Mobility Aids For Elderly IN 2020:

The Modern Guide
mobility aid

What is an Mobility Aid?

A mobility aid is a piece of equipment that gives you more mobility and makes the users life easier. In particular, it makes them more mobile – hence “mobility aid”. 

There are lots of different types of mobility aids available, you have your more traditional mobility aids for walking such as wheelchairs, frames or walkers and waling canes. 

There’s also the type of mobility aids you’d find around the house for safety such as ramps, shower rails, accessories to help you go to the toliet, find your way around.

Basically anything that is used to aid your mobility or movement in one shape or form is classed as a mobility aid. 

Who is a Mobility Aid for?

Mobility aids are for anyone who needs some form of assistance with their movement. Be it through health or injury, we all may need one at least once in our lifetime. 

Although we specialize primarily in those for elderly care – our advice and comparisons can be used for anyone who is looking to incease their mobility. 

Can I buy Mobility Aids online?

You sure can! In fact, you can often save a lot of money by going direct to supplier. You also have much more time to compare products and review which may be suitable for you. Often we hear people have concerns over their elderly parents feeling pressured in to making a decision (we aim to take that away).

Our aim is to make the whole process a lot easier for the modern carer. 

Mobility Aids for Walking

Wheelchairs

When you think about mobility problems, the first thing that comes to most peoples minds is – why don’t you get a wheel chair?

Wheelchairs can have a huge impact on someones life. Not being able to get out and about can put a real downer on someones quality of life. A good wheel chair can bring back some freedom and make your life a lot easier too. After all, it’s much easier looking after someone who is happy!

Wheelchairs come in a variety of sizes, shapes and features, so it’s important that you find the right one to suit your needs (or the person you are caring for’s needs).

Here’s a list of what you should look for in a wheel chairs, we’ve also put together a guide of the top wheelchairs available comparing some of their top features with personalized recommendations.

What should I look for in a Wheelchair?

When you are looking for a suitable wheelchairs the top things you should consider are:

  1. Health – Do you have specific health needs? For example if you suffer from back or neck problems you may want to consider a orthopedic chair.
  2. Comfort – You want to make sure the chair has adequate comfort such as a padded chair, backrest, and comfortable arm wrests – after all their arms could be there for a long period of time.
  3. Foldability – Do the armwrests on the chair fold back so you can easily slide it under a table? After all – you want them to feel at ease and part of the group.
  4. Build Quality – We recommend only buying from reputable brands and highly rated products. (In our “best” lists we’ll only include well rated products).
  5. Weight – You want the chair to be lightweight enough to easily move in and out of the car.
  6. Travel – Does the chair easily fold down so you can travel with it? (Most do).
  7. Price – Budget may be an issue when buying a chair. We’d always recommend no breaking the bank, but at the same time they could be spending an awful lot of time in the chair, so it’s a worthy investment.
  8. Wheels – Wheels are worth considering as some wheel chairs may be more suited to inside than outside terrain (you can usually tell this by tyre and wheel size). Larger wheels will perform better outside.

You may want to visit our best wheelchairs guide where we’ve compared the top models on the market, and weeded out the bad ones. 

Walking Canes

Walking canes are perhaps the most entry level product you can buy when it comes to mobility aids for walking and getting around.

They are relatively inexpensive compared to their counterparts and can be a great place to start.

Most people will think of a using a cane when they have some sort of knee or leg problem on one particular side which they can be great for.

In actual fact, a cane be great for anyone as they relief stress from your spine, back, and can add a lot of extra core stability to everyday movement.

There’s a few things you should look out for when you’re looking for a walking cane, as follows:

What to look for in a Walking Cane:

  1. Left or Right Handed? – It sounds silly, but some walking canes cater specifically for people who are left handed, the grip may be off and uncomfortable if you aren’t. (all of the ones we’ve included are uni-hand. We thought it’d make it much easier!
  2. Design – Older people can be afraid to use a walking cane as it looks “uncool” – but there are actually some fantastic sleek designs out there. If in doubt – go for black.
  3. Foldability – Having the ability to fold down the walking cane is great, for easy storage and transport. If you’re hopping in the car you don’t want to be stuck with a long stick that can’t fold down. 
  4. Weight – The weight of the cabe can be a huge factor. You son’t want to have something that’s too heavy for them to carry, so stop using it. 
  5. Price – The majority of walking canes are all around the same price, we’d recommend avoiding cheap canes as they tend to not last very long, and we wouldn’t want them to risk breaking. We’d suggest going for a mid tier model at least for peace of mind. 

We’ve put together a handpicked list of the best walking canes available which you may find helpful. 

Zimmer Frames

When people think of the word zimmer frame, they usually say – “I’m not that old!”. It can help if you refer to them as walking frames – sounds much more youthful!

A zimmer frame is a natural extension of the walking cane, it can provide much more support with 4 legs and provide a much more balance aid for walking.

It’s great for people struggling with walking and the wheels on one side allow you to go as slowly, or quickly as you want. They can really go at their own pace.

We’ve included a few of the things you want to look out for when buying a zimmer frame below:

 

What should I look for in a Zimmer Frame?

  1. Build Quality – You want to make sure your zimmer frame is made out of a high quality material such as aluminium. Aluminium is the material of choice because of it’s lightweight properties. 
  2. Grip – Having a secure grasp on on the walker is a much, you want to make sure the walker comes with solid hand grips so you don’t lose balance, it’s a must for stability.
  3. Storage – Making sure the zimmer frame folds down is important, most will fold away at the sides for each storage, and some have removable wheels (if needed). 
  4. Adjustable height – The height of the frame is important, if it’s not adjustable you could end up with one too low and cause back issues due to constantly bending too far. All of the ones we’ve included have an adjustable height feature. 
  5. Weight – The weight of the frame is important as it does involve some lifting/pushing, most models on the market are designed to be lightweight – so you should be OK on that front. 

To make life easier we’ve put together a list of the best zimmer frames that we’ve found available to purchase online, to save you the trouble or trawling through bad reviews. 

Rollator Walkers

If you thought zimmer frames were good – you ain’t seen nothing yet! The rollator walker is basically a walker frame on steroids. 

They come with 4 or 3 wheels – we prefer the 4 wheel model as it just provides more stability. 

Some have very nice feature such as storage bags and seats for you to rest while walking (great if you can’t walk too far with a walking frame).

However it is important to note most models come with handheld breaks, it’s important you make sure your loved one has the capability to use the brakes (most will) – we just thought we had to throw that in there. 

Rollator Walker Shopping Tips:

  1. Wheels – You want to make sure the wheels are suitable for indoors and outdoor use. If you want to for example go walking in a country park or “off roading” you may want to consider large more durable wheels as they’ll perform much better and make for smoother ride. 
  2. Breaks – All models we’ve feature include hand breaks (a must in our opinion).
  3. Seat – A good comfortable seat and backrest can be a real bonus if you suffer from any sort of back or spinal issues, some have padded seats which will make for a much better rest – if that’s something that’s important to you.
  4. Stability & Quality – As mentioned above we’d recommend 4 wheels for the added support, it’s also important to go for one that’s made out of a solid material such as aluminium, there’s also stainless steel models available, and even a carbon fibre one. They all vary in weight, so that’s important to consider if your elderly parent needs to carry it themselves at some point. 
  5. Folding – It’s important to make sure your walking has some folding capability, most will fold and some have removable wheels, it makes it much easier to pop in the car or store when you are not using it. You may have space to keep it full assembled somewhere at home, but it’s always good to have the option if needs be. 

It’s tough to find the right rollator walker for you, so to make things easier we’ve put together a hand picked list of highest rated and best rollator walkers available to make it easier for you, where we’ve compared the top features.