Post date: Dec 11, 2010 5:05:21 AM
Mobility aids are devices designed to assist walking or otherwise improve the mobility of people with a mobility impairment.
Traditionally the phrase "mobility aid" has applied mainly to low technology mechanical devices. The term also appears in government documents, for example dealing with tax concessions of various kinds. It refers to those devices whose use enables a freedom of movement similar to that of unassisted walking or standing up from a chair.
Walking aids include assistive canes (commonly referred to as walking sticks), crutches and walkers. As appropriate to the needs of the individual user, these devices help to maintain upright ambulation by providing any or all of: improved stability, reduced lower-limb loading and generating movement.
The cane or walking stick is the simplest form of walking aid.
A crutch also transmits loads to the ground through a shaft, but has two points of contact with the arm, at the hand and either below the elbow.
The Forearm crutch typically gives a user the support of the cane but with additional forearm support to assist in mobility. The forearm portion helps increase balance, lateral stability and also reduces the load on the wrist.
A walker (also known as a Zimmer frame) is the most stable walking aid and consists of a freestanding metal framework with three or more points of contact which the user places in front of them and then grips during movement. The points of contact may be either fixed rubber ferrules as with crutches and canes, or wheels, or a combination of both. Wheeled walkers are also known as rollators.