There are many people around today that have trouble getting around and a good way to deal with a movement impairment is to use electric mobility aids. These aids are specifically designed to help people with various disabilities and movement problems to get out and about in their daily lives and therefore live a more rewarding life.
There are a wide variety of these types of aids, all designed to increase the mobility of the disabled person and improve movement.
Disability aids can be great when used as rehabilitation equipment as they can provide the user with a larger range of travel but also support if the user wants to attempt walking or moving unaided but can return to a seated resting position when needed.
The way most mobility aids are classified is either electric or manual. There are short explanations on what different aids are available in both categories further down the page.
So what are the different types of electric mobility aids?
Any mobility aid that uses a battery of any kind is defined as electric. These are usually better suited for travelling longer distances and carrying heavier loads such as shopping bags than the typical walking frames or rollators.
The main mobility aids that make up this category are electric wheelchairs (powerchairs), electric mobility scooters and electric seated chairlifts:
Electric Wheelchairs (Power Chairs)– These are your typical push wheelchairs with a motor and battery incorporated and can be operated by the seated person usually via a joystick. They are really helpful with more severe mobility impairments where the user wants to control their own movement to a large extent. There are both indoor and outdoor designs so you can get a lot of flexibility with an electric wheelchair. If you want more information regarding these then take a look at our electric wheelchair categories, it has reviews and technical information about many different types of electric wheelchairs.
Electric Mobility Scooters – Over the last 5 years electric scooters have gained lots of popularity as they are considerably cheaper than electric wheelchair and usually have higher top speeds so are especially useful for covering the distance around town quicker. You have probably seen one of these around and they can be 3, 4 or 6 wheeled depending on the environment they were designed for. You can even get off road mobility scooters for those with movement impairments who want to keep exploring the countryside. The typical design is a seat with back support on top of the electric motor and battery with front wheel steering similar to a motorbike where the steering is done using 1 or 2 hands. You can mount a shopping basket on the front of most of these scooters to make them extra helpful.
Electric Stairlifts – In the home these can be invaluable to people with movement impairments that make the use of stairs hard as these allow you to sit at one end push a button and be taken to the top without having to struggle. You can now get self installation stairlifts that can be plugged into a typical wall socket and can be mounted onto the actual stairs instead of the walls. See our electric stairlifts category for more information.
What are manual mobility aids?
Manual mobility aids have been around for ages compared to the electric mobility aids, they are also usually cheaper and some of them such as walking canes have become quite fashionable. Some examples of mobility aids that fall into this category are crutches, walkers (zimmer frames), rollators, push wheelchairs and. Heres a brief explanation of each one but if you want more information and to see reviews of the mobility aids available please visit the individual categories.
Crutches – Usually used when someone has broken their leg or foot, allows user to move quicker as the brace is usually under the armpit or around the upper arm allowing the muscles of both shoulders and arms to be used. They come in pairs and you can also get lots of varied designed nowadays with some being able to fold so as to allow them to be packed away in cars and various modes of transport. Hospitals can supply these medical supplies but it may be cheaper for you to by these walking aids without using up any medical insurance.
Rollators – These are similar to walkers and zimmer frames but, they have wheels, this enables the user to be supported constantly without the need to be stationary. They usually are fitted with brakes as well so that they can be used in a similar way to the walkers if that is more comfortable. Please see our Rollator category for more information and also to see many models reviewed.
Push Wheelchairs – Push wheelchairs are your standard mobility aid recommended mainly to those who have had leg or foot injuries but are really useful with a wide range of mobility impairments. They are essentially as the name suggests a chair with wheels, there are usually arm rests, and feet support too. The wheels are usually solid rubber and can be used by the person seated or pushed by someone else, this allows for people trying to improve their mobility of having two options to either take control and rest while being pushed around. See our push wheelchair category for more information about wheelchairs and some models that have been recommended.
Please take the time to have a look at our individual categories where you will find more information on the huge variety of electric mobility aids and normal mobility aids available.