Mobility aids: Which is best for you?

Medical Supplies & Equipment

Many airlines offer special baggage allowances for larger mobility aids, including wheelchairs and walkers. Depending on the airline, they may mark the devices with special tags to indicate they must be brought to baggage claim before other luggage.

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Which mobility aid is best for you?

Mobility aids help individuals have more independence with walking and moving. They’re used by individuals with mobility impairments as well as those undergoing rehabilitation or physical therapy. Finding the right mobility aid, however, involves a little research to determine whether certain devices are practical or helpful.

Although many people think of walkers or canes when they hear “mobility devices,” it’s actually an extensive category that includes specially-made pillows, handles and steps. Depending on an individual’s needs, they may invest in a few mobility aids to assist in their daily lives. 

What is a mobility aid?

Mobility aids are devices that help individuals gain more independence. Depending on the device’s design, it may help individuals walk, get up, sit down or travel up and down stairs. They’re widely available online and in stores, and unlike some medical devices, mobility aids are available without prescriptions. 

However, MedlinePlus states that certain mobility aids should be custom-fitted for safety reasons to prevent falls and other injuries. This includes mobility aids that bear the user’s weight, such as canes and walkers. These are available in various heights, and the right height will allow individuals to use them safely to their full potential. If they’re too short, however, the individual may bend forward too much and risk falling. If they’re too tall, users may experience difficulty maneuvering them. 

Other mobility aids that are often custom-fitted to individuals include wheelchairs and assistive furniture like beds and recliners. Besides taking the user’s height and weight into consideration, these devices may be available with unique features that expand their functionality. 

Types of mobility aids

There are dozens of mobility aids on the market, and researching how they help users is key to choosing the right one. Here are some of the most common ones.

Walking aids

wheeled walkers

Walking aids help individuals walk on their own. Simple walking aids, namely those without wheels, include crutches, canes and walkers. Wheeled walking aids include rollators, wheeled walkers, knee scooters and carts. There are also progressive walking aids that offer more than one configuration to accommodate a user’s changing mobility needs. 

Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs are now available in a broad range of designs, including manual and electric models. Many of them have adjustable seats and leg cushions to offer customized support. Electric scooters are often grouped with wheelchairs. These devices have more traditional seat designs and may be equipped with features like baskets and cane holders.

Stand aids

risers

Stand aids, also called risers, are stable devices that help users rise from seated positions by providing leverage or supporting the user’s weight as they lean forward. Most of these devices have heavy-duty metal construction and support high weight capacities. Some variations of stand assists include mobility grips that allow someone to pull individuals from seated into standing positions. 

Turning devices

Turning devices, often used in beds, help caretakers assist users to turn from side to side. These are usually in the form of contoured pillows that fit around the individual’s body. They have a rounded edge, which makes it easier for others to turn the individual without straining their back. 

Adaptive and reaching aids

reaching aids

Adaptive and reaching aids offer users independence by helping them obtain a better grip on everyday objects, like utensils, socks and toilet paper. Although they don’t aid specifically in mobility, they allow individuals to maneuver everyday tasks from positions where they are most comfortable.

Car mobility aids

There are now several car mobility aids on the market, ranging from assistive handles to rotating seat cushions. They allow users to get in and out of cars without much assistance, particularly vehicles that are lower to the ground like sedans and compact cars. 

How much are mobility aids?

The most affordable mobility devices, priced $50 and below, are mostly adaptive and reaching aids, followed by car mobility aids. Walking aids, stand assists and turning devices fall anywhere between $40-$250. Wheelchairs and electric mobility scooters are the most expensive mobility aids and cost anywhere from $300-$3,500. 

10 best mobility aids

OasisSpace Tall Rollator Walker

OasisSpace Tall Rollator Walker

This tall rollator is adjustable between 39-48 inches, making it a suitable option for many users. The four-wheeled device has 360-degree swivel front wheels for easy maneuvering and turning.

Sold by Amazon

RMS Quad Cane

RMS Quad Cane

This classic quad cane is equipped with a foam padded handle as well as a wrist strap to give users a secure grip. It weighs a mere 1.5 pounds, yet it boasts a weight capacity of 250 pounds.

Sold by Amazon

Able Life Auto Cane Standing Mobility Aid

Able Life Auto Cane Standing Mobility Aid

The car assist handle slides into the door latch to give users leverage as they rise from car seats. The heavy-duty design is forged from steel and supports up to 300 pounds.

Sold by Amazon

Drive Medical Deluxe Portable Folding Travel Walker

Drive Medical Deluxe Portable Folding Travel Walker

The folding design of this rolling walker makes it suitable for travel or to leave in the car. It comes with two side pockets to store essentials. 

Sold by Amazon

Emson Liberty Life 15-inch Standing Aid

Emson Liberty Life 15-inch Standing Aid

This medical support grip is ideal for helping someone get up from a seated position. It features a figure-eight design with nonslip grips for safe use by both parties. 

Sold by Amazon

KneeRover Economy Knee Scooter

KneeRover Economy Knee Scooter

Popular among those rehabilitating injuries, this bestselling knee scooter is safe and easy to maneuver with locking hand brakes. It’s suitable for users up to 6 feet 4 inches tall.

Sold by Amazon

HealthSmart Swivel Seat Cushion

HealthSmart Swivel Seat Cushion

A swivel cushion like this one makes it easy for occupants to turn and get out of chairs without twisting. The cushion can be used on most seats, including car seats and office chairs. 

Sold by Amazon

Carex Health Sturdy Adjustable Medical Walker

Carex Health Sturdy Adjustable Medical Walker

With a stable design, this well-made walker is equipped with two sets of handles to function as both a walker and standing aid. It has nonslip rubber tips that grip all floor and ground types. 

Sold by Amazon

Mobility aids: Which is best for you?

Able Life Tray and Stand Assist Handle

This unique piece of furniture has a 360-degree swivel TV tray and an ergonomic standing handle. The space-savvy design tucks neatly next to most sofas, chairs and beds.

Sold by Amazon

 

Vive Folding Walking Cane

Vive Folding Walking Cane

This folding walking cane has a lightweight aluminum frame that is packable inside handbags, carry-ons and luggage. The affordable cane is backed by a lifetime guarantee. 

Sold by Amazon

 

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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