A mobility aid is a device designed to assist
There are various walking aids which can help people with impaired ability to walk and wheelchairs or mobility scooters for more severe disability or longer journeys which would otherwise be undertaken on foot. For people who are blind or visually impaired the
Traditionally the phrase "mobility aid" has applied mainly to low technology mechanical devices. The term also appears in government documents, for example dealing with tax concessions of various kinds. It refers to those devices whose use enables a freedom of movement similar to that of unassisted walking or standing up from a chair.
Walking aids include
The cane or walking stick is the simplest form of walking aid. It is held in the hand and transmits loads to the floor through a shaft. The load which can be applied through a cane is transmitted through the user's hands and wrists and limited by these.
Devices on the market today include a number of combinations for canes, crutches, and forearm crutches. These crutches have bands that encircle the upper arms and handles for the patient to hold and rest their hands to support the body weight. The forearm crutch typically gives a user the support of the cane but with additional forearm support to assist in mobility. The forearm portion helps increase balance, lateral stability and also reduces the load on the wrist.
A walker cane hybrid was introduced in 2012 designed to bridge the gap between a cane and a walker. The hybrid has two legs which provide lateral (side-to-side) support which a cane does not. It can be used with two hands in front of the user, similar to a walker, and provides an increased level of support compared with a cane. It can be adjusted for use with either one or two hands, at the front and at the side, as well as a stair climbing assistant. The hybrid is not designed to replace a walker which normally has four legs and provides 4-way support using both hands.
Another device to assist walking that has entered the market in recent years is the