May is National Mobility Awareness, as well as, Guillain Barre Syndrome Awareness month. These two go hand in hand since GBS is causes paralysis and fully immobilizes some for months. My hope is that everyone reading this post will recognize and appreciate they mobility they have and work to maintain, accommodate and improve their abilities.
Mobility issues affect more people than most realize. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 18 million adults find it difficult to walk a quarter mile, and that roughly 40 million adults have some physical functioning difficulty. For those who may know others who have mobility challenges, there are things they can do to help with the challenges, as well as reduce the risks that they may become worse. Here are 5 ways to help someone in your life who may have limited mobility:
- Focus on accessibility. It’s easy to overlook those devices that may make life simpler for those with mobility challenges, but they can be a tremendous help. Take stock in the devices and items that the person has and determine if there are better ones that can be offered up to help them with mobility.
- Offer your help. Many people with limited mobility, whether temporary or long term, are too proud to ask someone for help. By offering it they will be more likely to take the assistance that they need.
- Keep them social. Mobility challenges and fear of a fall can weight on one’s mind and mood, making it important that they stay social. Find them social groups that would interest them or support groups, where they can share, talk, and have a few laughs.
- Help them exercise. Limited mobility doesn’t mean there are no ways they can exercise. Today, there are people who do chair yoga, chair exercises, swimming workouts, and more. Find something they can do to keep as active as possible and keep them doing it, as it will help their mental and physical health.
- Offer healthy foods. Having mobility challenges may make it more difficult for them to exercise, which could help lead to weight gain. Providing them with healthy meals and snacks can go a long way toward keeping the weight down and their health in good condition.
I've spent my professional life finding solutions to challenges, and I especially love to see innovation and continual improvement. So, listed below are some accessibility devices I've found that can help keep people moving.
- The iWALK2.0. is hands-free, pain-free alternative to using crutches and leg scooters. It’s easy to learn to use, intuitive, and safe. From the knee up, the leg is doing the same walking motion that comes naturally to it. The device is essentially a temporary lower leg, which gives people their independence and mobility back as they recover from an injury. The device helps to make it possible for people to engage in many of their normal routine activities, such as walking the dog, grocery shopping, and walking up or down stairs.
- For those who can, and should, walk on two feet but need a little support there is the EZ Fold & Go Walker that is light-weight (less than 8 lbs) and folds smaller than traditional walkers, but it is sturdy; supporting up to 400 lbs. Aside from not looking so "clinical" it is also ideal for traveling and easy storage in tight spaces; such as an office.
- The Security Pole and Curve Grab Bar is for a different type of mobility. Sometimes mobility means standing up from a sofa/chair/toilet, or getting into or out of a shower/bathtub. Or perhaps, it is taking that step up/down into a sunken/elevated room or workspace.
- Mobility can also mean "getting going", such as when getting out of bed or a car and taking those first couple of steps. The Mobility Bed Rail with it pivoting arm provides stability and support as those first couple of steps are taken. The Metro Car Handle Plus fits in door striker of a vehicle to provide support for a person getting out of the vehicle... so they can get to walking.
What innovative devices have you found to improve mobility?