Don’t Let Mobility Issues Slow You Down

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By Kelly Stalnaker

J and B Medical StaffWe are fortunate to live on the Emerald Coast, surrounded by so much beauty. From Turkey Creek to 30A, there are so many local places to enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately, many older adults face hurdles getting outside. But, a little fresh air and a change of view can offer many benefits. Aside from diminishing boredom and complacency, people that get outside regularly are less likely to suffer from health issues including chronic pain, insomnia, depression and much more. If decreased mobility is keeping you inside, there is a wide variety of mobility aids to help get you moving.

A standard wheelchair has large wheels on each side for the user to be able to move themselves independent of a companion. These chairs are available in a variety of sizes for additional accommodation. Transport wheelchairs, also called “companion chairs” are more lightweight and portable than a standard wheelchair as it does not have the large wheels so the patient cannot move themselves (they must always have a companion). It is a great alternative to a heavier wheelchair, especially if the caregiver has any lifting restrictions. Power wheelchairs and scooters are motorized solutions for independent individuals that lack the upper body strength required to move a standard wheelchair. They can go much longer distances with ease, and offer a variety of features.

J and B Medical kneewalkers and wheelchairsA standard walker (with or without wheels) is the most common type of mobility aid. It offers the most stability and is great for individuals that are mobile enough to not need a wheelchair. These walkers are especially useful for patients who are recovering from a hip or leg injury or surgery. Lots of great accessories are available including: baskets, bags, ski glides, tennis balls, and trays to promote independence for the user. Rollators, also known as four wheel walkers with a seat, have become increasingly popular with older adults. They can be used indoors or out for shopping trips, appointments, social events, and much more. Rollators allow seniors to walk for longer distances but there is always the option of taking a rest on the attached seat if fatigued. Rollators are affordable, convenient, and customizable as they come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and sizes; with tons of accessories.

If you’re experiencing only minor issues with balance and stability, a cane might be right for you. Available in single and quad tip, a cane acts as a third leg, keeping you upright and steady. Canes are offered in wood or aluminum in several bright and colorful options. If you’re recovering from a lower leg/foot injury or surgery, consider a knee walker. Also called a knee walkabout, it is a comfortable and easy-to-maneuver alternative to crutches. Knee walkers are covered by Tricare (with a prescription).

Issues with mobility have become the most common disability older adults face in America. When you or a loved one has lower body weakness, vertigo or instability, it might be time to consider a mobility aid. Stop by and see us at J & B Medical, 540 E. John Sims Pkwy. in Niceville for more information.