Being able to access one's surroundings comfortably is important to everyone. For someone suffering from a disability or who has been injured it is even more so. Fortunately, with the help of physical therapy and the many companies who manufacture and sell mobility aids, this task is less daunting than it would otherwise be. A variety of mobility aids are available to the disabled population and are made accessible through medical insurance and other payment methods. This article looks at the types of mobility aids and adaptations that make mobility as safe as possible for the physically impaired.
A common mobility aid is the manual wheelchair which has been around for many years. Amputees, people with spinal paralysis, and other people with disability in the lower extremities use these for access around their home. For trips outdoors, a disabled person may need a powered scooter or powered wheelchair. For obese patients, it is especially important to choose the correct wheelchair to prevent pressure sores. Many companies supply bariatric wheelchairs and their representatives work with your physical therapist to ensure that the individual is properly fitted with the most comfortable chair.
Minivans that come with a lowered floor and removable seating can make transferring into a vehicle from a wheelchair safer and much less taxing for those with lower extremity disability. The lowered floor slides out, allowing the person to get into the van on his wheelchair. There is a choice of seating heights which allows the person to see out of the windows. Some minivans are equipped with a passenger or driver seat that can be taken out of the van. The person then gets into the seat and rolls it back into the van. Transfer is fast, safe and there is very little risk of falling.
Walking frames help provide stability to patients with decreased lower extremity strength or pain. For someone recovering from hip or knee surgery, a walking frame is invaluable in the first few days. Canes and crutches also provide support and stability. Many different types are available on the market to suit differing needs. We can advise you as to which type to purchase and train you on how to use it properly.
A car caddie is a device that attach to the frame of a car window to provide support when getting in and out of the car. It is especially helpful to persons with weak or painful lower extremities and limited range of motion. It has a cushioned strap so it's easy on the hands.
Some elderly people or those with limited lower extremity function may fall when getting in and out of bed. Different types of bed rails can be easily installed on the bed to allow the person to hold on to and ease themselves into a sitting position and they prevent the person from accidentally rolling out of bed. Lift chairs and lift cushions also aid in helping them get from a sitting to standing position.
The bathroom is the place where most falls occur among the elderly and disabled. Tub and shower chairs, benches, shower gurneys and grab bars help to make bathing and toileting safer. A bedside toilet is also a great addition to a disabled person's equipment. People with disabilities that need advice on which equipment would best suit their needs should consult with a physical therapist who is trained in this area.
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