A reduction in mobility, especially difficulty walking long distances, is one of the most traumatic changes you will likely face as you get older. No matter what life throws at us, getting out to connect with people helps with recovery. But what happens when you can no longer walk to the shops or social club, or struggle to visit friends and family? Loneliness is often caused by reduced mobility. Fortunately, there are many ways to overcome this problem.
Mobility Walking Aids
Walking aids are the first mobility choice for many people. Indoors they can double up as trolleys to help carry food from kitchen to living areas, and outside they can be used to carry shopping as well many providing a handy seat so you can give your legs a rest.
There are essentially two types of aid, ones with wheels and ones without. Walking sticks and canes help maintain balance while allowing you to walk normally. Around the house, a simple hospital walking aid can be useful – they need to be lifting a little to walk with them, but provide excellent stability and you can lean on them while performing tasks in the kitchen and bathroom etc.
If your legs or feet are weaker, then a 3 or 4 wheeled mobility walker is a good idea. These provide excellent support and allow you to get out and about more too. Many can be folded for easier storage and transport as well, so you can take your walker out in the car if you are still driving.
4 wheeled walkers (rollators) are the best option if you need to be out for longer periods. Many have seats and storage for shopping, so you don’t need to worry about your legs or arms getting too tired.
If you legs get much weaker, or if you start to suffer balance problems, then a mobility chair is the next option. Mobility chairs come in two forms: powerchairs, which are essentially electric wheelchairs, and mobility scooters, which are slow moving electric mopeds, usually with 3 or 4 wheels for stability. Both have their unique advantages.
Power chairs are the best option if you require help getting around the home, as they allow you to ride up to tables, basins and worktops to go about your daily routines. Most are perfectly suitable for outdoor use too – many people move on to powerchairs after using a self-propelled wheelchair.
Mobility scooters are the better choice if you can still get around at home OK, but need some help getting out and about. They are also better for long distance travel as with a Class 3 road legal scooter you can drive on roads as well as pavements; you can also go twice the speed on roads. Travelling at a maximum speed of 8mph these are much more convenient if you live far from the local amenities.
Staying mobile is vital for good physical health and mental well-being, and with a good mobility device there really is no reason why you cannot keep going.