovering from foot and lower extremity injuries, many physicians now recommend scooters as well as crutches during recover. While scooters are more expensive, they reduce the pressure and stress on your upper body that can be caused by use of crutches. They also offer more speed, although maneuverability in small spaces or on rough terrain can both be a challenge.