In many cases, whether it’s by aging, an injury or illness, many people will become a caregiver to a loved one. This is because their loved one likely to depend on someone they can trust for practical help to make their daily life easier. If you are finding yourself in this position, though it can daunting, know you are not alone. We know that one of the more pressing concerns is knowing what mobility product is right for the one you are caring for. In this caregiver’s guide to mobility products, we want to go over the solutions available to you so you can match the right mobility product solution to the situation you and the one you are caring for are in.
Keeping a Sense of Independence.
One of the most important reasons to consider getting the right mobility product for your loved one outside of safety is the feeling they still have a sense of independence. Not many people like the idea of having to depend on others for things, especially the simpler things like getting your own groceries or going to check the mail. The right mobility product solution will help your loved one or parent keep a bit of independent feeling and not be seen as weak or feeble.
Mobility Product Solutions
If the one you are caring for has some good upper body strength but has significant trouble or can’t really walk around anymore, a wheelchair will be a good choice for them. Transport chair which is a foldable wheelchair can fold for easy storage, so if the vehicle they have or the one you’re driving them around is small, a wheelchair may be a good solution. Another benefit, some are lightweight and can weigh only 14lbs!
Powerchairs and Scooters.
Power wheelchairs or scooters move on their own with the push of a joystick or the turn of the handle. They allow your loved one or parent go near and far without getting tired. Some also come with storage/carry solutions such as a front basket. If they want to go next door or down the street, or keep you company on walk, this would be a great solution for them. One consideration though is they are heavier and larger that your basic wheelchairs so if you plan on taking the power chair with you in a vehicle, you might have to consider size and weight.
If the injury or illness is affecting just a lower leg or foot, a knee walker may be a great solution. They allow more mobility than your standard crutches or cane as they require less strength and stability which helps prevent falls. They just simply rest the knee of the injured leg on the pad, hold on to the handles and push off the good leg. They also have handlebar brakes similar to what you would see on a bicycle. Knee walkers also come with a front basket to help carry items.
Canes and Walkers
Canes and walkers help those who can still walk on their own but who may struggle with balance or lower-body weakness or pain. With canes, wrist straps can be added to the cane so that an individual’s hands can be free without putting the cane down. Canes also only require the use of one hand though they should not be used on stairs without the use of handrail or another individual to ensure balance. Walkers are more stable than canes but do require both hands. The walker should be at a height that allows the individual’s shoulders to be level and the arms bent at a 20 to 30-degree angle. Another consideration of a walker though is that is can cause stooped posture.
Another Option, Renting Instead of Buying
In some cases, the person you are caring for just needs temporary help. For example, your loved one or parent is relatively healthy and just had an injury they need to recover from. In cases like these, you have the option of renting mobility equipment like knee walkers or wheelchairs instead of outright buying them. Medical Supply stores like ours here at Bayshore Medical Supply in Pasadena have great rental programs that will help in cases where it doesn’t make sense to outright buy the medical equipment or the larger lump sum to buy the equipment is not available.
Whether it’s a loved one, parent or even someone you have just volunteered to help out, being a caregiver can be challenging and rewarding. You will be giving that person that piece of mind that you are there to help them. And one of those ways in helping them is to help them choose the right mobility solution that fits their situation. It can really improve their quality of life!
Bayshore Medical Supply has been a go-to source for medical supplies for caregivers of seniors and those injured or down with an illness. Bayshore Medical Supply is located in the Pasadena and Southeast Houston TX area for over 20 years. We’re open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Thursday 9:00am to 8:00pm, and Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Come see us at 4205 Spencer Hwy Pasadena, TX 77504.