More than 50 million Americans have a permanent disability, and in many of those cases, the disability limits their ability to get around. Nearly 7 million people use some sort of assisted movement device to get around, and depending on the level and type of disability, these measures can vary widely.
For many people, their disability is mild enough that they just need some help with stabilization. This often is the case with elderly people or those who have failed to recover fully from a stroke or other neurological illness or injury that has left them with less than full mobility. In these cases, items that help with walking assistance, such as a cane or walker, will do the trick. They key to being able to use these items is that the person must have the strength in their arms and legs to walk with assistance, as well as the balance needed to stay upright.
For those who can’t walk regularly with assistance, there are a range of motorized mobility devices. These can include a mobility scooter and an electric wheelchair. There are a number of models that vary in size, price and level of assistance provided. For example, motorized scooters are usually meant for people who can still get themselves around but can’t handle long periods of walking. These scooters can be helpful in places like large stores, malls and parking lots. Electric wheelchairs are meant for those who have a higher level of disability and who have severely limited mobility. Such chairs can be used for people who have limited or no use of their legs, and more advanced electric wheelchairs can even be used for people who have limited upper body mobility.
If you use a motorized assistance device, you are going to need a way to get in and out of your house. There are a number of options, including wheelchair ramps, power chair ramps and an outdoor stair lift. Each of these options has pros and cons. If you are able to maneuver through and use power chair ramps or wheelchair ramps, that usually is your best option, because it is much cheaper than a stair lift. What you need ultimately will come down to the nature of your disability, personal preference and ability to pay.