Ease of transportation and mobility when caring for a loved one is often a primary concern for those providing care. The right mobility aid can help with transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, traveling, shopping, and assist with mobility within the home. But, there’s so many mobility devices to choose from – how do you make the right decision? Here’s some things to consider before making a selection:
- Wheelchair or Transport Chair: Can your loved one use their arms to propel themselves in a wheelchair? If so, a wheelchair is probably the right choice. This way they can both propel themselves if they choose, or if needed someone can push them. If not, then a transport chair might be a better selection. A transport chair is narrower and lighter in weight, making it the best choice for a caregiver that will have to supply all mobility assistance for their loved one. One other thing to consider in this area is the amount of time your loved one will spend in the chair – if they will be spending the majority of their time each day in a chair, then a wheelchair will probably be better suited (whether they self propel or not) because it has better posterior and back support for longer periods of sitting.
- Walker or Rollator: If your loved one is still able to walk, but can only walk short distances or needs additional support while walking, a walker or rollator may be the right choice. A walker is probably the right choice if your loved one tends to walk just short distances, while a rollator would most likely be a better choice for the more active user as it has wheels for better mobility, and a seat for resting in between walking.
- Standard wheelchair or Reclining Back: Making this choice has a lot to do with the user’s health conditions. For instance, if they require leg elevation to increase blood flow or for heart problems, or if they have spinal problems or persistent back aches and problems, or if they require additional head or lateral support, then a reclining back wheelchair is probably your best choice as it can be reclined in multiple positions, usually has head positioning support, and comes with elevating legrests. Lateral support can typically be purchased as an add-on. Another reason a reclining back wheelchair may be the best choice is if the patient often sleeps in the chair, as it will be much more comfortable for them. If none of these situations or conditions apply, then a standard wheelchair will probably work just fine.
There are a lot of makes and models in each wheelchair category to further choose from. For some additional guidance, WheelchairReviews.Com is a good website to visit as it lists many of the industry’s currently available mobility products in each category, along with user reviews, pictures, and descriptions. You can also upload your own reviews and descriptions of products you’ve had experience with to help others make better selections.