Senior Accessibility Tools: Walkers, Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters

It is often very difficult for seniors to get around and walk for an extended period of time. This restriction can ultimately has a very big impact on their day to day life, as it is necessary to avoid many of the things they enjoy, such as going to the park with the family or walking around the neighborhood. There are three main devices used to address this issue, namely the walker, the mobility scooter, and the wheelchair.

A Brief Look at Walkers

rollatorWalkers have been popular for many years now and come in a number of different styles. Typically, walkers provide system that makes contact with the floor at four different points, to provide increased stability as compared to a cane. Hand holds are provided for both arms and the senior is able to move forward, leaning against the walker for support.

Over the past few years, rollators, which are essentially rolling walkers, have become much more popular. Many seniors find rollators much easier to use, because instead of having to lift the walker up with every few steps, they can simply roll it forward. Most rollators also double as a seat and provide a storage basket. There are also hand brakes on the hand holds, which can be locked in place when the senior is not moving.

A Brief Look at Mobility Scooters

mobilityscooterMobility Scooters are very popular among seniors and provide a motorized way to get around. They have an elongated flat base, with 3 or 4 wheels, and are controlled by a set of handlebars, called a tiller, that extends from the front of the electric scooter. A chair is positioned towards the rear of the mobility scooter.

Most mobility scooters have a pretty significant range, with some traveling over 15 miles on a single battery charge. Using one allows the senior to get around with ease, traveling over pretty much any type of terrain. However, some are only designed for tightly packed ground.

Electric mobility scooters are powerful aids, used by many seniors and others who have difficulty walking. They can be used both indoors and outdoors, providing an easy and fun way to increase accessibility.

A Brief Look at Wheelchairs

wheelchairWheelchairs are also a popular tool used by seniors who have difficulty walking, however since a wheelchair requires a lot of physical effort to use, they can not always be used independently. Instead, it is usually necessary to rely on someone to push the wheelchair from behind.

Electric wheelchairs are available as well, but are usually considerably more expensive than mobility scooters. However, unlike mobility scooters, an electric wheelchair can be driven directly up to a table or desk, without having to switch to a chair. So, many people find electric wheelchairs more convenient than mobility scooters.