Walking aids have long since become socially acceptable. In the past, elderly people with impaired mobility were only given a wooden walking stick, but today even the walker is no longer noticeable on the streets. However, it is not that easy to find the right walking aid. The following overview is based on the medical aids directory and aids catalog of health insurances. So that the large number of walking aids is manageable, we have grouped them into types.
Relieving walking aids: hand stick, walking stick, folding stick and multi-foot walking aid
People with only minor walking difficulties often get along well with a stick. Even if mobility is a little more restricted, there is a suitable stick. And these are the available models:
Hand stick : The hand stick or walking stick serves more for safety than for support. In contrast to the walking stick, it is used when the walking disability is lighter and the skeleton does not need to be relieved. A typical hand stick is made of solid wood and is shortened individually.
Walking stick : The walking stick consists of a metal tube and can be adjusted in height. It is prescribed if mobility is impaired in the event of impaired movement and / or balance, but the ability to walk and coordination is still adequately maintained. Simple walking sticks can be used on both sides, i.e. on the right and left. Walking sticks with an anatomical handle are anatomically designed for the right or left hand.
Folding cane : A multi- fold cane is extremely practical: it waits in your pocket or backpack to be used, is quickly packed away and never in the way in a restaurant or theater. Models with LEDs are also available in stores, which illuminate the way in the dark.
Multi- foot walking aid : With three, four or five “feet”, multi-walking walking aids offer a significantly larger support surface than a simple walking stick. The advantage: Since the crutch cannot tip to one side, stability is higher. The disadvantage: the outward-facing feet can be tripping hazards. Also multipoint walkers can have a simple or anatomically shaped handle.
An overview of mobility assistants: hand stick, walking stick, folding stick and multi-foot walking aid
Supportive walking aids are particularly helpful after illness, injuries or accidents. In contrast to relieving walking aids, they not only compensate for insecurities when walking and standing, but also offer sufficient stability even if mobility is significantly impaired. There is a suitable rehabilitation aid for every temporary handicap:
Forearm crutch : With the so-called crutch , the forearm lies in a slightly angled shell and thus supports the hand. If only one forearm crutch is used, the gait pattern can change over time. Therefore, this is only recommended for rehabilitation after an injury or an accident (broken leg, strained tendon, etc.). Walking with two crutches keeps the body straight, but puts enormous strain on the muscles and is therefore rather unsuitable for older people.
Arthritis support : A special form of the forearm crutch is the arthritis crutch . Since the forearm is fixed here, it takes on the load and thus relieves the hand. Even arthritis crutches should be used only occasionally.
Armpit supports : If the arms are severely damaged, so-called American crutches ensure a certain degree of mobility. Here the load is picked up via the armpits, the hands only guide the aid. For reasons of stability, supports with armpits must always be used on both sides and are therefore usually available as a pair.
Walking frame : A walking frame, also known as a walking frame or bars , supports walking training after a stroke or lengthy bed rest. It is a rigid frame that is moved forward step by step as you run. Two side rails connected to one another serve as handles. This construction ensures a very high level of stability. Reciprocating walking frames make it easier to move around : thanks to the articulated movable side parts, two feet always remain on the floor when moving.
Walker : Walker is the name for walking frames with small castors. This means that these aids do not have to be lifted when moving. Like the frames, the trolleys are only suitable for indoor use. For people with impaired hand and / or arm function, walkers with arm rests and , more rarely, walkers with armpit rests are offered.
Supporting assistants at a glance
An overview of supportive assistants: forearm crutches, armpit supports, walking frame and walker
Tip : If the walking frame or the walker is to be transported from time to time, pay close attention to the construction. Some models have a folding mechanism and can be folded flat.
Mobile walking aids: delta wheel and walkers
Walking aids on wheels give seniors almost unlimited independence. In contrast to the walker, which only has small castors, the large, agile wheels also allow maneuvering in traffic. Depending on the space in the apartment, three or four-wheel walking aids are recommended:
Delta wheel : Delta wheels get their name from their triangular shape. Similar to a tricycle, the front wheel is responsible for guidance, the two rear wheels are responsible for stability. The delta wheel doesn’t hurt so easily in smaller apartments, but it also has a certain risk of tipping over. Therefore, it is not recommended for seniors with more severe balance problems.
Rollator : Four-wheeled walking aids need more space in the apartment, but are a very valued companion on the street. In most cases, a basket enables you to take your shopping home, and there is often a seat that invites you to take a break. Since this mobile walking aid for seniors is available in numerous versions, we have dedicated a separate article to the rollator .
Tip : Bringing a rollator outside can be a hassle. The wheels don’t cope with every threshold and stairs are always an obstacle. One solution can therefore be to use a dainty delta wheel in the apartment and find a parking space for a comfortable rollator in the entrance area .
Rollator with wheelchair function : In contrast to the wheelchair , this is a convertible walking aid. The rollator can be turned into a wheelchair and vice versa in just a few simple steps. This is ideal for seniors who can cope with shorter distances with the rollator , but have to take the strain off their legs for longer distances. The list of medical aids distinguishes between two types: Four-wheeled walking aids with push rim wheelchair function are equipped with two push rim drive wheels. If the strength in the arms is sufficient, they allow independent locomotion. If seniors need help, there are four-wheeled walking aids with a push wheelchair functioninto consideration. These walking aids are pushed by another person, but can also be moved independently by shuffling.
Classic walking aids can only be used with a certain residual strength in the legs. If this is not available, electric vehicles may need to be considered.Tags: types of walkers for handicapped
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