Mobility Aids

Pros and Cons of Different Mobility Aids

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Mobility aids come in all shapes and sizes. This is because different people have different needs. If you are on the hunt for a mobility aid to suit your unique purposes, take a look at this list of pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Manual Wheelchairs: Pros

A manual wheelchair is a variety of wheelchair that the user powers with their hands. They can be adapted and designed to suit all kinds of needs. There are even wheelchairs for athletes with specially made wheels.

Manual Wheelchairs: Cons

People with restricted upper body movement may struggle to operate a manual wheelchair. They can be unwieldy and difficult to store or transport.

Electric Wheelchairs: Pros

An electric wheelchair operates with different controls depending on the user’s needs. This makes them incredibly versatile for many people with different mobility requirements. For example, some electric wheelchairs are operated with hand, foot, or mouth controls, meaning that upper body strength isn’t as essential. This allows more people to maintain independence in their lives.

Electric Wheelchairs: Cons

Apart from needing regular charging, electric wheelchairs can also be prohibitively expensive. For people with less common mobility needs, adapted controls and features cost more.

Mobility Scooters: Pros

For a mobility aid that is easy to use, look no further than the mobility scooter. These are appropriate for indoor and outdoor use and often come with convenient features like baskets. They are also relatively simple to maintain, especially since companies like exist to supply parts. Mobility scooters don’t take long to learn how to drive and provide comfort to users. There are plenty of varieties for different preferences.

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Mobility Scooters: Cons

Unfortunately, mobility scooters are not suitable for people with severely limited mobility as they require user-operated controls. They can also be cumbersome in small spaces and require regular charging to stay functional.

Walking Sticks: Pros

Unlike wheelchairs or scooters, walking sticks are simple and light. They are usually made from wood, metal, plastic, or a composite material for strength and durability. Walking sticks offer support for people with minimal mobility restrictions since they are used to assist in balancing, standing, and walking.

Walking Sticks: Cons

For anyone who cannot stand or walk, a walking stick offers little assistance. Although they are simple, they can’t help people with more severe mobility limitations.

Crutches: Pros

Crutches provide more support than walking sticks. This is because the user balances with their arms and upper body. They can be adjusted depending on the user and are best for temporary mobility assistance.

Crutches: Cons

Just like walking sticks, crutches can’t provide adequate support to anyone with more serious mobility barriers, particularly anyone with limited upper body ability. Crutches are rarely used for long-term mobility support.

Service Animals: Pros

Due to the animal’s natural intelligence, a dog can be trained to offer support to people with different mobility needs. They can help with balance and direction, and can warn someone if they are about to lose consciousness.

Service Animals: Cons

Not everyone is comfortable keeping a service animal. They require a lot of care, which isn’t always affordable.

Hopefully, this list has helped you decide which mobility aid would work best in your life.

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