If you are having difficulty walking or experiencing weakness and pain when you do, you might be considering getting a walking aid. If that’s the case, or if it’s a loved one that requires such assistance, knowing how to properly use a walking aid is very important, since this way the person can be sure they are getting the most out of it in the safest possible way.
The purpose of the mobility walking aids is twofold: they can be used as a part of a rehabilitation programme (if someone is recovering from surgery for instance) or as a long-term aid. When used for rehabilitation purposes, the aid is there until you don’t need it anymore or it is used as a tool to build your confidence until you are ready to move on to the next mobility aid. However, sometimes full recovery is not possible, or you have a condition or disability that prevents you form using your legs. In this case, a long term mobility aid is needed. In order to be sure that you are getting the appropriate mobility walking aids you need to assess your needs, lifestyle and home environment.
It’s not always obvious how to correctly use a walking aid. The usual way doesn’t always work if your condition doesn’t allow you to use the aid the way it was intended. The person using the aid can also happen to have has cognitive problems and they may find it difficult to learn or even remember how to properly use their aid. In such cases, a physiotherapist may be able to help find the right mobility walking aids appropriate for the given situation and show the person in question or yourself how to use the aid without causing any further problems to the body.
Reducing the Risk of Falls
There are some precautions you can take to help minimize the risk of falling. Here are some tips and tricks you can take to ensure safety.
To make sure your home is ready for a mobility aid you need to remove all slippery rugs and clutter from the floor. You need to keep the pathways clear at all times and make sure nothing slipping and falling.
If you need to climb stairs in your home, then make sure to get two of the same type of walking aid – one for up stairs and one for down. Do not attempt to walk up or down the stairs with a walking aid.
Standing from the Chair
Another common reason for falls at home is attempting to stand up from a chair using your walking aid to gain leverage. However, they are not stable enough for serving this purpose and can slip out from under you. You should use the chair as a leverage point instead and only hold on to the walking aid when you are standing up.