Choosing the Best Ambulatory Aid
There are many reasons people may lose their sense of balance or need a bit of support. These conditions may be short term or last many years.
Single Point Canes and Crutches
Single Point Canes are the first line of defense when assistance is needed. A Single Point Cane is perfect for a little extra support or balance. Canes were mostly made of wood where adjustable height was cutting the wood cane to fit the user. However, many of today’s canes are made of aluminum and easily usually height adjustable. They come in basic colors as well as many styles and designs to choose from to suit your style.
Another temporary mobility aid is Crutches. The most common are the Underarm style when dealing with a lower extremity ailment. The Forearm Crutches are usually for a long term use and typically for balance.
Knee Walkers and Scooters
The relatively new kid on the block is the Knee Walker or also known as a Knee Scooter. This was designed for issues related to the ankle or foot. It’s kind of steerable knee height skateboard. The user has one knee on the board and pushes off with the other foot and steers with their hands. These are for people who find the underarm crutch too uncomfortable, which is most people.
The next steps up from there is the Small Base (Pad Style) Cane, the Larger Base (Pad Style) Cane, Small Base Quad Cane and then the Large Base Quad Cane. It would be best to consult your Physician or Physical Therapist to recommend the best device to assist in keeping you active but safe from falls and further injury.
Next is the Standard Walkers. These have been around a long time without too many improvements. Sure there were the typical modernizations like going from wooden frames to lightweight aluminum frames and adding some wheels. These continue to be the go-to device for many reasons. They’re lightweight, easy to fold into a very compact design and basically they work great.
The only downside to the basic walker is people don’t like the “Look”. They don’t want to appear as though they are need of a walker. There was also a need for a seat so a person could rest in between steps. And that need evolving into what’s now known as a Rollator Walker.
Rollator Walkers were known as the Rolls Royce’s of walkers. They came with bigger wheels than the standard walkers, making it easier to traverse the rough streets. Today they come in many bright colorful designs, some are lighter than others. If you get tired, they have plastic or padded seats. The 4 wheel design has a locking brake system to keep Rollator Walker from rolling away. Rollator Walkers usually have some sort of storage space, either a basket or bag in front or under the seat or both.
All walkers had the ability to adjust to the user’s height for comfortable safe walking but today Rollators have got more futuristic with adjustable seat heights for a more Customized fit for each user making sitting and standing easier, safer and more comfortable.
There are now many variations of this style to conform to the many different medical conditions. For instance, there is a Rollator that has a push-down brake system for someone who has limited hand strength and can’t squeeze the handles to lock the brakes. On the other hand (no pun intended) there is a reverse braking system for people who have the hand strength but limited control. The reverse brake is always locked; the user must squeeze the brake in order to release the wheels. When the user’s hand lets go of the brakes or loses the grip, the brake engages automatically preventing falls.
For a user who may have a companion or caregiver, there is also a Rollator that converts from a Rollator Walker into a Transport Wheelchair. The user can walk until they are too tired to continue, they would then sit down and the companion or caregiver could safely push them until they arrive at their destination or have rested enough to continue walking.
I hope this article gave you some insights into what’s available on the market today. Whether it for a short or long term issue who hopes this information helps figure out the best device to ambulate safely.
Wishing U Well Medical Inc Sells, Services & Repairs most of these Ambulatory devices.
Contact Wishing U Well Medical Inc. with any question 818-877-4613.