Many people who suffer from arthritis find that it is hard to move about comfortably. They may need to use a mobility aid to move around better, such as a cane or wheelchair. Of course, many people find it hard to accept that they need assistance in moving. But a better way to look at it is that the mobility aid can enable you to live more easily from day to day, rather than seeing the aid as a sign of disability.
Your occupational therapist can advise you on the most appropriate mobility aid for your physical needs. Some of the most common mobility aids for people with arthritis include:
- Walking sticks: These are particularly helpful if you need a bit more stability when you walk. There are all kinds of walking sticks available, such as simple wood or metal sticks. There also are more specialized sticks or walking canes that have a three or four pronged base that offers added stability. Many of these walking sticks are very lightweight, and some of them even can be folded. Walking Cane or stick holders also are available.
- Walking frames: These also are known as zimmer frames or common walkers, can be good for added support. Some users may find them hard to move around, as you need to lift the walker and then move forward. Rollators may be a better alternative.
- Crutches: There are two sorts of crutches. The first are the ones that are put under the arms, and the others rest on the elbows and forearms. Underarm crutches are often used so you do not have to put any weight on your legs. Elbow crutches are used when you can put some of the weight on the legs.
- Wheelchairs: The type you select depends on your physical needs. A person with arthritis that does not affect hands or arms may use a self-propelled unit. But someone with arthritic hands may find an electric one more useful. If you only need a wheelchair once in a while, a self-propelled one that others can push might be your best choice.
These mobility aids, whichever you choose, can truly help to increase your mobility, as well as your quality of life.