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Beginners Guide to Mobility Equipment

Looking to get yourself a piece of mobility equipment? Mobility equipment or aids refer to devices to help people with problems moving around enjoy greater freedom and independence. You may need them at any point in your life, whether due to injury, illness, or simply getting older. Your doctor or physical therapist will usually recommend one for you.

Using mobility equipment not only helps to reduce pain, discomfort, and chance of injury – they can also help increase self-confidence as you will be able to move about more freely than ever before. In addition to crutches and canes, you will find many options. We’re here to show the different mobility equipment options available so you can make an informed choice for yourself or your loved one. 

Mobility Equipment: Walkers

First on the list are the walkers. Aside from canes and crutches, they are among the most popular and easiest to use. They help improve balance and mobility and are often prescribed to the elderly to help them go around. Walkers are usually prescribed for those who can support their weight and still walk. They are different from wheelchairs, which support the entire body.

New walker models have notable features that make them even more usable. The Vive Health Rollator is rated for bariatric users (supports up to 500 lbs.) and comes with a seat and a storage bag. Some have large wheels to make them rollable on the sand, while knee walkers have support for the knee that makes them more comfortable than crutches. 

Walkers are desirable because they are lightweight and easy to use. Most are also compact and foldable, so you can easily bring them anywhere. Users often report feeling safer and being more able to do longer walks with less physical stress.

Mobility Equipment: Wheelchairs (Manual and Electric)

The next are wheelchairs, which are pretty common and easily recognizable. They are for individuals who have problems with their lower extremities or spinal-cord injuries. Wheelchairs are also used to quickly wheel around individuals such as the elderly and pregnant women. There are many wheelchairs designs out there, but it boils down to manual and electric-powered wheelchairs.

Manual wheelchairs run entirely on muscle power and are more affordable. They have a simple frame that may be foldable and can be used anywhere and brought in a car or a train. Our Mobility Paradise store has various manual wheelchairs. One is the Vipamat Hippocampe all-terrain wheelchair, a three-wheeled model with interchangeable wheels that can be used on sand or snow (with skis). On the other hand, the MJM All-Terrain Beach Wheelchair comes with a durable PVC frame, non-corrosive bearings, and all-terrain tires that can be used on the beach or in swimming pools, as well as indoors. 

Meanwhile, electric wheelchairs are high-tech devices with a motor, a battery, and a controller computer to move them around. Such wheelchairs come with four or six wheels, a joystick, and simple controls to allow one-hand operation. They are for those who have limited lower and upper body functions. 

Some electric wheelchairs have advanced features. The Merits Health Vision Sport (pictured above) comes with a full-size captain's chair and a hydraulic lift to help the user reach elevated spots safely. The Karman Healthcare XO-505 is an advanced electric wheelchair with a full standing function, perfect for paraplegic individuals to assume a standing position and be able to function more. For bariatric patients, the Zip’r Mantis SE Heavy Duty Electric Wheelchair is rated for up to 300 lbs. and can still travel 15 miles on a single charge. Click here to see the best heavy-duty electric wheelchairs in our store.

However, many electric wheelchairs are heavy and pose a problem when transported in a car or public transport. Some portable electric wheelchairs models are compact and foldable and can be put in the trunk of a car. Note that some individuals with complete hand or arm injuries may be unable to operate an electric wheelchair properly.

Manual wheelchair users can be limited by their physical fitness and stamina since they move around and work using their hands and arms. Generally speaking, electric wheelchairs are a life changer to users, enabling them to move and go around without exertion. They are more comfortable and can cross uneven terrain better. These compact machines are usable indoors and outdoors, so users can do more with fewer limits.

Mobility Equipment: Scooters

Mobility scooters are the choice if you want a platform to reach further distances effortlessly. There are three- or four-wheel models, each with pros and cons. They are electric vehicles with a seat and a tiller and are more effortless to use than manual wheelchairs, and they can travel further than electric wheelchairs. Almost all mobility scooters can be used indoors and outdoors. However, compact models with better maneuverability are more usable in the office or home, while large models with comfortable seats fare better outdoors. 

There are different styles of mobility scooters. The three-wheel Vive Health 12v/12Ah scooter (pictured below)  has a simple design with three wheels, a seat, and a low platform. Meanwhile, the EWheels EW-10 mobility scooter has a striking, sporty look with a streamlined tiller, alloy rims, and a large 500-watt motor to attain excellent speeds. 

Do things inside the house or the office with the Comfygo MS 3000, presenting a small, lightweight frame that can easily squeeze through aisles and go around clutter. The MS 3000 frame is also foldable so that you can bring it home. If you want to stroll to the park or marketplaces, the Shoprider Sunrunner Mid-Size scooter and the EWheels EW-36 3-wheel scooter are the way to go. These scooters have large frames, big tires, and powerful motors to conquer rough surfaces, and they have large batteries so you can use them to cover long distances or make round trips to your home. 

Some models, like the Afikim Afiscooter Breeze S, are bariatric scooters with extra-large batteries and durable frames to carry up to 500 lbs. and are recommended for obese users. If you need to travel and bring a scooter with you, there are folding mobility scooters like the Vive Health 24v/10Ah, which are lightweight and have collapsible frames. 

A mobility scooter is preferable for those who want to cover longer distances and cannot tolerate walking. A mobility scooter is usually prescribed to those without the strength to use ordinary wheelchairs. They are good for individuals with disabilities and seniors who want to do more inside or outside the house. Want to explore more? Click this link to see the best mobility scooters in the store.  

Mobility Equipment: Lift Chairs

Meanwhile, a lift chair is another piece of equipment that is not sophisticated, but it helps seniors and people with disabilities transition from sitting to standing in a safer manner. Using a motor and linkages, the lift chair tilts forward and slightly upward with a push of a button. 

A lift chair is good in the bedroom and the living room. Most lift chair models, such as the Ameriglide 1015 Infinite Position Lift Chair (pictured above), look like your everyday modern upholstered armchair to fit your home's look. Some models (like the Ameriglide 375 Chair and the Vive Health 110V Massage Chair) are more advanced, transforming into comfortable recliners or having massage functions. 

Summary of Mobility Equipment

Any mobility equipment should help you function or do more despite your disability. Using them prevents accidents such as falls (in the case of lift chairs and walkers) or enables you to go around without much discomfort. Thanks to advances in technology, we now have electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters that you can control with one hand and can travel long distances.

We will all need mobility equipment at any point in our lives, so you know your options. Here at Mobility Paradise, we got your mobility needs covered. We have walkers, wheelchairs (including powered ones), lift chairs, mobility scooters, accessories, and many more. Our store has a support team you can call to help you select the right mobility equipment for you and provide help in delivery and assembly. Give us a call now!

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